There have been some conflicting reports as to the identity of the woman who was accompanying lawyer Stanislav Markelov when he was assassinated today. So far, most reports indicate that it was Anastasia Baburova, a 24-year-old reporter from Novaya Gazeta, and the author of a series of articles about both Budanov and the Kungayeva family. According to some early correspondence that has been forwarded to me by an editor at a large news organization (meaning that I can’t confirm the accuracy of this information), doctors are currently struggling to save Baburova’s life. She apparently suffered a shot to the head as she attempted to stop the assailant. The attacker used a handgun with silencer.
I’ve also been sent a couple of quotes from the human rights community on Interfax. Lyudmila Alexeyeva said “The death of such people as Markelov is a disgrace for our country. He was a very young man – exceptionally selfless, who had his own civil position.“
Oleg Orlov of the NGO Memorial told Interfax. “The murder in the center of Moscow of a man, a lawyer, who took up high-profile political cases, and the murder of Anna Politkovskaya are events of the same scale. (…) He defended victims of a riot police operation in Blagoveshchensk, Bashkortostan, and he dealt with human rights abuses in Chechnya. Incidentally, Anna Politkovskaya wrote about one of such cases and she was threatened after that.“
More to come soon … this blog was one of the first places to publish Markelov’s work on the Blagoveshchensk filtration camps in English.
Photo from RIA Novosti.