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Statement by International Memorial Society - "The murder of Boris Nemtsov: the responsibility of the authorities"

posted 1 Mar 2015, 02:43 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 1 Mar 2015, 02:49 ]
28 February 2015

Source: International Memorial Society

Photo: International Memorial Society

On the night of 27 – 28 February 2015 in the centre of Moscow, a hundred meters from the Kremlin, Boris Nemtsov was shot dead. This was a political killing.

In recent months and years the political authorities in Russia and those media that serve them have created an atmosphere of hatred toward any kind of independent thinking. State propaganda not only ‘picks out’, like a projector, targets for killers, but also creates in those killers a sense of impunity. Activists of the opposition, and simply independent civil society and political activists, are called hostile agents, and in essence are announced to be ‘permissible targets’. So we see that NTV had announced that on 1 March it would show the latest broadcast in the series ‘Anatomy of Protest’, where Boris Nemtsov had been allotted the role of one of the main ‘enemies’.

But things no longer end merely with propaganda. With the support of the authorities, ‘Anti-Maidan’ has been set up consisting of units of storm troopers who openly announce their aim is to use force to suppress the opposition, beyond the framework of the law. These forces are closely linked with the ‘militants’ fighting in the east of Ukraine, a region from which people are returning to Russia with experience of direct and armed force exercised with impunity. Today we do not yet know the names of those who carried out the killing, those who organized it, or those who ordered it to be done. But we can say with certainty that it is precisely the Russian political authorities who have created all the preconditions for the murder of Boris Nemtsov.