US may initiate discussion in OSCE on investigation into murder of Boris Nemtsov
The Nemtsov Murder and The Rule of Law in Russia
US Helsinki Commission held hearings on assassination of Russian opposition politician
WASHINGTON – Representatives of the United States in the OSCE can raise the issue of the need for an independent international investigation into the murder of Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov at the session of the Parliamentary Assembly of this organization in Berlin in the summer.
About this Russian service «Voices of America» On February 28, the chairman of the US Helsinki Commission (the official name of the US delegation to the OSCE), Senator Roger Wicker, announced after a special hearing «Boris Nemtsov, 1957-2015: to restore justice, preserve the legacy», held on Wednesday in Congress.
This position is also in an interview with the Russian Service «Voices of America» confirmed by the co-chair of the US Helsinki Commission, Congressman Chris Smith
The hearings were attended by members of the US Helsinki Commission, as well as the daughter of the murdered politician Zhanna Nemtsova, Chairman of the Boris Nemtsov Foundation Vladimir Kara-Murza Jr. and lawyer of Boris Nemtsov’s family Vadim Prokhorov.
During the hearings, Zhanna Nemtsova and Vladimir Kara-Murza Jr. told American parliamentarians that neither Boris Nemtsov’s family, nor Boris Nemtsov’s associates, nor numerous European politicians who voted for the creation of a special report of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on the murder of a Russian oppositionist, are not satisfied with how Russian the authorities investigated this crime.
«Just as foreign influence can help perpetuate the memory of Boris Nemtsov, it can help end impunity for his killers. It has been three years since the Russian opposition leader was killed on the bridge in front of the Kremlin. However, none of those who conceived and organized this crime was identified and brought to justice … Despite the repeated appeals of Zhanna Nemtsova and her lawyers, the bosses of Zaur Dadaev (convicted as the perpetrator of the murder of Boris Nemtsov — D.G.) – the head of Chechnya Ramzan Kadyrov and the commander of the internal troops Viktor Zolotov were never even formally interrogated by investigators», – said Vladimir Kara-Murza Jr., speaking to members of the Helsinki Commission.
Zhanna Nemtsova stated in her speech that the Russian authorities, hiding the organizers and customers of her father’s murder, are committing a crime themselves: «It seems that the authorities are either afraid of Kadyrov and his 30,000-strong army — if we assume that he is the main inspirer of this, or is it a mixture of fear of Kadyrov and attempts to hide something — for example, the direct involvement of the Russian secret services and high-ranking officials in this assassination».
According to Zhanna Nemtsova, supported by Vladimir Kara-Murza Jr., the family and associates of Boris Nemtsov propose to launch in the OSCE a procedure for preparing a special report on the assassination of Boris Nemtsov, similar to the one already launched in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.
«This proposal is valuable, and I would like to receive more information about how the rapporteur on the same topic in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe is progressing, and how this is reported, how it is perceived not only in Russia, but also in European countries. But, I repeat again, this is a worthy idea.» – said Senator Roger Wicker in an interview with the Russian Service «Voices of America».
Congressman Chris Smith also mentioned the possibility of bringing the issue of the need for a full investigation into the murder of Boris Nemtsov to be discussed by the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly: «Ahead we have — session of the Parliamentary Assembly in July, and we will at least try to raise this issue with the Russian side. Impunity thrives when such political killings go unresolved».
Congressman Smith, speaking at the hearing, also said that it is more difficult to interact with the current leaders of Russia on some issues than with the authorities of the USSR: «I cannot get a visa to Russia due to the fact that I am a co-author «The Magnitsky Law». Even in the worst years of the Soviet Union, I had the opportunity to get a visa: I went to the camp «Perm-35» with Frank Wolfe (Republican congressman known for his human rights activism in the 1980s — D.G.), where Sharansky and others were. Now I cannot even come to Moscow, but if I could, I would come and raise the question of the murder of Boris Nemtsov before the Russian authorities.»