The International Human Rights Movement: A History

By Aryeh Neier | Go to book overview

1
The Movement

ON THE MORNING OF JULY 15, 2009, NATALYA ESTEMIROVA, A 50-year-old researcher for the Russian human rights organization Memorial and former history teacher who had systematically reported on torture, disappearances, and murders in her native Chechnya for nearly two decades, was abducted as she left her home in Grozny and forced into a car. Her bullet-riddled body was found later by the side of a road. She had become a victim of just the kind of crime that she had so often documented.

For a brief period, the murder of Estemirova was an important news item worldwide. Few outside Russia had even known her name, but a great many now recognized that her death would have serious consequences. Chechnya has a well-earned reputation as a very dangerous place. An unusually large number of journalists, humanitarian workers, and human rights researchers have lost their lives there in the past two decades. Members of professions used to working in some of the world’s most dangerous places have learned to avoid Chechnya. Memorial’s researchers, led by Estemirova, were virtually alone by the time of her murder in keeping the world informed about the ongoing violent abuses of human rights in the territory. Would even Memorial be able to sustain that reporting after her death? “A question hangs over her execution, the most recent in a series of killings of those still willing to chronicle Chechnya’s horrors,” wrote a New York Times reporter, who described her as “both a trusted source and friend.” Is the accounting of the human toll now over? “Without her, will

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The International Human Rights Movement: A History
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • 1 - The Movement 1
  • 2 - Putting Natural Law Principles into Practice 26
  • 3 - What Are Rights? 57
  • 4 - International Human Rights Law 93
  • 5 - International Humanitarian Law 117
  • 6 - Defying Communism 138
  • 7 - Rights on the Other Side of the Cold War Divide 161
  • 8 - Amnesty International 186
  • 9 - Human Rights Watch 204
  • 10 - The Worldwide Movement 233
  • 11 - Accountability 258
  • 12 - Rights after 9/11 285
  • 13 - Going Forward 318
  • Notes 335
  • Index 359
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