UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon said here on Thursday that he is "appalled and saddened" by the murder of a Russian human rights activist and urged Russia to conduct "a thorough and impartial investigation" to bring the perpetrators to justice, Xinhua reported.
A statement, issued here by Ban's spokesperson, said: "The secretary-general is appalled and saddened by the murder of the Russian human rights activist Natalia Estemirova following her abduction from her home in Grozny."
"He urges the Russian authorities to conduct a thorough and impartial investigation in order to bring the perpetrators of this heinous killing to justice, and by so doing, to send a strong and unambiguous message that the targeting of human rights activists will not be tolerated," the statement said.
"The secretary-general expresses his solidarity with human rights defenders around the world who work courageously and selflessly each and every day, in defense of basic rights and freedoms," the statement added.
Estemirova, 50, was a human rights worker who for a decade documented kidnappings and killings in Chechnya. She was snatched outside her home on Wednesday and found a few hours later near a highway in a neighboring republic, dead of gunshot wounds to the head and chest, reports said.