US slams Russia ahead of Trump-Putin meet
Washington : The US has denounced the ongoing pattern of intimidation and violence against those who express dissent across Russia, ahead of President Donald Trump's meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.
"The US remains troubled by the ongoing pattern of intimidation and violence against those who express dissent across Russia, including independent journalists, members of the political opposition and civil society," the State Department said in a statement on Thursday.
Washington released the statement "in honour" of journalists Natalya Estemirova and Paul Klebnikov, killed in 2009 and 2004 respectively, reports Efe news.
Estemirova, a human rights activist, was kidnapped and killed in Chechnya, while Klebnikov, a US national, was murdered "likely in retaliation for reporting on official corruption and graft", according to the statement.
"Neither the killers nor those who ordered these crimes have been brought to justice," the Department said.
The Trump administration called for "an end to the impunity for human rights abuses in Chechnya and elsewhere in Russia" and showed its support for "brave journalists and human rights defenders in Russia and around the world".
Trump will meet Putin on July 16 in Helsinki.