Page last updated at 09:30 GMT, Monday, 27 July 2009 10:30 UK

Gabriel gig honours slain Chechen

By Martin Vennard
BBC News, Womad Festival

Peter Gabriel
Peter Gabriel was playing his only European concert at the event

Peter Gabriel has paid tribute to the murdered Chechen human rights activist Natalia Estemirova.

Gabriel was headlining at the World of Music Arts and Dance (Womad) festival in Wiltshire on Saturday night.

He said Ms Estemirova had collaborated with his human rights organisation Witness on two films.

Her body was found hours after she was abducted from her home in the Chechen capital, Grozny. She had been shot in the head.

Gabriel told the festival crowd some people had accused the Chechen authorities of being linked to her murder - an accusation they deny.

He dedicated his song Biko, about the South African anti-apartheid activisit Steve Biko who died in police custody in the 1970s, to her.

Natalia Estemirova
Natalia Estemirova was abducted as she left her home

Her photo was shown on the giant screen behind the main stage at Womad, which Gabriel co-founded.

Ms Estemirova had documented hundreds of cases of rights abuse in Chechnya, many allegedly commited by government-backed militia.

Gabriel hopes to raise £100,000 for Witness, which he also co-founded, over the three days of the festival.

It helps people to use video and online technology to expose human rights violations in their communities.



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