Seminar: Silence Over Chechnya – Oppression and Violence out of the Spotlight
The ongoing campaign to oust the last critical voice from the Russian constituent republic of Chechnya is escalating. If Memorial, the last remaining human rights organisation on the ground, is forced to leave, we will have few ways of knowing what human rights violations are committed in the region. Instead, the local dictator Ramzan Kadyrov will have free rein to propagate a distorted, cleaned-up image of Chechnya – free from corruption, torture, and extrajudicial killings.
Lately, the Russian human rights organisation Memorial has been attacked on multiple fronts. On 9 January, Oyub Titiev, Memorial’s director in the Chechen capital Grozny, was arrested and charged with unlawful possession of drugs. A week later, Memorial’s Nazran office in the neighbouring Republic of Ingushetia was torched by masked men in the middle of the night. On the evening of 22 January, yet another attack was launched as Memorial’s car was set on fire in Dagestan. Memorial received a text message with unequivocal content: “Shut down. Next time we’ll burn you with the car.”
In 2016, the Russian group Committee Against Torture had to close their office in Chechnya. The reason was a series of brutal attacks, including the destruction of their office and a violent arson attack on a bus in which their staff were traveling together with Russian and international journalists.
Civil Rights Defenders invites you to a seminar with leading experts from the region to examine the current human rights situation in Chechnya, the role played by the Russian Federation and what actions the international community can take in response to the situation.
It is imperative that we shine a spotlight on the deteriorating human rights situation in the republic. The place is extremely dangerous to anyone who expresses criticism towards the regime, both in public and in private. If we do not want a new North Korea, the international community must act forcefully, today.
Date: 22 February 2018
Venue: Hörsalen, Kungl. Myntkabinettet, Slottsbacken 6, 114 84 Stockholm
Tags: Chechnya, Committee Against Torture, Memorial, and Oyub Titiev.