Authorities persecute activists

In the week prior to the Russian presidential election, a number of human rights defenders in the North Caucasus were subjected to harassment, threats and violence, and the situation continues to worsen.

– Russian authorities have a duty to protect the brave human rights defenders in the country. They struggle to put an end to the prevailing impunity at the same time as they are persecuted by the authorities, said Ninke Liebert, Progamme Officer at Civil Rights Defenders.

On March 4, Sirazhutdin Datsiev, who works for our partner Memorial in Dagestan, was arrested when he was observing the election in Makhatjkala. After he had informed a woman who tried to vote twice that she broke the law, several officials started questioning him. He was then sent to the Deputy Police Commander, accused of having threatened a member of the Election Commission when he announced that he intended to monitor the vote count.

During the night of March 2, the Russian-Chechen Friendship Society’s premises in Nizhny Novgorod was attacked. Unknown persons poured red paint on their door after the organisation had been accused of beeing a member of a terrorist network. The President of the Russian-Chechen Friendship Society recently visited Stockholm to talk about impunity in Chechnya at a seminar, organised by Civil Rights Defenders.

On March 1, the tax authorities searched the office of the Chechen women’s organisation Sinter, in order to gain information that could shut down the organisation.

The Ingush economist, Murad Yandiev, from the human rights organisation Mashr, was abducted by security forces on February 29 and found the following day at a police station. He showed signs of having been beaten by the police. Yandiev was accused of possession of extremist literature. The police also accused the organisation Mashr to recruit people to the insurgency. When Yandiev told his boss, Magomed Mutsulgov, that he had been abused, the officers threatened Mutsulgov and his family.

Categories: News.
Tags: Mashr, Memorial, and Ninke Liebert.
Regions: The North Caucasus.