EURASIA LIFT

Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

Russia: Dagestani TV Journalist Zarema Gasanova Fears for Life

Posted by Info on 27/10/2010

Zarema Gasanova has faced “systematic” threats since reporting in December about two local residents purportedly tortured to death after a dispute with the traffic police in the town of Kizilyurt the previous month.
She said she has been stalked and threatened by unidentified men, both in person and via text messages, and one message said her tongue would be cut out.

Gasanova said unidentified police officers came to her house in Makhachkala in February and September, behaving aggressively and not explaining the purpose of their visits.

Memorial head Oleg Orlov sent an official request for information on who the officers were and why they had visited Gasanova
to the Interior Ministry’s branch in Dagestan on Tuesday.
Orlov said he also passed Gasanova’s complaint to Mikhail Fedotov, head of the Kremlin human rights council. A copy of Gasanova’s complaint was posted on Memorial’s web site.

Gasanova also has accused local law enforcement agencies of abuse of power in their treatment of terrorist suspects. She made those allegations in interviews with Chernovik, a Dagestani opposition newspaper that local authorities unsuccessfully tried to close on extremism charges in June 2009, but lost their suit in September 2010.

Gasanova posted an open letter to President Dmitry Medvedev on her web site in July, asking him to “punish” police officers guilty of power abuse. About 200 Dagestani supporters have signed the online letter.

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