Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

Defining ‘Terrorism’ In The North Caucasus

Posted by Info on 04/11/2010

The Chechen authorities have taken conflicting interpretations of precisely what kind of attacks should be classified as “terrorism” under Russian law to refute recent criticism by the Russian Prosecutor-General’s Office of incidences of terrorism in the North Caucasus and the inability of local police to counter it.

On October 25 Russian Deputy Prosecutor-General Ivan Sydoruk said that the incidence of “extremist” crimes committed in the North Caucasus Federal District this year was four times higher than in 2009. He marked the number of “terrorist acts” committed in the North Caucasus Federal District this year at 13, and that of “crimes of a terrorist nature” at 352, of which he claimed 254 took place in Chechnya.

Kadyrov’s press service rejected the Prosecutor-General’s Office’s data outright, claiming that “not a single terrorist act was perpetrated and registered in Chechnya in the first nine months of this year” — even though Kadyrov himself, speaking on October 19, had characterized the August 29 attack on his home village of Tsentoroi as an act of terrorism.

Sydoruk’s statistical data on the worsening situation in the North Caucasus tallies with figures cited earlier this year by his boss, Prosecutor-General Yury Chaika. In April,Chaika said that 15 terrorist acts and 654 “crimes of a terrorist nature” were committed in Russia in 2009; of the latter category, 544, or 83 percent, took place in the North Caucasus.


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