EURASIA LIFT

Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

Groups Urge Medvedev: Bring Rule Of Law To Chechnya!

Posted by Info on 20/04/2011

Russian human rights activists appealed to President Dmitry Medvedev to intervene to stop extrajudicial kidnappings and enforce the rule of law in the country’s predominantly Muslim region of Chechnya.

The region’s Kremlin-backed leadership has amassed huge powers and local prosecutors had no power to curb or probe cases of torture and kidnappings.

A letter prepared by five rights groups asked Medvedev to keep what they called a promise to investigate “egregious human rights violations such as enforced disappearances, torture and extrajudicial killings by members of the law enforcement and security agencies.”

Chechnya is ruled by separatist turned Kremlin loyalist Ramzan Kadyrov, who has been accused by rights groups of using his local militia to execute personal decrees and spread fear.
Igor Kalyapin, chairman of the Committee Against Torture, said that regional prosecutors had admitted they were unable to take “concrete steps” to stop violations or probe extrajudicial kidnappings, used as a way of cracking down on suspected militants.

“We can expect nothing from law enforcement agencies if the prosecutor gives this kind of evaluation of the investigative committee… I don’t see any way out of this situation through legal instruments,
he said.

Moscow turns a blind eye to alleged rights abuses by forces loyal to Kadyrov provided he keeps the uneasy peace in Chechnya as an Islamist insurgency spreads to other North Caucasus provinces such as Dagestan and Ingushetia.

Rebels want to carve out an Islamic state from Russia’s Caucasus region.

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