20.4. 2011

Respected Minister Stefaan DeClerck,
Being a member of Amnesty International USA, and in addition, being myself an emigrant from the former Soviet Union, I am completely devastated hearing about the plight of Mr. Arbi Zarmaev, a Chechen, an asylum seeker from Chechnya. I was entirely desperate learning that Mr. Zarmaev was arrested in Belgium and subjected to beating and torture via forcible deprivation of food and drinking water, shackling, and sleep deprivation. Information about torturing of any prisoner in Belgium, the EU member country, renown for its adherence to human rights and law obedience, make me think that our entire world is moving towards a new Holocaust, since the Holocaust was made possible when Western world completely rejected any protection for a human life at all and for a certain ethnic group in particular. That time such a group were Jews. This time, it seems to me, the Chechens are made an ethnic group for trade-off deals with criminal Russian regime.
   I am afraid not only for a Chechen young man who is „guilty“ only of defending his homeland from marauders, murders and robbers known to the whole world as Russian mafia state. it seems that Belgium authorities secretly decided to make Arbi Zarmaev slowly dying behind grates just for secret deal with Russian criminals! I am also afraid of your country’s reputation as reliable and law-obedient, human-rights protected country belonging to the Western civilization, that just recently was considered moral leader of the whole world. No more humane place in this world? No more Geneva Convention for a tiny group that was unlucky to be designed international scapegoat in the epoch of international „anti-terrorism“ war?! But who is a bigger terrorist in this case? A Chechen who was forced to take arms to defend his home or the second army in the world that bombed out his homeland to rubbles?! Do you know that Russia killed more than 250,000 Chechens, including 40,000 children? And how many people did Arbi Zarmaev really killed? Ask him, please.
I urge you Mr. Minister, to do everything you can to stop this embarrassing for your country case. I hope you can urge your subordinates to free Arbi Zarmaev because he is not a criminal. In the worst, he could be considered prisoner of the war. However, in this case he is eliigible for Geneva Convention protection. Anyway, he is eligible for Geneva Convention protection as an asylum seeker from the armed conflict zone.
Sincerely and hopeful
Nadezhda Banchik, Amnesty International USA member
My contacts:
4321 Payne Avenue
San Jose CA 95117
Tel: (101-408) 243-8727
Email: nadia76@sbcglobal.net

Fondation Princesses de Croÿ & Massimo Lancellotti

Fondation privée de droit belge— 

Brussels, Tuesday, 19 April 2011 

To whom it may concern: 


Commander Arbi Zarmaev, a Chechen war hero and political refugee in Belgium, is retained in arbitrary detention since 16 months in Belgium. Two independent doctors, who have recently seen him at the prison of Bruges, consider his life in danger.  

We had an extraordinary update, as we reached the Strasburg based European Court of Human Right, showing that not only the fax is out of order, but also the registered mail service. 

  1.   A sole request was opened on April 1, 2011 to oppose the extradition of Commander Zarmaev, which passed from an “urgent” status to a “non urgent” status.  
  2.   The request to save the life of Commander Zarmaev based on rule 39, which was faxed on April 4 and then sent by registered mail on April 11, would never have reached the Court.  

The Commander is severely underfed and wilfully dehydrated.

He receives half a cup of coffee without sugar in the morning; a small portion of mashed potatoes with a few green beans at lunch and a small portion of bread and jam in the evening, every day the same. It is less than other prisoners. He has only ounce received a large portion of rice and tomatoes on the day the ombudsman came.  He refused meat, because he refuses to take the risk of being fed by pork. He has not been provided with any milk product, protein, vitamin and sugar for the last 21 months. 

The Commander has been deprived of all food and water for four days, then was banned from the normal hydration protocol, which includes a dialysis to re-start his kidneys. Since, he has no access to a plastic glass to calculate the sufficient quantity of water he needs to compensate the lack of food. He is deprived of plastic spoon in such a way he cannot follow the doctor’s prescription to drink constantly spoonfuls of water. He is presently in such a dehydration state, that he cannot use his coffee cup to drink enough water without vomiting, before the guards take it back.   

Normally, all prisoners detained in Belgium have access to a canteen, where they can buy the food and drink necessary to compensate the lack of vital product provided. Commander Zarmaev never had access to that canteen.  The money his family sent him would have “disappeared”. 

The Commander has been hands shackled behind his back and foot chained each time he left a cell for 21 months, without ever having received a single notification of the motive of this hair-raising sanction.  This is the reason why he was wounded to the bones, but left without treatment, until April 5, when Professor Gagliardi noted the torture representing to be forced chains and shackled rubbing on such wounds. 

He is under a “sensorial isolation” regime, which deprives him from television, radio, soap, toothpaste, pencil and paper classed as “stimulants”, but he is woken-up every 15 minutes by noise and a violent light. He is beaten, which is called “auto mutilation” in Belgium, etc.  

We have no doubt that Belgium has no intention to extradite a living skeleton, but wants a “justification” to cover-up the murder of Commander Zarmaev.  It is the second case we are handling, when the Belgian ministry of justice wilfully orders a murderous regime and banns from medical treatment with an aim to kill, for political reasons only.   

We are afraid that Belgian lawyers will not take this case, unless they are free to sabotage it, simply by fear of the consequences. We are desperate to find a lawyer who will introduce an emergency request to save the Commander from torture, starvation and dehydration, aiming at killing him. 


Jacqueline de Croÿ