Memorial’s Book Presentation about the Chechen Republic’s Inhabitants

February, 13. Memorial’s Book Presentation about the Chechen Republic’s Inhabitants Detained by Federal Forces in 1999-2000 Disappeared or Killed

Violent disappearances in the Chechen Republic — unpunished crimes against humanity: about power’s responsibility
On February 13, 2012 at 12:00 in the premises of society „Memorial“ (5/10 Karetny Ryad, Moscow), new book of the Human Rights Center „Memorial“ „Destiny is unknown. The inhabitants of the Chechen Republic detained by representatives of federal forces during the armed conflict and disappeared or were killed. Fall of 1999–2000″ will be presented.

Participants are:
Oleg Orlov — Chair of the Board of the Human Rights Center „Memorial“,
Ekaterina Sokiryanskaya — project director of International Crisis Group for North Caucasus,
Rukiyat Khadzhieva — employee of the Human Rights Center „Memorial“,
Asman Khadziev — employee of the Human Rights Center „Memorial“,
Alexander Cherkasov — employee of the Human Rights Center „Memorial“.

„…A dirty thief is sweeter for me than a bloodsucker“ -the poet noticed. When we talk about Putin’s government, we usually remember cooperative society „Ozero“ and other corruption matters, forgetting graver crimes. During the Second Chechen war, thousands of people were abducted and disappeared, victims of „squadrons of death“ for which the authorities guarantied systematic impunity. The book prepared by the Human Rights Center „Memorial“, „Destiny is unknown. The inhabitants of the Chechen Republic detained by representatives of federal forces during the armed conflict and disappeared or were killed. Fall of 1999–2000″ deals with this subject and is the first volume.

Under one cover, lists of the majority of victims of violent disappearances during one year of „counterterrorism operation” are collected. Brief information provides collected data about abducted people, about the undertaken searches, about the course of official investigation and if relatives addressed to Strasbourg – about consideration of a case at the European Court of Human Rights. A summary of events and legal context of these crimes is given in an analytical article which prefaces the lists.

The book contains data about 384 inhabitants of the Chechen Republic, disappeared or found killed after they were detained by „siloviks“, and about 187 missing persons during this period. Criminal cases about abductions or murders have been initiated after a long delay, and none of them was lead to the court or at least, was the subject of accusation. Meanwhile, the European Court of Human Rights considered already 26 complaints of relatives of persons who disappeared in 2000, and for every case, Court decided that Russian authorities were responsible both for crimes and refusal to investigate. As these violent disappearances became a widespread and regular practice, they have to be qualified as a crime against humanity, without any statute of limitation in accordance with the Convention of 2006.

When „counterterrorism operation“, the Second Chechen War that started 12 years ago almost became the basis of Vladimir Putin’s election campaign. And Putin, candidate for the presidency, according to this idea, has to give an account for these years because these people, who committed crimes against humanity, were subordinated to him as he was the Supreme Commander in Chief, for the; for the systematic impunity system of these crimes; for these crimes without punishment that have created a mobilization basis for war continuation, for new insurgents’ recruitment of the terrorist underground.

For further information: by phone +7 903 573 86 22 (Yulyia Klimova, Press Secretary of the Human Rights Center „Memorial“).

February, 10, 2012