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PW: Protest rally forcibly broken up in Grozny

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  • Norbert Strade
    June 2nd 2004 · Prague Watchdog Protest rally forcibly broken up in Grozny Timur Aliyev, North Caucasus - A rally of 200 Chechen women protesting the
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 2, 2004
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      June 2nd 2004 · Prague Watchdog

      Protest rally forcibly broken up in Grozny

      Timur Aliyev, North Caucasus - A rally of 200 Chechen women protesting
      the disapperance of relatives was forcibly dispersed in the center of
      Grozny today.

      The women gathered alongside the building of the Moscow-backed Chechen
      government demanding to know the whereabouts of their relatives. The
      rally was initiated by Kheda Saratova, a local human rights defender who
      two days earlier told a local television station that she got hold of a
      list of 1,500 people who had been arrested during mopping-up operations
      in Chechnya and hauled off to Russian prisons.

      Saratova called on all women seeking information about their relatives
      to congregate in Grozny on June 2, near the building of the local
      television station.

      So the women heeded the call and showed up there today, some even
      arriving in rented buses from outlying villages. Those who failed to
      find their relatives names on the list, which had been posted on the TV
      station’s door, moved to the entrance to the government compound.

      Because the women were denied entry, they formed a small protest group
      next to the entrance and began demanding to be given information about
      their loved ones.

      A senior police officer came by and asked them to disperse otherwise
      they would be forcibly removed. He even warned one of the women, "I
      remember you and I’ll square accounts with you later!"

      According to the women, Security Council Secretary Rudnik Dudayev then
      ordered the security guards to break up the protest, adding "all of
      these women are mothers of bandits."

      In response, the women stormed through the check-points of the
      government compound where they were met with volleys of bullets being
      shot into the air. The guards began to beat them with the butts of their
      sub-machine guns so the women had no choice but to flee the scene.
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