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IHF report about the deteriorating human rights situation in Ingushetia, North-Ossetia and Kabardino-Balkaria

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  • IHF, Joachim Frank
    The deteriorating human rights situation in Ingushetia, North-Ossetia and Kabardino-Balkaria Vienna, 2 June 2005. Today the International Helsinki Federation
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 2, 2005
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      The deteriorating human rights situation in Ingushetia, North-Ossetia and
      Kabardino-Balkaria

      Vienna, 2 June 2005. Today the International Helsinki Federation for Human
      Rights (IHF) issued a new report on the human rights and humanitarian law
      situation in three neighboring republics of Chechnya: Ingushetia, North
      Ossetia and Kabardino-Balkaria. The report once again documents that the
      severe human rights violations by Russian and Chechen security forces are
      increasingly spreading across the borders of Chechnya into its neighboring
      republics.

      Ingushetia has attracted the attention of human rights activists for over
      two years due to increasing numbers of human rights abuses. Initially there
      were reports of cars with dark tinted windows and no license plates arriving
      from neighbouring Chechnya and abducting people, then driving off in an
      unknown direction. The victims were primarily Chechen refugees. Since the
      end of 2003, these abductions have become more frequent, and increasing
      numbers of Ingush civilians are also being abducted. This criminal trend in
      Ingushetia is made evident by data from the Human Rights Center “Memorial,”
      which consistently monitors the situation in the region:
      · 2002 - 28 abductions (27 Chechens and 1 Ingush) - Six persons remained
      'disappeared' (5 Chechens, 1 Ingush)
      · 2003, 52 abductions (41 Chechens, 9 Ingush, 2 Armenians) - Fourteen
      persons remained 'disappeared' (11 Chechens and 1 Ingush).
      · 2004, 75 abductions (38 Chechens and 37 Ingush) - Twenty three persons
      remained 'disappeared' (12 Chechens and 11 Ingush).

      The deputy prosecutor of Ingushetia, Rashid Ozdoev, attempted to investigate
      the role of the local FSB office in these abductions. As a result, on 11
      March 2004 he too, was abducted, and then “disappeared.” More than a year
      has passed since his abduction, and while the facts surrounding his
      abduction and the abductions he was investigating received a good deal of
      publicity, no proper investigation has been conducted, and those who are
      guilty have not been identified and brought to justice.

      Following the 21-22 June 2004 events, when fighters carried out an armed
      raid on the republic, a specially tasked group from the Office of the
      Russian Prosecutor General, headed by M.Lapotnikov, an investigator dealing
      with particularly important cases in the North Caucasus Prosecutor’s Office,
      arrived in Ingushetia. They disregarded the concept of “civilian”, and as a
      result, another Chechnya-like “anti-terrorist operation” was launched, this
      time in Ingushetia. Now, any resident of the republic can be detained,
      abducted, subjected to torture, beaten and even killed, and the perpetrators
      are not held responsible for their actions.

      The extensive data provided in the given report shows that even in cases
      where the names of the perpetrators are known, none of them are brought to
      justice. The climate of impunity, which originated in Chechnya, has
      effectively spread to Ingushetia.

      Furthermore, following the Beslan tragedy, Northern Ossetia and
      Kabardino-Balkaria also became “places beyond the rule of law”.

      The varied and disturbing cases described, demonstrate that the wide range
      of gross and systemic human rights violations, which used to be localized in
      Chechnya have been steadily spilling out into neighboring Ingushetia and
      then into other republics of the Northern Caucasus. The worsening human
      rights climate and the impunity of security forces for their lawless actions
      contribute to the over-all deterioration of the security situation in the
      entire Northern Caucasus region. These developments represent a serious
      danger to the Russian Federation and, consequently, to the European
      community as a whole.

      The IHF report may be found in English and Russian language at
      www.ihf-hr.org

      For more information:
      IHF Secretariat, Tel. +43–1–408 88 22: Aaron Rhodes, IHF Executive Director,
      Tel. +43–676–63 566 12; Henriette Schroeder, IHF Press Officer, Tel:
      +43–676–725 48 29, Joachim Frank, IHF Project Coordinator, Tel. + 43-676-31
      22 3 48, Eliza Moussaeva, IHF Consultant, Tel: +43–676-305 26 42
      In Moscow: Tanya Lokshina, +7- 916 624-1906

      __________________________________________
      Joachim Frank, Project Coordinator
      International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights
      Wickenburggasse 14/7
      A-1080 Vienna
      Tel. +43-1-408 88 22 ext. 22
      Fax: +43-1-408 88 22 ext. 50
      Web: http://www.ihf-hr.org
      ______________________________________


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