Conferences for Chechnya in Sweden
Sweden has become the base of human rights defenders before the summit between European Union (EU) and Russia in Stockholm. The raising voice was on “Justice for Chechnya”!
On November 4-6 2009, in Stockholm, representatives of Russian NGOs prepared reports about situation with human rights in Russia. Oleg Orlov, the Chairman of the Council of HRC Memorial, spoke about the situation in the North Caucasus conflict zone in June 2009 – October 2009. Also, reports were prepared by Yuri Dzhibladze (Center for the development of Democracy and Human rights), Natalia Taubina (Public Verdict), Galina Arapova (Center for the defense of the rights of mass-media), Valery Borschev (Fond “Social partnership”), Dmitry Makarov (Youth human rights movement), Valentin Gefter (Institute of human rights) and Ilya Sivoldayev (Autonomous non-profit organization “Lawyers for constitutional rights and freedoms”). The full report of Memorial is available HERE.
On November 13, Usam Baysayev, a well-known Chechen human rights defender of Memorial; Oksana Chelysheva, a member of Russian-Chechen Friendship Society, participated a conference which name was “Sweden and EU’s Russia Policy in the Light of Human Rights Violations in Russia”. The conference was organized by Civil Rights Defenders in Stockholm. The recommendations directed to the current Swedish Presidency and the EU for Russia are available HERE.
On November 15, Usam Baysayev and Oksana Chelysheva involved to conference named as “Ten Years of Impunity for Human Rights Violations and War Crimes in Chechnya”. Thomas Hammarberg, Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe; and Martin Uggla, director of The Swedish Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights were also speaker of the conference. The conference was jointly arrenged by the Swedish Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights; Olof Palme International Center , a Swedish non-governmental organization working on democracy, human rights and peace; and ABF Stockholm , (“the Workers’ Educational Association”).
On November 16, Oksana Chelysheva lectured at Uppsala University. She said that human rights defenders in Russia and North Caucasus continue their struggle despite death threats. During her lecture, Oksana explained that how she engaged on Chechnya: “During the first Russian-Chechen war, when I was working as a lecturer, I became frieds with students from Chechnya. Through it, I was able to create my own picture of the war. There was more hatred during the second Russian-Chechen war. When I discovered that the conflict was so deep and had such terrible effects; I felt that I must do something”.
“It would be a success, if we could openly discuss the the problems that exist. The Russian people can not say what they want today; they need to give out their voices. It is important to get support. The number of political prisoners increased, after Medvedev became the President. For a chance, an external pressure required. But I am realistic. I don’t think there will be change something at the summit on Wednesday” said Chelysheva.