Svetlana Gannushkina: “There is No Rule in Chechnya”
Today the Spanish newspaper “Gara” has published an interview with Svetlana Gannushkina, chairwoman of the Civic Assistance Committee for Refugees and heads of the Migration and Law Network of the Human Rights Center Memorial, honored with Sakharov Prize, on the terrible situation in Chechnya and Russia.
In her interview, Svetlana Gannushkina urged European countries to actively put pressure on Moscow to respect human rights, because inhumane methods which use in Chechnya spreading to Russia like a cancer. She asked European community to demand an independent investigation on war crimes and crimes against humanity in Chechnya during the first and second wars in the terrority.
She said on Russian-Chechen wars: “The first Russian-Chechen war was brutal and terrifying and included the persecution of Chechens who fled to Russia, against those manufactured crimes… It was a total criminalization. The second Russian-Chechen war was even more terrifying and the Russian army did not let the Chechens live or flee from their country. The Russian army was repeatedly bombed border crossings where displaced people had gathered with the official permit decleration of Kremlin…”
She said on today’s Chechnya: “Russia has managed to internalize the conflict. They established some Chechens who will work for Kremlin. One of them is Ramzan Kadirov. Kadirov and his men do whatever they want. There is no law. And fear has become part of the Chechnen people’s mentality. It is what happened in the times of Stalin, of Hitler, of Mussolini: people begin to love their oppressors and fear each other, just like in the old times. Also, in Chechnya, people can’t even speak of corruption as such. The term “corruption” means a collaboration between the political power and criminal organizations. In Chechnya there is no difference at all between the political and the criminal power: they are the same thing. Obviously they don’t like the truth come on the scene. So they choose the kill messengers, like Natalya Estemirova…”
On the murder of Natalya Estemirova, she said: “She was researching an extrajudcial punishment of a Chechen young from Kurchaloi settlement of Chechnya. On July 15, she had a full agenda. When I called her from the airport, then I had understood that something was wrong there. Later we have learnt the terrible case. When our collegeous have started to the case, they went to ask the neighbours; and a woman said that around at 9am they had brought Natalya into a car by force, while she cried she was being kidnapped. See how is fear that this woman, who knew Natalya and her work, did not dare to call anybody, not even Natalya’s daughter, whom she also knew personally.”