Alla Dudaeva Protects Georgian Human Rights Activist
Alla Dudaeva, the widow of our 1st President Dzhoxar Dudaev, sked the European human rights organizations and the European Court of Human Rights to protect rights of a citizen of Georgia and Russia Giorgi Zaridze who challenges the decision of the Bulgarian court for extradition to Russia.
On June 16, Alla Dudaeva who lives in Tbilisi for a while, sent a letter with the petition to the human rights organizations Freedom House (New York), Human Rights Watch (London), Amnesty Internetional (London) and the European Court of Human Rights (Strasbourg).
In her letters Alla Dudaeva pointed out that “in case of extradition of Giorgi Zaridze to Russia, there is a high likelihood of him being subjected to torture, inhuman and degrading treatment and other violations of his rights.”
“Giorgi Zaridze participated in the campaign for human rights in Chechnya, criticizing the policy of Russia. Now Russian authorities want to curb his activities by incarceration,” Alla Dudaeva said in an interview with reporters.
“Giorgi Zaridze was forced to leave Russia in 2007, during the anti-Georgian campaign of the Russian authorities. At home, he acquired citizenship of Georgia, organized a sports travel agency and has not returned to Russia since “, – said Alla Dudaeva.
“Zaridze also actively participated in public life in Georgia, cooperated with the media and Internet publications that criticized the Kremlin’s policies in the Caucasus and Chechnya. He became one of the organizers of the ‘Chronicles of Hell‘ named photo exhibition that was held in Tbilisi in 2009 which tells of terror and violence of the Russian armed forces in Chechnya. Zaridze closely cooperated with me and owner of a media corporation, human rights defender Sergey Melnikoff in the process of preparation and organization of the exhibition. Georgi was going to hold a presentation of the exhibition in the U.S. and Europe. For this purpose he went to Bulgaria, where he was detained immediately after crossing the border by border guards at the request of the Russian side “, – said Alla Dudaeva.
“Giorgi Zaridze was never in hiding. He did not know anything about the criminal case instituted against him in Russia and that he was wanted. I am confident that the Russian side’s accusation of fraud was fabricated and in fact he is being persecuted for his political beliefs,” underlined Alla Dudaeva.
On May 10th, 2010 the Regional Court of Bulgarian city of Khaskovo has decided to extradite Zaridze. Defence could not get an opportunity to collect and present evidence in either national court or court of appeal, despite the fact that the Russian side has not presented evidence that Zaridze’s rights in a criminal case were protected and guaranteed.
Law firm “Bulgarian Lawyers for Human Right”, which at the request of family members represents interests of George Zaridze, filed a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights (Zaridze against Bulgaria No. 31243/10) with the requirement to suspend the extradition.
“On June 8th the European Court of Human Rights has decided to temporarily suspend extradition and requested additional information. On June 30th the final decision should be taken. There is a risk that under pressure from Russia Bulgarian authorities would still extradite him to Russia which would be a clear violation of human rights,” is emphasized in the letter of Alla Dudaeva to international human rights organizations.