Archive Documents

You may find here the old articles, presentations, lectures and speeches related with Chechnya.

Bookshelf

Information about the books that are related to Chechnya and the Chechens

Chechen Culture

Articles, materials and more about Chechen culture.

Lyrics

You may read the lyrics of the most famous Chechen songs, listen and also download them.

Poems

You may find here the poems that are written on Chechen people and also the poems by the very well known Chechen poets

Home » News

Political Asylum for Persecuted Journalist Elena Maglevannaya

Submitted by on Friday, 11 June 2010.    5,542 views One Comment
Political Asylum for Persecuted Journalist Elena Maglevannaya

A group of human rights defenders and journalists demand from Finland to political asylum for Russian journalist Elena Maglevannaya. 

Here is the appeal:

Dear Finnish migration authorities,

We urge you to grant asylum to the Russian human rights defender and journalist Elena Maglevannaya. She arrived in Finland in late May 2009 and has stayed there since. Maglevannaya decided to apply for asylum in Finland after she was persecuted by the Russian authorities for her articles about the torture of Chechen inmates in Russian prisons. Moreover, Maglevannaya received several death threats from Russian ultranationalist organisations closely linked to the authorities.

All this made it impossible for Elena Maglevannaya to return to Russia, where she faced jail time and/or near certain death. In many of her articles, Maglevannaya criticised harshly the policies of the Russian government, particularly Russia’s military aggression against Chechnya. Several Russian journalists who have written about the conflict and who have condemned Russia’s war crimes in Chechnya have either been killed (e.g., Anna Politkovskaya) or jailed (e.g., Boris Stomakhin).

In our opinion, the case of Elena Maglevannaya falls under Chapter I Article 1 of the 1951 Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, which states: “The term ‘refugee’ shall apply to any person who […] owing to well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of […] political opinion, is outside the country of [her] nationality and is unable […] to avail [herself] of the protection of that country.”

In accordance with the statutes of the international Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, we the undersigned appeal to the Finnish migration authorities to grant asylum to the Russian journalist Elena Maglevannaya and protect her from political persecution in Russia.

Rubati Mitsayeva, Chair of the Warsaw Committee of “Freedom of Speech”;
Mayrbek Taramov, Director of the Chechen Human Rights Centre;
David Kudykov, academician, United Kingdom;
Yevgeny Novozhilov, independent journalist, Russia;
Frants Avdzei, Belarusian journalist, Chairman of the Belarusian Distress Foundation, Poland;
Ivan Grabarchuk, independent journalist, Ukraine;
Anzor Maskhadov, journalist, son of the late President of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, Norway;
Andrey Derevyankin, former political prisoner, Russia;
Said-Emin Ibragimov, President of “Peace and Human Rights” Association, France;
Nadezhda Banchik, Amnesty International, USA;
Viktoria Pupko, President of the Anna Politkovskaya Foundation, USA;
Hana Demeterová, human rights activist, Czech Republic;
Burak Oztas, Lawyer, Istanbul;
Roman Chornyi, human rights activist, doctor, St Petersburg, Russia;
Eldar Zeynalov, Director of the Human Rights Centre of Azerbaijan;
Oksana Chelysheva, human rights defender, Russian-Chechen Friendship Association;
Kazbich Chechensky, journalist, Norway;
Kerkko Paananen, Finland;
Ville Ropponen, Finland;
Tarja Kantola, Finland;
Alia S.;
Bronwyn Anne Myers;
Jeremy Putley, UK;
Theresa Normen, Finland.

The petition is open to signature. If you would like to support Elena Maglevannaya you may follow this link and add your name to the list.

Source: Finnish-Russian Civic Forum

One Comment »

  • Jeremy Putley said:

    My article written last year ….

    Torture in Russian Prisons under Medvedev
    March 27, 2009
    Torture in a Volgograd prison, 2009

    by Jeremy Putley

    How Chechen prisoners are treated under President Dmitry Medvedev

    It is a principle universally recognized, in countries governed by the rule of law, that imprisonment following conviction is all the penalty the law allows. Torture of prisoners is not any part of the punishment demanded by society. But in the Russian Federation, under the presidency of Dmitry Medvedev, that principle apparently does not apply, considering the evidence of numerous cases of which one of the most shocking is that of an imprisoned Chechen, Zubair Zubairaev.

    In a recent report of court proceedings in a French newspaper, the Chechen historian Maerbek Vachagaev testified: “With or without guarantees, a Chechen who is accused of killing police officers does not stay alive for long in a Russian prison.” Mr Zubairaev was not accused of killing a police officer, only of attacking one. For this offence, according to a considerable body of evidence, he has been savagely tortured for a protracted period. The torture has included being nailed to the floor.

    Consider the following report from the International Secretariat of the World Organization Against Torture:

    According to the information received, in August 2007, Mr. Zubair Isaevich Zubairaev was sentenced to five years in high security prison and sent to prison colony IAR- 154/25 in Frolovo, Volgograd region, where he was tortured by prison colony officers throughout the period he was held there. The acts of torture included severe beatings, also with full plastic bottles, electric shocks, injection of unknown substances, nailing to the ground, and having to stand in the snow with bare feet. He was also placed on several occasions in a punishment cell.

    Following complaints on Mr Zubairaev’s situation, he was reportedly admitted to the prison hospital (penitentiary colony ЯР-154/15) in February 2008, where he is still currently being detained. However, according to the same information, instead of receiving adequate medical care and treatment, he was again subjected to torture and other forms of ill-treatment, including beatings, allegedly by the chief of the penitentiary colony and his deputy. Mr Zubairaev was also reportedly threatened with psychiatric internment. In November 2008, the Volgograd regional prosecutor inspected the prison hospital but reportedly found no fault with the prison authorities.

    According to the same information received, Mr Zubairaev’s health is extremely poor and, due to several head injuries, he might be suffering from epilepsy. Moreover, he has several wounds on his leg that do not heal. His family has reportedly recently received threats, including by a Federal Security Service (FSB) officer, for having denounced his conditions on several occasions.

    Amnesty International has taken an interest in the case, and has reported as follows:

    Officials at the prison, as well as an official from the Volgograd Public Prosecutor’s office, are said to have verbally threatened Zubair Zubairaev that if he does not stop complaining about his treatment in detention, his prison sentence will be extended or he might “accidentally” die in prison. They also made threats against his family, saying “something might happen” to his sisters.

    The latest information is that a human rights activist – one of the few incredibly brave individuals who investigate and report on such cases – called Elena Maglevannaia has been arraigned on charges under article 152 of the Russian Civil Code (honour and business reputation protection), accusing Elena of spreading information on Zubair Zubairaev in order to destroy their good name. The first court hearing has been scheduled for March 26, Thursday, and it will be held in the Kirovskiy district court of Volgograd before Judge Asatiani.

    We await the verdict of the court with interest. Will the court order an investigation of the serious and credible allegations of the torture and other maltreatment of Mr Zubairaev? Or will Elena Maglevannaia be found guilty as charged, and sentenced to some form of punishment under what passes for justice in Volgograd these days? Watch this space.

Leave your response!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This is a Gravatar-enabled weblog. To get your own globally-recognized-avatar, please register at Gravatar.