European Parliament Members Condemn Human Rights Violations in the Caucasus
On September 2, in the city of Nazran, Ingushetia, the Chairwoman of the European Parliament Subcommittee on Human Rights, Ms. Heidi Hautala, and the vice-chair of the Subcommittee, Ms. Laima Andrikiene, along with other delegates from the European Parliament, met with human rights defenders and victims of Russian state terrorism in the Caucasus.
Magomed Khazbiev, owner of the dissident Ingush website Ingushetiyaru.org; Timur Akiyev, head of the Ingush branch of Human Rights Center Memorial; Vakha Chapanov, head of the internet agency “Maximum”; and Ella Kesaeva, head of “Voice of Beslan” attended to the meeting.
During the meeting, abductions, torture, extrajudical killings and some other rights violations that are committed by Russian security forces and their local collaborators all over the Caucasus, were discussed.
Ms.Hautala, and Ms.Andrikiene expressed great concern over the safety of Islam Umarpashaev, a 24 year old Chechen who was abducted from his home on December 11, 2009 by unidentified armed men in camouflage. He was released on April 2, 2010. The Chairwoman remains particularly concerned over reports of the severe and prolonged torture of Umarpashaev, suffered during his detention. While still in prison, relatives of Islam Umarpashaev applied to the European Court of Human Rights under articles 2, 3 and 5. Despite real danger to his life and the safety of his family, he is determined to continue the case. Chairwoman Hautala and Vice-Chair Andrikiene strongly urge the Russian authorities to guarantee the safety of Umarpashaev and his family. All acts of intimidation must be stopped. Furthermore, the Chairwoman and the Vice-Chair recall the legal obligation of Russian authorities, under the European Convention of Human Rights to fully investigate the case.
After meeting the delegation, the group visited refugee camps in the Prigorodny district of Ingushetia. The parliament members were shocked by the inhuman conditions that the refugees live in.
“I am personally grateful to Heidi Hautala because she kept her promise and came to Ingushetia to see the situation firsthand. I hope that after their trip, the delegation will draw the attention of Russian authorities about the human rights situation in Ingushetia,” told Magomed Khazbiev.
The delegation will prepare a report on their findings and present it at the next session of Parliament.
*Text was written by Waynakh Online and edited by Michael Capobianco