Gauquelin: “The Murder of Umar Israilov Shocked Austria”
The winner of the Louise Weiss Prize 2011, French journalist Blaise Gauquelin gave an interview to Radio France Internationale’s Russian version about Chechen asylum seekers in Austria and the murder of Umar Israilov.
The French journalist mentioned that according to various estimates, over the past ten years, about 26,000 Chechens were granted asylum in Austria. In Vienna, on the streets, in hospitals, and on public transport you can often find the Chechens. The Chechen Diaspora in Austria is an absolutely normal part of the society. Chechens do completely different professions, mainly, they work in the construction sector (together with Poles and other immigrants from Eastern Europe), except that they are engaged in small business. For example, they open telephone stores. For most of the part, Chechen women are staying at home with the children and rarely any of them work.
“The story of the murder of Umar Israilov shocked Austria. This story has great resonance in Austria because Umar Israilov was known as a former bodyguard for Ramzan Kadyrov. The trial of Umar Israilov’s suspected killers is not over yet. The Austrian court asked Kadyrov to testify at the trial and the Austrian justice department is still awaiting a response from him. So the process is suspended and scheduled to resume in about two weeks,” said Gauquelin.
The author of “The Killers of President Kadyrov” article, Blaise Gauquelin believes that the Russian secret service is very active in Europe: “Austrian investigators questioned a man, Arthur Kurmakaev, who said he worked in a special group organized at the Russian Embassy in Vienna. The purpose of this group was allegedly to find the location of Chechen opposition in Austria and in Europe and to put pressure on them. Austrian authorities sent him back, and today, it is unclear where Arthur Kurmakaev is. Umar Israilov was defended by a very well-known Austrian lawyer. She herself repeatedly appealed to the Austrian police to protect her client, who had received verbal death threats. Shortly before he was murdered, Umar Israilov again appealed to the police to protect him and the police responded by saying that law enforcement cannot respond to the requests of all Chechens who feel in danger, and that if something suddenly happens, to call the emergency number… The Austrian Ministry of the Interior signed a cooperation agreement with the FSB, the Russian secret service, and Russia has sent two agents from the FSB to an internship at the Austrian Ministry of the Interior for several weeks. We do not know whether the agents in this internship had access to information about Chechen refugees in Austria and their exact addresses. After all, the Interior Ministry has lists of refugees in Austrian territory. It was the first and the last agreement, signed by Russian security services, the FSB with the EU member states.”
*Text was translated by Waynakh Online and edited by Michael Capobianco