No one is Safe in Chechnya
The Norway based psychologist and Caucasus expert Zoia Grannes spoke to the daily Norwegian newspaper “Aftenbladet” (The Evening Paper) about the current situation in the Russian occupied Chechen Republic of Ichkeria.
Zoia Grannes points out that the Chechens who are in the Russian occupied Chechen Republic of Ichkeria or in the Federation of Russia, are at risk of being subjected to persecution and attacks. She says that many Chechen civilians have disappeared in recent years in the war-torn region, and she is not the only one who claims that the situation is still dangerous for dissidents and even for the family members of freedom fighters.
The Norwegian Country of Origin Information Centre (Landinfo) published a report on May 21, 2012. According to the report, in recent years, the family members of Chechen freedom fighters have been victims of human rights abuses. This situation has gotten especially worse since the pro-Russian Chechen government’s head Ramzan Kadyrov publicly declared that the families would be made accountable for the actions of the freedom fighters. The pro-Russian leader runs a systematic suppression of kin. One of the most common actions taken against these families is dismissal from their jobs. Many of them have also lost their social status and positions. Landinfo mentions with specific examples that the homes of family members have been set on fire, and family members have been threatened, put under surveillance or brought in to pro-Russian police stations for questioning. The report says that in 2011, several family members were taken into the woods and used as human shields in the hunt for Chechen freedom fighters.
*The Norwegian Country of Origin Information Centre (Landinfo) is an independent body within the Norwegian Immigration Authorities. Landinfo is responsible for collecting, analysing and presenting objective and updated country of origin information to various actors within the Immigration Authorities. They also provide information to the Norwegian Ministry of Justice. Their core users, the decision makers within the Directorate and the Appeals Board, use the information when making decisions in residency and asylum cases.
**Text was translated by Waynakh Online and edited by Michael Capobianco