PACE Delegation Visited to North Caucasus
Human Rights Center “Memorial” reported that on March 24-26, 2010 the delegation of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) headed by Dick Marty – PACE speaker, head of the PACE Commission on legal issues and human rights, visited Ingushetia, Chechnya and Dagestan.
On March 24, at 10 am the delegation met the representatives of the Ingush public – head of the Public Commission under the President of Ingushetia on human rights Azamat Nalgiev, head of the Ingush Republic department of the Russian Red Cross Musa Malsagov, head of the Ingush department of Memorial Tamirlan Akiyev, head of the organisation “Women of Ingushetia” Raisa Akhrieva, head of the Coordination Council of Ingush NGOs Musa Zurabov and others at the administration of the Ingush president in Magas.
The meeting lasted for more than an hour. Mr Marty reported that he came to the North Caucasus to learn the situation with human rights on-site. He pointed out that the observance of human rights is the most effective method of maintenance of peace and stability in the region. “Only observing human rights, it is possible to win in the fight against crimes and lawlessness. If population does not believe law enforcement authorities, this fight can never be won. If law enforcement authorities exceed their privileges and are not punished they will never get people’s support and sympathy. When there is no confidence, the fight is lost beforehand”, Mr. Marty noticed.
Azamat Nalgiev and Musa Malsagov pointed out that the methods that siloviks use today to fight terrorism do not help in stabilizing the situation. “It is not possible to win terrorism by means of violence, and the situation in Ingushetia depicts that clearly,” said Malsagov.
Then the PACE delegation met the Ingush president Yunusbek Yevkurov.
The same day Dick Marty and his colleagues visited the Ingush office of the Human Rights Center Memorial in Nazran. The delegation talked to the residents more than two hours. There was a famous Ingush writer Issa Kodzoyev, whose son is in Mordovian prison now and is being severely tortured; Yakhya Yevloev, the father of Magomed Yevloev who was the owner of the web-site Ingushetia.ru and killed in August 2008; Magomed Aushev, the father of the famous public leader Maksharip Aushev killed in October 2009 among the participants of the meeting. There were also other Ingush residents whose relatives were killed, abducted or missing in 2009 in the republic and outside, relatives of those who was condemned or is being under investigation. Not only those officially invited took part in the meeting but also those who learned about the upcoming meeting from acquaintances or mass media. There were more that thirty people at the meeting.
Those who spoke declared unanimously that the authorities did not defend their rights and did not make enough efforts to find and condemn those guilty of abductions, tortures and extrajudicial executions. They said that they did not have any hope to achieve justice in their own country.
Memorial lawyer Batyr Akhilgov told about grave violations that authorities allow regarding 12 accused of armed attack at Inguhetia in June 2004. Criminal proceedings in the case began in 2007 and has not been finished yet. Many of the accused have been arrested since 2005. Akhilgov underlined that the gravest violation in the case is the change of jury trial for panel of three judges and transfer of the trial to another region. Moreover, all the accused have been being tortured during the period of the investigation.
At the end of the meeting Tamirlan Akiyev drew the attention of the delegation members to the problem of Chechen and North Ossetian refugees that had not still been solved. He mentioned that at least ten thousand North Ossetian refugees could not return to their houses for already 18 years. The head of the organization Genocide Victims’ Union Ruslan Parichev said that within the scope of other problems in the republic the problem of refugees might seem not so important but it is impossible to achive the stabilization in the region without solving it.
Having thanked the participants of the meeting Mr Marty said with regret that he would not be able to solve their concrete problems but he promised to report about all he had heard at the session of PACE and write about it in the report. Dick Marty also reminded of the other side of the conflict – about the police officers and their relatives who by-turn suffer from the actions of the boyeviks. But no one should violate law while fighting boyeviks. Otherwise, participants of the illegal armed groups will have a kind of excuse.
On March 25, the delegation of PACE visited Chechnya, on March 26 to Dagestan. In both country PACE delegation managed to meet the residents at the Memorial’s ground.
Photos from the meeting in Nazran, Ingushetia: