Susanne Scholl: “Chechnya Ruling as in the Middle Ages”
Austrian journalist and Russia expert Susanne Scholl has visited Chechnya and Russia as a correspondent of ORF, the Austrian national public service broadcaster. She gave a short interview to the daily Austrian newspaper “Kleine Zeitung“.
KZ: How would you describe the current situation in Chechnya?
Susanne Scholl: During my visits, Chechens who have relatives in Austria told me that let us them not to come back. It’s still too dangerous.
KZ: But since 2009, the region has been considered “quiet” and currently there is no war.
Susanne Scholl: Of course the situation has improved since the war. These days, there are no more bombings. However, a clan has political power that it has received from Moscow and it gives them free reign to act arbitrarily against opponents, to kidnap, torture and kill them. Even the artificial re-Islamism does not make the situation easier for people.
KZ: So the social position of Chechen women has worsened too?
Susanne Scholl: In the past, it was as normal for Chechen women to receive an education for as it was for Chechen men. Now it is different. Many men could not survive during the war. For single women who return to Chechnya, it is like returning to the Middle Ages. A decent life or a future for themselves and their children is hardly possible without adult male relatives. I am just talking about the general situation in the country without the family’s individual reasons for leaving there.
*Text was translated by Waynakh Online and edited by Michael Capobianco