Press-Release from the Society for Threatened Peoples About February 23
The Germany based international NGO and human rights organization, the Society for Threatened Peoples (Gesellschaft für bedrohte Völker – GfbV) has published a press release about the 69th anniversary of deportation of entire Chechen-Ingush people.
Here it is:
SOCIETY FOR THREATENED PEOPLES – PRESS RELEASE
Berlin / Göttingen
February 21, 2013
69th Anniversary of the deportation of Caucasus Peoples (February 23, 1944)
Chechens complain: “The consequences of the wars since 1994 are worse than the consequences of the deportation in 1944”
After almost 20 years of war, civil war and finally an authoritarian tyranny under President Ramzan Kadyrov, the Chechen civil society suffers severely from violence, arbitrariness, fear and impunity. On the occasion of the 69th anniversary of the collective deportation of the Chechens and Ingush (February 23, 1944), the Society for Threatened Peoples (STP) points out that survivors of the deportation of 1944 have described the momentary situation to be even worse than it was under Stalin. Serious human rights violations in Chechnya are quite common, although there aren’t many reports that reach the public. Being helplessly exposed to the Kadyrov regime, the people are worn down even more by poverty and unemployment. 20,000 Chechens are still locked up in Russian prisons and most of them are being systematically tortured. The approximately 200,000 Chechens who are on the run can not think themselves safe.
The STP has now sent an urgent appeal to a wide range of institutional players in the EU, the European Parliament, to the Austrian Minister of the Interior and to German government representatives – in order to ease the unbearable situation and to alleviate the suffering of the Chechen civilian population. “The reign of violence in Grozny cannot simply be tolerated,” says the letter the human rights organization sent to the politicians. “Instead, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin must be ordered to keep dictator Kadyrov within bounds and to enforce the Russian constitution in Chechnya.
Also – given the fate that awaits Chechen refugees who are forced to return or to settle in the EU’s poorer peripheral states – the EU’s refugee policy must be changed urgently. “In Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic, traumatized refugees are often locked up in prisons without medical supplies and are kept in constant fear of being deported,” criticized the STP. Even Austria – where the rate of approval for Chechen refugees was fairly high for several years and where about 25,000 of them had managed to find a new home – rejects applications for asylum now. Refugees are being deported even if they are obviously threatened by persecution. In Russia, they are threatened with jail and torture. Today, on Thursday, there will be another mass deportation.
The STP demands that the German government should change course towards a more value-based foreign policy. Germany should no longer be deluded by Russia against better knowledge. “The Duma, the judiciary system and the elected government have no other purpose than to implement Putin’s authoritarian politics. Human rights – and also the liberal democratic opposition in Russia – are being sacrificed for continuous energy supplies and strong economic ties,” proclaimed the STP’s expert on questions regarding the CIS states, Sarah Reinke. “But the people in Chechnya are being left to their fate.”