URGENT APPEAL – THE OBSERVATORY
RUS 001/0104/OBS 006
26 January 2004
The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the FIDH and the OMCT, requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in the Russian Federation.
Brief description of the situation:
The Observatory has been informed by the Information Centre of the Society of Russian-Chechen Friendship (SRCF), that Mr. Aslan Sheripovich Davletukaev, a SRCF volunteer documenting human rights abuses in Chechnya, was kidnapped and killed by members of the armed forces of the Russian Federation at his residence in Chechnya.
On January 10, 2004, at around 10:15 p.m., members of the armed forces of the Russian Federation kidnapped Mr. Davletukaev while he was at home watching television with a friend, in the village of Avtury, the Shali region of the Chechen Republic. According to the information received, there were some 50 soldiers, some of them (7-8) wearing masks, in three military armored personnel carriers and two vehicles marked “UAZ”. They all spoke Russian. According to a witness account, the soldiers beat both men and at gunpoint, kidnapped Mr. Davletukaev. Mr. Davletukaev’s family members asked the SRCF not to announce his son’s kidnapping to the media, in the hope that they could free him by paying a ransom. Kidnapping for financial profiteering is a common practice in Chechnya.
According to the same sources, in the morning on January 16, 2004, an inspection unit of the Russian army found Mr. Davletukaev’s body near a highway in Gudermes town. His body bore evidence of torture and mutilation. Mr. Davletukaev's arms and legs were broken, and some parts of his body were punctured by a sharp metal object. His death was the result of a bullet wound in the back of his head. On January 17, 2004, Mr. Davletukaev was buried in the Avtury cemetery.
The public prosecutor’s office of Gudermes, a district of the Chechen Republic, has initiated legal proceedings concerning Mr. Davletukaev's case.
The Observatory strongly condemns these acts and calls on the Russian authorities to fulfil their obligations under international and regional human rights standards, allow Russian non-governmental organizations to continue freely their work in defending human rights and ensure their protection under any circumstances.
Please write to the Russian authorities urging them to:
i. conduct a fair, impartial and independent inquiry into these events, in order to identify the authors, bring them to justice and pronounce sentences proportional to the gravity of their crimes;
ii. ensure that Mr. Aslan Davletukaev’s family receive adequate reparation;
iii. adopt immediate measures to put an end to all acts of violence against human rights defenders;
iv. comply with the provisions of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, in particular article 1, which states that “everyone has the right, individually or in association with others, to promote and to strive for the protection and realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the national and international levels”, and article 12(2), which states “the State shall take all necessary measures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually and in association with others, against any violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of the rights referred to in the present Declaration".
v. more generally, to comply with the terms of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and regional and international mechanisms concerning human rights, to which the Russian Federation is a party.
Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, President of the Russian Federation, Kremlin, Moscow, Russia, Faxes:+ 7 095 206 8510, Email: email@example.com
President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, c/o the Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation, Avenue de la Paix 15, 1211 Geneva 20, Switzerland, fax: +4122 7344044, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Procurator General of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Ustinov, Rossiyskaya Federatsiya, 103793 g. Moskva K-31, Ul. B. Dimitrovka, d 15a, Prokuratura Rossiyskoy Federatsii, Generalnomu prokuroru Ustinovu V., Russian Federation, Fax: + 7 095 292 88 48
Chairwoman of the Presidential Human Rights Commission of the Russian Federation, Ella Pamfilova, Rossiyskaya Federatsiya,103132 g. Moskva, Staraya ploshchad, d 8/5,pod 3,Predsedatele Komissii po pravam cheloveka pri Prezidente, Pamfilove, Elle., Russian Federation, Fax:+70952064855
Nikolai Patrushev, Director General of the Federal Security Service, Bolshaia Lubianka 1/3, Moscow, Russia, Faxes: + 7 095 975 2470
Ambassadeur, Skotnikov, Leonid, Av. de la Paix 15, CH-1211, Genève 20, Suisse, e-mail : email@example.com, fax: +4122 734 40 44
Minister of Internal Affairs, Boris Gryzlov, ul. Zhitnaya, 16, 117049 Moscow, Russian Federation, Telegram: Rossiia, 117049, Moskva, Ministru vnutrennykh del, Fax: + 7 095 237 49 25
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Igor Ivanov, Smolenskaya-Sennaya pl, 32/34, 121200 Moscow, Russian Federation, Telegram: Rossiia, 121200 Moskva, Ministru inostrannykh del, Fax:+ 7 095 244 2203
Paris - Geneva, January 26, 2004
Kindly inform the Observatory of any action undertaken quoting the code number of this appeal in your reply.
The Observatory, an FIDH and OMCT venture, is dedicated to the protection of Human Rights Defenders and aims to offer them concrete support in their time of need.
To contact the Observatory, call the emergency line:
Tel and fax: FIDH : +33 (0) 1 43 55 20 11 / 43 55 18 80
Tel and fax OMCT : (+ 41 22) 809 49 39 / 809 49 29
E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org