Persoverzicht Tsjetsjenië - januari 2015

12 januari 2015

France terror attacks: The Russian media report widely about massive rallies held on 11 January across France following the deadly terror attacks in Paris. More than 40 world leaders joined a unity march in Paris. Foreign Minister Lavrov headed the Russian delegation. Last week, President Putin condemned the 7 January attack on the Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris and confirmed readiness to continue active cooperation in fighting against the terror threat. The head of the Duma's International Affairs Committee Pushkov wrote on Twitter that the attack on Charlie Hebdo "shows that Russia does not threaten Europe and its security," adding that "the real threat comes from adepts of terror." Some commentators note that high-ranking Russian officials have not spoken out about the imperative of protecting freedom of expression (Moscow Times). Russian lawmakers pointed out that Russian legislation criminalizes insulting religious feelings. Russian Orthodox activists accused the victims of the Charlie Hebdo attack of having brought their tragic fate upon themselves by insulting religious views. Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov has criticised former Yukos boss Khodorkovsky for calling on journalists to publish cartoons of Prophet Muhammad and slammed chief editor of the Ekho Moskvy radio station Venediktov for polling listeners about whether publications should publish the cartoons of Prophet Muhammad. Media (e.g. Vedomosti) anticipate the rising popularity of Europe's far-right parties. Russian state-run TV channels spoke of collapse of the policy of multiculturalism in European countries and mentioned France's role in the events in Libya and the Western nations' policy vis-à-vis Syria. In an editorial, Nezavisimaya Gazeta calls the terror attacks in Paris an "echo of wars in Syria, Iraq and Yemen." (Gazeta.ru, Kommersant, MT, NG, RBK daily, RG, TASS, Vedomosti; Rossiya 1, Channel One, NTV; see also blogs monitoring below)

13 januari 2015

Chechen lawmakers submit bill on criminal liability of terrorists' relatives: The Chechen Republic Parliament has submitted a draft bill which would toughen punishment for terrorists and provide for criminal liability of terrorists' relatives who assisted them. Human rights activists criticised the bill. Head of the Committee Against Torture Igor Kalyapin, cited by Vedomosti, claims that Chechen lawmakers have submitted the bill so that to legalize the practice of demolishing homes of militants' relatives. (Kommersant, NG, Vedomosti)

15 januari 2015

Anti-cartoon rally planned in Chechnya: Up to 500,000 people may take part in an action in Grozny (capital of Chechnya) on 19 January to protest against publications of cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. (Gazeta.ru, Kommersant)

19 januari 2015

Massive rally planned in Grozny to protest against cartoons of Prophet Muhammad: A large-scale rally is planned to be held on 19 January in Grozny (capital of Chechnya) to protest against publications of cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov wrote on his Instagram on Sunday that about 1 millio9n people might participate in the rally. More than 15,000 people took part in a rally on Saturday in Magas (capital of Ingushetia) to protest against cartoons of the Prophet and insulting the Muslims' religious feelings. Meanwhile, the Moscow city authorities have rejected a request for permission to hold a rally on 25 January in defense of the feelings of religious believers. (ii) Kommersant reports that heads of regions of the North Caucasus Federal District have issued a joint statement about their 'unconditional support' for President Putin and Russia's domestic and foreign policy. The statement was adopted at a meeting attended by Presidential envoy to the North Caucasus Federal District Melikov. Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov was not present at the meeting. Kommersant recalls that Kadyrov earlier pledged support to Putin. (Kommersant, MT, Novye Izvestia)

20 januari 2015

Up to one million rally in Chechnya against cartoons of Prophet Muhammad: About 1 million people took part in a rally on Monday in Grozny to protest against publications of cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. Participants included not only residents of Chechnya, but also other Russian regions. Protesters were holding banners saying "We love the Prophet Muhammad." (ii) Last Friday, Roskomnadzor (Russia's communications and mass media watchdog) warned that publications of cartoons on religious issues would be a violation of the country's law. (Gazeta.ru, Interfax, Izvestia, Kommersant; Rossiya 1)

21 januari 2015

Russia notified about detention of five Russian nationals in France: The Russian Foreign Ministry said that the Russian side had been notified by French authorities about the detention in France of five Russian nationals. According to initial reports, the five Russian citizens presumably of Chechen origin have been detained on suspicion of plotting a terror attack in France. However, latest reports suggest that the detainees might be 'gangsters', not suspected terrorists. Novye Izvestia remarks that accidentally, the arrest of Russian nationals took place soon after a huge rally was held in Grozny to protest against cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. (Gazeta.ru, Kommersant, MT, Novye Izvestia; Channel One)

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