Persoverzicht Tsjetsjenië - mei 2017
2 mei 2017

'Open Russia' holds opposition rallies: According to police, about 250 people gathered for an unauthorised rally organized by Khodorkovsky-founded 'Open Russia' on 29 April in central Moscow.  The action was aimed to call on President Putin not to run for a new Presidential term. No detentions were reported. Meanwhile, Kommersant reports that at least 63 people were detained at an action on 29 April in St. Petersburg, adding that a total of more than 110 people were detained in 10 cities. Representatives of 'Open Russia' reported violations during detentions.  (ii) Press reports on recent attacks with chemicals against opposition figures, including opposition activist Alexei Navalny, blogger Ilya Varlamov and activist of the Yabloko party Natalia Fyodorova. Navalny's supporters have tentatively identified two suspected assailants as activists of the radical movement SERB. (iii) According to media reports, several LGBT activists were detained in St. Petersburg on 1 May. The activists were waving rainbow flags and chanting 'Kadyrov [leader of Chechnya] to The Hague'. (Gazeta.ru, Kommersant, MK, MT, Ekho Moskvy, Channel One; see also editorial lines and 'blog monitoring')

10 mei 2017

Strasbourg Court finds no violations in case of native of Chechnya convicted for terrorism: The European Court of Human Rights has found no violations in the case of Zara Murtazaliyeva, who was sentenced by a Russian court to nine years imprisonment for planning to carry out a terror attack in Moscow's 'Okhotny Ryad' shopping centre. (Gazeta.ru, Vedomosti)

11 mei 2017

Activists detained in Moscow as they petitioned for investigating alleged persecution of gays in Chechnya: Reportedly, five activists, including an Italian national, were detained on Thursday in Moscow as they tried to deliver to the Russian Prosecutor General's Office an appeal to investigate the alleged persecution of gay men in Chechnya. (Dozhd TV)

15 mei 2017

Chechen Interior Minister: reports on persecution of gay men in Chechnya not confirmed: Press cites Chechen Interior Minister Ruslan Alikhanov, who said on Saturday that reports on the alleged persecution of LGBT people in Chechnya had not been confirmed. (ii) A poll by state-affiliated VTSIOM revealed that the share of Russians who said that they respect Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov has grown from 31% in 2016 to 42% in 2017, and the share of those who trust him has grown from 15% in 2016 to 24% in 2017. (TASS; https://wciom.ru/index.php?id=236&uid=116195)

17 mei 2017

French LGBT associations file lawsuit against Chechen leader: Three French LGBT associations have filed a legal action with the International Criminal Court (ICC) against Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov over the alleged persecution of LGBT people in Chechnya. A source in the Chechen government said in a comment that the lawsuit aims to "exert psychological pressure" on Kadyrov. Russian Justice Minister Konovalov is quoted as saying that a possible decision by the ICC will have "no legal implications for Russia." (Interfax, RIAN)

19 mei 2017

Human rights activists provide assistance to LGBT people from Chechnya: According to media reports, the Russian LGBT Network helped to evacuate from Chechnya 40 LGBT people. Some of them have left Russia. Dozhd ('Rain') TV channel reported that a woman, who called herself Chechnya's first transgender person, had fled to the US in 2016 after she faced harassment in Russia. (Gazeta.ru, MT; Ekho Moskvy, Dozhd TV)

22 mei 2017

Inquiry into reported persecution of LGBT people in Chechnya: Novaya Gazeta draws preliminary conclusions from an inquiry into the alleged persecution of LGBT people in Chechnya. According to the newspaper, not only ethnic Chechens, but also ethnic Russians have become victims of an 'anti-gay campaign' in Chechnya. (Novaya Gazeta)

26 mei 2017

New decree allows using army inside the country: According to reports, Putin has signed a new law which makes it possible for the National Guard in extraordinary situations to use army inside the country and the National Guard to be engaged outside the country. Usually the army is used outside the country and National Guard inside. Meanwhile experts note that there were instances in recent Russian history (Chechen conflict) when the army was used inside the country. (Vedomosty)

29 mei 2017

HRW report on persecution of gay men in Chechnya: On 26 May, Human Rights Watch released a report on the alleged persecution of LGBT people in Chechnya. The report inter alia claims that speaker of the Chechen parliament Magomed Daudov personally oversaw the torture of gay men in Chechnya. Meanwhile, Daudov denied the claims and said that he was ready for any investigation of the case. (Gazeta.ru, MT, Novaya Gazeta)

30 mei 2017

Russia-France summit: Russian President Putin's visit to France and his talks with French President Macron at the Versailles are the focus of media reports. Both leaders said that they had a frank exchange of views. Bilateral relations, the situation in the Middle East and settlement of the Syrian crisis, the situation in Ukraine were on the agenda. At a joint press conference following the talks, Putin said that he agreed with Macron to set up a working group on coordination in the fight against terrorism. Vedomosti mentions that Macron called to hold talks on Ukraine in the 'Normandy format' in the near future and also paid attention to the protection of the rights of LGBT people in Chechnya. Nezavisimaya Gazeta reports that the expert community does not see any substantial changes in the Western countries' policy on Ukraine. Press also cites Macron's statement on Russia's Russia Today and Sputnik media outlets which he branded as "deceitful propaganda."  In the view of political scientist Valery Solovey, Putin's meeting with Macron is determined by two factors: first, Putin seeks to demonstrate that Russia is not in isolation; secondly, Russia prefers to deal not with institutions, but with individual members. Gazeta.ru remarks that the first meeting between Putin and Macron gives grounds for cautious optimism. Experts, contacted by RBK daily, say that Putin's and Macron's statements at the press conference show their readiness to reset the relations on the basis of pragmatism. (All media)

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