Persoverzicht Tsjetsjenië - november 2006

3 november 2006

- ‘Ulman case’ being tired again in military court: The press reports about the beginning yesterday of the third trial into the case of Captain Eduard Ulman and his comrades who are accused of murdering six civilians in Chechnya in 2002. The case is being tried by professional judges in the North Caucasus District Military Court. (Gazeta, NG)

8 november 2006

- Seven policemen killed in Chechnya; attack on police in Ingushetia: (i) According to electronic media reports, seven policemen from the Mordovia police unit were killed and another one wounded in an ambush yesterday in Chechnya. (ii) Dailies report that three police officers were wounded after a bomb exploded near a police station yesterday in Ingushetia. (Interfax, Lenta.ru, Ekho Moskvy; Gazeta, Kommersant, NG, RG, VN)

10 november 2006

- Court overturns not-guilty verdict in Forbes’ editor murder case: The Russian Supreme Court yesterday overturned the jury’s not-guilty verdict to three suspects in the 2004 killing of Paul Klebnikov, editor of Forbes Russia, and ordered a new trial with a new team of judges. The two main suspects, Chechnya-born Kabek Dukuzov and Musa Vakhayev, did not attend the court session. Prosecutors claimed that the defendants had killed Klebnikov on behalf of a Chechen separatist, Khozh-Akhmed Nukhayev, who had featured in Klebnikov’s book. (Gazeta, Izvestia, Kommersant, MT, NG, RG, VN)

- ECHR rules against Russia in disappearance case: Yesterday, the European Court of Human Rights ruled against the Russian Government in the case of the disappearance and presumed deaths of two Chechens from the same family. The Court ordered Russia to pay 90,000 euros in damages to members of the family. Kommersant points out that since the beginning of this year, the Russian Government has had to pay over 12 million roubles (around 350,000 euros) to Russian citizens following rulings by the European Court of Human Rights. (Kommersant, MT)

- Chechen student killed in Moscow: Kommersant reports about the killing of a Chechnya-born student, Kazbek Dadakhanov, on Wednesday evening near a Moscow metro station. Investigators are considering various versions of the killing, including racial hatred. (Kommersant)

13 november 2006

- Chechnya to hold referendum on new Constitution; militants in Chechnya reinforced: (i) Chechen Parliament speaker, Dukvakha Abdurakhmanov, has said that a new version of the Chechen Constitution will be put to a referendum for approval. The principle of electing Chechnya’s President will be amended following the recent changes in Russian legislation in this field. The new version also envisages changes in the structure of the Chechen Parliament. (ii) Commander of the Group of Federal Forces in the North Caucasus, Col. Gen. Yevgeny Baryayev, is quoted as admitting that illegal armed units have reinforced and stating an increase of militant attacks in Chechnya. (Kommersant, NG)

- Residents of Chechen village sue Defence Ministry: Kommersant reports about upcoming hearings in a Moscow district court of a lawsuit against the Russian Defence Ministry filed by 41 residents of Borozdinovskaya village in Chechnya over the sweep operation in the village in June 2005 conducted by the Ministry’s Vostok (‘East’) battalion led by Sulim Yamadayev. (Kommersant)

14 november 2006

- HRW reports on torture in Chechnya: Media cite a report by Human Rights Watch, which said that torture in Chechnya is widespread and systematic. This statement, however, was dismissed by Chechnya’s Deputy PM and Chechnya’s envoy to Moscow, Ziad Sabsabi. (Interfax, Kommersant, MT)

- Moratorium on death penalty to be extended: The Duma is expected to pass a draft bill extending a moratorium on the death penalty for at least three years, until the planned introduction of jury trials in Chechnya as of 1 January 2010. (Interfax, Novye Izvestia)

15 november 2006

- Russia appeals ECHR ruling: Russian representative to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), Pavel Laptev, said that the Russian Government had appealed the Court’s decision to award 35,000 euros to a woman whose son was kidnapped in Chechnya in 2000. According to Laptev, since 1998 when Russia ratified the European Convention on Human Rights, Russians have filed 46,476 complaints with the ECHR. However, only 188 of them (or 0.4%) had been granted by the Court, he added. He also pointed to a trend toward an increase in payments by Russia in damages to its citizens. (MT, NG, RG, Vedomosti, VN)

16 november 2006

- Chechnya’s ‘Highlander’ unit members surrender: Dailies report on the voluntary surrender of ex-members of Chechnya’s ‘Highlander’ unit led by Movladi Baisarov. The latter is accused by Chechen authorities of his involvement in abductions and killings. (Gazeta, VN)

17 november 2006

- Chechen ombudsman proposes task force to assess damage: Chechen human rights commissioner, Nurdi Nukhazhiyev, has proposed that a joint task force of representatives of the federal and Chechen Governments be set up to assess the damage cause to Chechnya by the hostilities since 11 November 1994. (Interfax, NG, Novye Izvestia)

20 november 2006

- Ex-commander of ‘Highlander’ special unit killed in Moscow: The press reports about the killing during a police operation on Saturday in Moscow of Movladi Baisarov, the former commander of the ‘Highlander’ special unit and the former head of security for assassinated Chechen President Akhmad Kadyrov. Kommersant emphasises that Baisarov had been accused by Chechen authorities of his involvement in murders and kidnappings after he refused to subordinate himself to Chechen PM Ramzan Kadyrov and to disband the ‘Highlander’ unit. (Gazeta, Izvestia, Kommersant, MT, NG, Novye Izvestia, RG, Vedomosti, VN)

21 november 2006

- Killing of ex-commander of Chechnya’s ‘Highlander’ unit: Media continue to report on the circumstances around the killing by Chechen police on Saturday in Moscow of Movladi Baisarov, ex-commander of the ‘Highlander’ Federal Security Service (FSB) special task force in Chechnya who reportedly had ID of lieutenant-colonel of the FSB. According to a district prosecutor’s office in Grozny, which is investigating the kidnapping case that involved Baisarov, the latter was “only a witness and had not been declared wanted in the case”, Kommersant reports. Chechen President Alu Alkhanov yesterday underlined Baisarov’s contribution in the fight against Wahhabism and terrorism on the territory of Chechnya. (Gazeta, Kommersant, VN)

- Journalist sentenced on extremism charges: A Moscow district court yesterday sentenced to 5 years in prison Boris Stomakhin, editor of the Radikalnaya Politika (‘Radical Politics’) bulletin who had been found guilty of publicly inciting ethnic hatred and making extremist calls via mass media. Stomakhin’s articles were also published on a Chechen separatists’ web site. (Gazeta, Interfax, Izvestia, Kommersant, MT, Novye Izvestia)

22 november 2006

- Former military judge detained on fraud charges: Media report about the detention on fraud charges yesterday in Moscow of Vladimir Bukreyev, the former 1st deputy chairman of the North Caucasus military district court. Bukreyev is known as the judge who had handed down a 10-year sentence to Col. Yury Budanov for murdering a Chechen girl. (Gazeta, Kommersant, Novye Izvestia, VN)

23 november 2006

- Baisarov’s killing still high in the news: According to Vremya novostei, more than 50 Chechen policemen came to Moscow to arrest in Moscow Movladi Baisarov, the former commander of the ‘Highlander’ special task force in Chechnya, despite the fact that an arrest warrant for Baisarov had never been issued by prosecutors. Kommersant quotes ex-deputy PM of Chechnya Bislan Gantamirov, who claimed that current Chechen deputy PM, Adam Delimkhanov, took part in the special operation during which Baisarov was killed. Delimkhanov, however, dismissed such allegations. (Kommersant, VN)

- HR activists accuse authorities of abductions: According to a report compiled by Memorial and the International Federation of Human Rights, police and soldiers have kidnapped 1,947 people in Chechnya since 2002, with 684 people of them freed and 189 found dead. (MT)

24 november 2006

- 35 militants surrender in Chechnya: Chechen Deputy PM, Adam Delimkhanov, yesterday announced that 35 members of Doku Umarov’s militant group had laid their arms in Chechnya’s town of Gudermes after they received guarantees of “a fair analysis of their records from Chechen PM Ramzan Kadyrov”. Meanwhile, Kommersant reports that the three-day special operation in Chechnya against Chechen militant leader Umarov has failed. According to the daily, Umarov has been wounded and managed to escape on the territory of Ingushetia. (Interfax, Kommersant, NG)

27 november 2006

- PACE delegation visiting Chechnya: Meeting Chechen PM Ramzan Kadyrov yesterday in Chechnya, the head of a Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) delegation, Andreas Gross, hailed the Chechen authorities’ decision to hold the next PACE roundtable meeting on Chechnya in Grozny. At the same time, he stressed that those who are criticising Chechen authorities from Moscow, Berlin and other cities should also participate in the meeting. (Interfax)

- Austrian journalists detained in Chechnya — daily: According to Kommersant, a group of Austrian TV journalists have been detained in Chechnya over “an unauthorised visit” to Chechnya’s Shatoi district and collecting “information that discredit local authorities”. (Kommersant)

- Dutch NGO denied re-registration: Press reports that the Federal Registration Service (FRS) has denied the re-registration of the Dutch-based Russian Justice Initiative, which provides legal assistance to Chechen residents, due to the failure to properly prepare the documents. (Interfax, MT)

28 november 2006

- Road accident involving Chechen President’s convoy: A bodyguard of Chechen President Alu Alkhanov was killed and four others injured when a drunken driver collided with Chechen President’s motorcade on Monday in Ingushetia as Alkhanov returned to Grozny from Moscow to meet a delegation of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. Alkhanov expressed doubts that the accident was an attempt on his life. (Izvestia, Kommersant, MT, Novye Izvestia, RIAN, VN)

- PACE delegation notes positive changes in Chechnya: Press reports that a Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe’s delegation, which visited Chechnya, has noted positive changes in Chechnya, including in the area of security conditions. (Interfax, Kommersant)

29 november 2006

- Captain Ulman retrial: The North Caucasus military district court yesterday held hearings in the retrial of Captain Eduard Ulman and his comrades, accused of killing six civilians in Chechnya. The suspects said they want three professional judges to hear their case. (Kommersant, RG)

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