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2010

In the Eye of the Storm: Chechnya and the Mounting Violence in the North Caucasus

Member

Hon. Mike McIntyre

Commissioner

Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe

Moderator

Ronald McNamara

International Policy Director

Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe

Witnesses

Elena Milashnina

Investigative Reporter

Novaya Gazeta

Raisa Turlueva

Victim whose son was abducted in Chechnya by security services

Igor Kalyapin

Chair

Committee Against Torture

A year after the leading Russian human rights defender, Natalya Estemirova, was abducted near her apartment building in the Chechen capital Grozny, transported to the neighboring republic of Ingushetia and brutally killed, human rights abuses and a continuing climate of fear prevailed in Chechnya and elsewhere in the North Caucasus region of the Russian Federation.  Ronald McNamara, International Policy Director at the Commission, led a discussion on the marked increase in extrajudicial killings and politically motivated disappearances in Chechnya as well as in neighboring Ingushetia and Dagestan. 

Witnesses – Elena Milashina, Raisa Turlueva, and Igor Kalyapin – discussed how strongman Ramzan Kadyrov, the Republic’s Kremlin-backed president, publicly labeled independent journalists and rights activists as “traitors and enemies of the state” and how he reportedly praised the perpetrators of recent paintball gun attacks on the streets of Grozny targeting women for not wearing headscarves.  They emphasized the difficulty of resolving the problem because of Moscow’s backing of Ramzan and of a political model in which “bandits” serve as a prop for the federal powers that be.

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