Ramzan Kadyrov Issues Threats to Memorial

 

On July 3, 2010 in an interview to TV channel Grozny, Ramzan Kadyrov named members of Human Rights Center Memorial the enemies of the people, enemies of the law and of the state.

In todays Chechnya this public statement of the President of the Chechen Republic sounds as a direct and clear threat. Republican officials and personnel of security services will take these words of Ramzan Kadyrov as an instruction to act against Memorial and its representatives. Some of them can take these words of their leader as an announcement that Memorial members are outlaw, with all the ensuing consequences.  

In the first half of 2009 the authorities of the Chechen Republic gradually intensified their public attacks on human rights defenders, including Memorial members. On July 15, 2009 Natasha Estemirova was killed.

A year has passed. We observe similar tendencies. Public statements announcing human rights defenders the enemies of the people, enemies of the law, enemies of the state can have new tragic consequences.

We would also like to note that in this interview Ramzan Kadyrov vividly demonstrates the discrimination of women in Chechnya. The President of the Chechen Republic openly approves illegal actions-shooting with paintballs at women whose look does not satisfy his criteria of modesty.

This statement of Kadyrov, as well as his words about Memorial and human rights defenders are conducive to inciting hatred and the practice of illegal violence in Chechnya.

The full text of the interview with Ramzan Kadyrov in Russian can be found at Memorial website (Memorial comments in footnotes).  The translation of passages regarding Memorial and discrimination of women is attached.

 

 

03.07.10. TV channel GROZNY/ Interview with the President 22:40 (Moscow time)

 

Correspondent: We have questions, which are being asked by the people and which have generally been accumulated. Your opponents say that you take the responsibility for making difficult political decisions

 

R. Kadyrov: Are you talking about those venal journalists who for money write anything and human rights defenders, who get their kopejk from the West and say what it needs? And opponents whom do you mean?

 

Correspondent: those whom you have just mentioned

 

R. Kadyrov: .they are not my opponents, I consider them traitors, betrayers. They have sold the idea of motherland, the idea of the nation. If they speak of me like that If they told me: Ramzan, here you are mistakenyes, it happens that I am mistaken, but I am not doing it intentionally. This is not me or be it a policeman or an official. He is working, he is building and in the process he is making mistakes. People adopt laws, you understand? There are lawyers who bypass these laws. There was one statement on TV, as an example lets take Khuchiev[1] and the prefect of Staropromyslovsky district. So they invited people who are accomplices of terrorists, of Wahhabis.[2] They invited people who helped their children and said: You are accomplices, because you are bringing food to your children, money and cartridges. You work with us in the administrations, in healthcare institutions. You take money from us and give it to them, you use our services- take pensions, subsidies for unemployment. And you send this money to the forest, and because of that we have terrorist acts here. They were told that they would be deprived of all benefits- oh, and here the human rights organizations have started to raise the alarm. Khuchiev said this, said that Instigate a criminal case! What? Is Orlov a greater patriot of my republic than myself? He is more concerned about my republic? I have lost everything. My dear persons have been killed. Be it Orlov, be it woman or man from Memorial in Gudermes, or someone else what have they done for the republic??? They are getting big salaries from the West and in order to report on their activities they write all kinds of nonsense and filth in the Internet. That is why they are not my opponents. They are the enemies of the people, enemies of the law, enemies of the state.

 

Correspondent: In the city there were incidents when girls without headscarves were shot at with paintballs. There were gossips that this was done with your consent[3].

 

R. Kadyrov: Even if it were done with my consent, I would not be ashamed. I looked into this issue. Who was shot at? Naked woman, who swallowed some kind of medicine? In fact, it turned out that these painted women, had been several times warned. After such an incident, she should have disappeared from Earth, closed herself in her house and never come out, because she had behaved in such an inappropriate way that that such thing happened to her. She should have been ashamed to speak about it at home. How would she look in the face of her brother? I was half naked, my belly was open, a skirt two fingers long, a transparent T-shirt But I havent seen those who were shot at. People talk about it.

 

Correspondent: upon your consent?

 

R. Kadyrov: How can I allow to shoot at people with paint?

 

Correspondent: And you do not know who is doing it?

 

R. Kadyrov: I dont know, but when I find them- I will express my appreciation!

 

July 8, 2010

 



[1] The city mayor (head of administration) of Grozny

[2] On Aril 7, 2010 the Chechen TV channel Vajnakh broadcast a reportage about a meeting of republican authorities with people, whose children had allegedly joined the fighters. In this reportage, Mulsim Khuchiev, the city mayor of Grozny, publically promised to treat relatives of the alleged fighters in the same way as fighters treat civilians. The Prefect of Staropromyslovsky district of Grozny Zelimkhan Istamulov said at the meeting: If you think that starting this moment you will live freely, move around, this is not true.

Human Rights Center Memorial expressed indignation that the authorities of Chechnya make statements which indicate that they are prepared to apply the principle of collective responsibility i.e.the method of terrorists- in combat against terror. Memorial sent letters to Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation and the President of the Russian Federation asking to investigate this incident and take steps to stop illegal behavior. Memorial has not received any meaningful answers thus far.

See: http://www.memo.ru/2010/04/12/1204103.htm

Kadyrovs statements that the mayor and the prefect invited accomplices of terrorists is not true. The relatives of alleged fighters who were gathered that day had not been charged with any offences by security services. Criminal cases would have been instigated against them if there were grounds to suspect that they bring their children food, money, cartridges, which has not happened. It is also untrue that any of these people worked for administration or any other state agencies.

 

[3] Memorial reported that since early June 2010 unidentified people in cars with darkened windows drove in the center of Grozny and shot at girls from paintball rifles (so called markers), who walked in the streets with their heads uncovered. See http://www.memo.ru/2010/06/10/1006101.htm

There are grounds to suspect that personnel of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Chechen Republic could be involved in this. Kadyrovs statement clearly confirms this suspicion.