Natalia Estemirova (left), Oleg Orlov (right). Photo by http://picasaweb.google.ru/averh.sova

28 September 2009, 20:00

Criticism of Ramzan Kadyrov of HRC "Memorial" keeps Chechen NGOs on alert

 

Ramzan Kadyrov's interview to the newspaper "Zavtra" (Tomorrow) of September 24, in which he poured his criticism on upon the Human Rights Centre (HRC) "Memorial", having accused it of "undermining Russia" and its employees - of absence of patriotism, has seriously worried activists of local NGOs. In the opinion of some of them, such statements just escalate tension and can lead to most negative consequences.

In his interview, President of Chechnya said literally the following: "The 'Memorial' is the organization invented to blow up Russia. People, who rallied there, are no patriots of Russia. A person was born in Russia and lives in Russia - how can he or she speak so badly about the homeland? I feel nasty talking to such people."

In the opinion of a member of one Chechen NGO, Kadyrov's retinue, power agents, first of all, like many other republic's bosses, take his statements as a direct guide to action. 

Other public activists and human rights defenders, who work today in the Chechen Republic, stick to the same opinion.

"Inadequate leaders' statements can lead to unpredictable consequences," said the head of a Chechen NGO, engaged for many years in monitoring the situation in the republic and rendering legal and other help to population.

 

Author: Alexander Ivanov; Source: CK correspondent

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