Leader of Human rights center "Memorial" Oleg Orlov. Photo by www.memo.ru

17 December 2009, 19:00

Local NGOs are positive to "Memorial" resuming work in Chechnya

In Chechnya, activists of some local nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and local residents believe that the restart of the activities of the Human Rights Centre (HRC) "Memorial" will promote improvement of the situation with human rights in the republic. So far, there is no official reaction of the authorities to this end.

One of the employees of the "Memorial" office in Grozny said that in spite of the fact that the HRC suspended its monitoring of the situation in the republic in mid-July, people continued to come there for help. "However, even based on the sketchy data that we continued to receive during all this time, we can state that the situation with human rights in Chechnya remains poor. Illegal arrests of citizens, use of torture and violence, pressure on relatives of the participants of illegal armed formations (IAFs) and other violations of citizens' rights continue," said the source.

The head of one of local NGOs, who asked not to name him, believes that the return of the "Memorial" to Chechnya can only be welcomed. According to his version, there are very few NGOs in the republic who are really monitoring violations of human rights.

"Everybody knew in Chechnya that if something had happened, or your relative was kidnapped or illegally detained, you should go to the 'Memorial'," said Ms Baret, a resident of Grozny, whose nephew was kidnapped by power agents two years ago and is still missing.

"Addressing local authorities, militia or local human rights organizations was practically useless, while the 'Memorial' really worked," she said.

Author: Muslim Ibragimov; Source: CK correspondent

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