11 March 2010, 10:00

Week in the Caucasus: review of main events of March 1-7

Liquidation of Said Buryatskiy, militants' ideologist in Northern Caucasus; trial of Fatima Margieva, an activist of the People's Party of South Ossetia; protests of residents of Ingushetia and Dagestan against continued kidnappings and torture, - look up these and other events in the review of the week of March 1-7, 2010, in Caucasian regions prepared by the "Caucasian Knot".

Militants' ideologist Said Buryatskiy killed in special operation

As reported by power agencies, in the special operation conducted on March 2-3 in the village of Ekazhevo in Ingushetia, 6 supposed militants were liquidated. One of their main leaders - Alexander Tikhomirov (Said Buryatskiy) was identified among them - this information was confirmed by President of Ingushetia Yunus-Bek Evkurov and Director of Russian FSB Alexander Bortnikov.

Apart from Said Buryatskiy, Kartoev brothers - Tukhan, Ahmet, Magomet and Nazir - were killed in the operation, as well as, according to power agencies, Kodzoev, A. B., militants' financier, who was at the same time an employee of the Exchequer of the Russian Federation for Ingushetia.

Fifteen more persons were detained. Four of them were convoyed by the Russian ICPO (Investigatory Committee at the Prosecutor's Office) to Moscow, where they will be checked for involvement in blowing up the "Neva-Express" train in autumn of 2009.

Employees of special services are examining possible involvement of other Ekazhevo residents in the armed underground. In the meantime, peaceful residents of Ingushetia are afraid that after the special operation in Ekazhevo the republic will see new terror acts. After the end of the active phase of the special operation in Ekazhevo, casualties' relatives complained of extrajudicial executions.

On March 6, President of Ingushetia Yunus-Bek Evkurov met those who helped Said Buryatskiy to hide and stated his readiness to personally help everyone who is ready to return to peaceful life. In his turn, the father of two guys detained for helping militants said at the meeting that his sons had nothing to do with the underground; and the father of assassinated Kartoev brothers asked to give him out their bodies for burial.

Dagestan residents protest against torture

On March 1, a rally was held in Makhachkala, the capital of Dagestan, with participation of about 500 persons who demanded to stop torturing Shamsullah Borziev and Abdulmedzhid Manapov, detained residents of the villages of Rakhat and Botlikh of the Botlikh District, suspected of a murder on the Minister of Internal Affairs of Dagestan Adilgerei Magomedtagirov. A resolution was adopted addressed to administrations of the President and Minister of Internal Affairs of Russia and Dagestan.

Vladimir Markin, official spokesman of Russian ICPO, said that assertions that the rights of the suspects of murdering the Interior Minister of Dagestan are broken have nothing to do with reality and "evidence the intention of certain forces to destabilize the situation in the republic."

Ahmadudin Borziev, Shamsullah's father, said that Mr Markin who rejected the facts of torture, knew nothing about the incident; the father told about his failed attempt to see his detained son, who is kept under inquiry in Vladikavkaz.

On March 2, in front of the building of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Dagestan in Makhachkala, a non-sanctioned protest action started with demands of fair investigation and non-use of torture to detainees Borziev and Manapov; however it was dispersed by armed local law enforcers has been. According to the protesters, militiamen came running to the group and immediately used truncheons to disperse the rally. They were beating everyone, including women and old men. In the course of the dispersal, Murad Muradov, a journalist of the Dagestan-based weekly "Novoe Delo", was detained.

The traumatology hospital of Makhachkala confirmed the facts of numerous applications. The press service of the MIA of Dagestan refused from any comments on the event.

Residents of Ingushetia start rally against kidnappings

On March 6, residents of the Municipal District Plievskiy in Ingushetia rallied to a spontaneous rally on the fact of disappearance of local resident Mikail Pliev. According to his relatives, Mikail Pliev was kidnapped on March 5 on his way from Pyatigorsk to Nazran.

The Pliev family addressed local residents, not indifferent to the fate of the kidnapped person, to join the rally and demand investigation of this and other kidnappings committed in the republic. The participants of the action demanded to return the kidnapped person and investigate the crime.

The rally that was some 50 persons strong was visited by President of the republic Yunus-Bek Evkurov. He promised to take the fate of the missing person under his personal control.

The protesters told the "Caucasian Knot" that the militia used force aiming to disperse the rally; some picketers were beaten; nevertheless, the protest action continued on March 7.

Fatima Margieva's trial starts in South Ossetia

On March 4 in Tskhinvali, under presidency of Judge Dmitri Tekhov, the litigation started on the case of Fatima Margieva, an activist of the People's Party, who was detained on February 18, accused of illegal arms storage, and who went on a termless hunger strike in her custody. However, the process stopped soon after opening, as Ms Margieva moved a protest and rejected her offered advocate Albina Gazzaeva. The next session was reappointed on March 11. The defendant remains behind bars.

On March 3, on the eve of the court session, the Ossetian Diasporas of the Russian Tula and Vologda Regions expressed their solidarity with the arrested Fatima Margieva.

On Friday, March 5, in Tskhinvali, two activists of the new South-Ossetian Parties "Iron" Timur Tskhurbati and Grigory Dzassokhov held a sanctioned picket in the Vokzalnaya Square in support of Fatima Margieva. Their friends made a support group at the picket. According to its initiator - oppositionist Tskhurbati, - the aim of the action was to draw attention to Margieva's fate and express disagreement with the current South-Ossetian legislation on arms.

In the opinion of the MPs from the People's Party of South Ossetia, Margieva's arrest was illegal and caused by her political activities. The leader of the Party Roland Kelekhsaev believes that Russia should interfere into the situation with the arrest of Fatima Margieva in South Ossetia.

US Congress passes draft resolution on Armenians' genocide

On March 4, the International Committee of the lower chamber (House of Representatives) of the US Congress passed, with a one-vote majority, draft Resolution 252 on recognition of Armenians' genocide. Armenia welcomed the fact, while Turkey recalled its ambassador from Washington for consultations on that very day.

Prime Minister of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated that the Committee's decision may seriously aggravate relations between Washington and Ankara and put paid to the attempts of Armenian and Turkish authorities to establish stable relations between the two countries.

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia Edward Nalbandyan treated Turkey's arguments against international recognition of the Armenians' genocide in the Ottoman Empire as strange.

The authorities and public of Azerbaijan criticize the USA for passing the draft resolution.

Now that the draft has been passed by the Committee, the document should be considered by the full staff of the House of Representatives of the US Congress. However, this is still highly questionable. On March 6, Hilary Clinton, the US State Secretary, stated that the President's Administration would do the utmost not to admit voting on the resolution the administration of the President.

Last week, it also became known that the Armenians' genocide was recognized by the Parliament of the Independent Community of Catalonia, which includes four provinces of Spain: Barcelona, Tarragona, Liejda and Girona.

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