25 March 2010, 21:10

Kadyrov: international terrorists involved in murders of human rights defenders in Chechnya

Murders of human right activists Natalia Estemirova and Zarema Sadulayeva were committed with the aim to create the opinion in the society that Chechnya is far from order; and people are still kidnapped and murdered here. This was stated today in Gudermes by President Ramzan Kadyrov in the course of his meeting with Dick Marti, Rapporteur of the PACE.

The "Caucasian Knot" reported earlier that today a PACE parliamentary delegation, headed by Dick Marti, Rapporteur for Northern Caucasus, arrived to Chechnya with a one-day visit to Chechnya with one-day visit there has arrived parliamentary delegation of a PACE. The aim of the visit of European MPs is to get acquainted with observance of human rights in the republic.

Mr Kadyrov has expressed confidence that the murders of Estemirova and Sadulayeva will be solved, and those guilty of these crimes will be established and made responsible. "Of this, I was personally assured by competent bodies," said Chechen President.

"This was committed by international terrorists, or those who support them. For example, Abu-Khaled, recently liquidated in Chechnya, had links with al-Qaeda," the "Gazeta.Ru" quotes Mr Kadyrov as saying.

In his turn, Mr Marti described to Ramzan Kadyrov the aim of his visit to the republic: to understand the situation and define what the European family can do to help the Chechen people, who had suffered so much.

"The topic of our visit is observance of human rights here, since actually, the people's future is based both on infrastructure and justice," the IA "Grozny-Inform" quotes Mr Marti.

The PACE Rapporteur has also noted positive changes in the republic which he witnessed. "I'm for the first time in Northern Caucasus. The locals are unusually hospitable; it's a blessed land, having everything for living in peace," he said.

Leonid Slutskiy, First Vice-President of the State Duma Committee on International Matters, who was also present at the meeting, called the members of the PACE delegation not to compare Chechnya with Europe. "Better compare what was ten years ago and what is now," he said.

"Construction scale here is the highest in Russia's south: social objects, schools, hospitals, apartment houses, stadiums, houses of culture and museums are built. Criminality is almost at a zero level. Certainly, there are problems here. An enormous amount of works remains here after the wars that shocked the republic. We want to show you that Chechnya is now a flourishing region of Northern Caucasus," Mr Slutskiy has noted.

In the meantime, people in Chechnya expect no serious results from the visit of the PACE delegation and treat it with enough scepticism. "In the last decade Chechnya and Northern Caucasus saw plenty of delegations, from the UN to European levels; however, no positive changes could be seen in the sphere of human rights and fundamental freedoms," said the leader of a local NGO.

According to his story, all the international delegations coming to Chechnya get, from the very first minutes of their stay in the territory of the republic, "under the influence of local leaders" and then leave in full confidence that everything is OK.

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