01 April 2010, 18:00

Week in the Caucasus: review of main events of March 22-28

Visit of the PACE Rapporteur Dick Marti to regions of Northern Caucasus; election of Ombudsman in Ingushetia; liquidation of a militants' leader Anzor Astemirov in Kabardino-Balkaria, - look up these and other events in the review of the week of March 22-28 in the Caucasian regions prepared by the "Caucasian Knot".

Militants' leader Anzor Astemirov liquidated in Kabardino-Balkaria

On March 24, at about 10:30 p.m. Moscow time in Nalchik, law enforcers came across a suspicious man. When they tried to check his documents, he opened fire and was killed by response fire. By his fingerprints, the casualty was identified as Anzor Astemirov, who had been earlier announced in international search on charges of terrorist activities. Inspectors think he was the main organizer of the attack on Nalchik in 2005.

The law enforcement bodies of Kabardino-Balkaria have confirmed the fact of liquidation of the leader of Kabardino-Balkarian militants Anzor Astemirov. One of the militants' websites has also confirmed his death.

Ombudsman appointed in Ingushetia

The parliament of Ingushetia has approved the nominee for the republic's Ombudsman, offered by President Yunus-Bek Evkurov. The post will be taken by Dzhambulat Ozdoev, dean the Law Department of the Ingush State University.

Mr Ozdoev has emphasized that "everything should be done, when conduction special operations, in order not to bring sufferings to innocent civil citizens and to conduct them in strict conformity with the law." Under his statement, his essential role should be in defending citizens' social rights, including the rights to get education and medical aid of proper quality. He believes that citizens should enjoy equal access to entrepreneurial activity.

PACE Rapporteur visits Ingushetia, Chechnya and Dagestan

Last week, Dick Marti, Special Rapporteur of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), who is preparing a report on observance of human rights in Northern Caucasus, visited three hottest regions of Northern Caucasus - Ingushetia, Chechnya and Dagestan.

On March 24, in Ingushetia, Dick Marti held meetings with activists of Ingush public organizations, President Yunus-Bek Evkurov and heads of power agencies. In the office of the HRC "Memorial" in Nazran, Mr Marti met relatives of murdered, kidnapped and convicted persons. About 40 persons came to the meeting and complained of passiveness of power agencies. However, Mr Marti emphasized that he could do nothing, as all the problems should be settled only by Russia; however, he promised to residents of Ingushetia to report to the PACE about the situation in Northern Caucasus.

The one-day visit of the parliamentary delegation of the PACE, headed by Mr Marti, to Chechnya was made on March 25. Its aim was to see the situation with human rights in the republic. The programme included meetings with leaders of law enforcement bodies of Chechnya, republic's and military prosecutor's offices, Ombudsman and NGO activists. The PACE Rapporteur noted positive changes in Chechnya.

When meeting the PACE delegation, President of Chechnya Ramzan Kadyrov accused "international terrorists" of murdering Chechen human rights defenders Natalia Estemirova and Zarema Sadulayeva. This statement caused deep bewilderment in casualties' colleagues.

On March 26, the PACE parliamentary delegation with Dick Marti paid a visit to Dagestan.

North Ossetia: court closes "Electrozink"

On March 25, the Arbitration Court of North Ossetia ruled to suspend the work of the metallurgy factory "Electrozink" in Vladikavkaz, which was demanded by ecologists and broad public because of regular hazardous emissions into the atmosphere, until the factory puts its sanitary-protective zone into order.

While welcoming the ruling of the court to suspend the "Electrozink", the fighters for ecology in North Ossetia promised, however, to continue their educational efforts to explain the harm of the factory for the ecology.

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