24 November 2010, 23:00

Week in the Caucasus: review of main events of November 15-21

"Kuschevskaya tragedy" raised the problem with situation in the Krasnodar Territory as a whole; CEC of Azerbaijan partially annuls results of parliamentary elections; future of journalism in Northern Caucasus worries Plenipotentiary Khloponin, - look these and other events in the review of the week of November 15-21, 2010, prepared by the "Caucasian Knot".

Massacre in Kuschevskaya shook the country

On November 20 in Krasnodar, within the action "Picket-19", a traditional picket was held in support of Article 19 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation, which fixes equality of all before the law and the court. The action passed without excesses; and over 60 residents of the Krasnodar Territory took part in the picket - from the cities of Krasnodar and Novorossiysk, from the Tuapse, Anapa, Slavianskiy and other Districts of the Territory.

The participants in the action "Picket-19", held in Krasnodar on November 20, demanded from the Russian President to hold complex checks in all the subjects of the Krasnodar Territory, not just in the village of Kuschevskaya, in order "not to admit another massacre and new victims." They also demanded immediate resignation of the governor, chairman of the Krasnodar territorial court, local prosecutor and head of the territorial GUVD (Chief Interior Department).

The picketers drew up the "Open letter to Russian President Dmitri Medvedev from residents of the Krasnodar Territory, who suffered from raiders' attacks, corruption, falsification of criminal cases, lawlessness of the authorities, militia, prosecutors and courts".

In the course of his meeting with Kuschevskaya residents, Governor of the Krasnodar Territory Alexander Tkachov promised to resign, if the killers of 12 persons would escape punishment. The village will be also visited by a commission of the Public Chamber of Russia; a special commission of the central machinery of the Russian General Prosecutor's Office is already there. Employees of their central offices have been already sent to Kuschevskaya by Russian Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliev and Head of the Investigatory Committee Alexander Bastrykin; and on November 22, he plans to meet personally with Kuschevskaya villagers.

On November 18, Mr Bastrykin discussed the tragedy in Kuschevskaya with State Duma deputies; and MPs decided to send members of the Duma committee on security there - in order to assess the degree of local authorities' responsibility for what happened. According to a source in the Duma, Bastrykin told MPs during their closed meeting that after a proper check in the territory, criminal cases will be most probably initiated against law enforcement officers, prosecutors and local high-level officials.

By the end of last week, within the criminal investigation eight persons were already detained, including the alleged organizer of the murders Sergey Tsapok.

Authorities of NCFD get interested in media problems

At the meeting on November 17 in Yessentuki with Alexander Khloponin, Russian President's Plenipotentiary in the NCFD (North-Caucasian Federal District), journalists who are covering the situation in the region, defined the range of problems for journalists in Northern Caucasus and discussed the ways to address them.

In particular, when speaking about financial problems of the media, the Plenipotentiary pointed out that grants should help to solve them and expressed his readiness to "reserve funds, perhaps even in the federal budget" in the form of grants "for particular orders."

At the meeting with the Plenipotentiary of the Russian President in the NCFD, the participants also touched on the situation with corruption and clannish relations in Dagestan.

Two days before the meeting with media people, on November 15, Mr Khloponin met the candidates for the membership in the Public Council of the North-Caucasian Federal District and said that the Public Council would be the main communication channel of residents and authorities in Northern Caucasus.

Azerbaijan continues cancelling election results

Late last week, the Central Election Commission (CEC) of Azerbaijan considered at its sitting the applications of the candidates who had been registered at the 107th Gazakh, the 9th Binagadin, the 15th Yasamal and the 57th Kyurdamir constituencies, who asked to annul the outcomes of the parliamentary elections held in these constituencies.

The applications were partially satisfied, since the results of the voters' will had not bee defined. Thus, the election results at five polling stations in the Gazakh and Binagadin constituencies were declared invalid.

Also, complaints were considered of candidates from the 15th Yasamal and the 57th Kyurdamir constituencies. These complaints were also partially satisfied: the results were annulled at one polling station of the Yasamal, and four - of the Kyurdamir constituencies.

Earlier, the CEC had invalidated the results of the parliamentary elections at three polling stations, and at two more - on November 19.

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