13 February 2012, 22:00
Cherkasov: book on disappearances in Chechnya is history of impunity of Russian militaries
During the second Chechen war, some 3000-5000 persons had disappeared. This was reported by Alexander Cherkasov, the member of the Board of the Human Rights Centre (HRC) "Memorial", at the presentation of the book about disappeared and murdered residents of Chechnya.
Let us remind you that the book compiled by the staff members of the HRC "Memorial" has the title "Destiny is not known. Residents of the Chechen Republic detained by representatives of federal power agencies in armed conflict, disappeared or killed. Fall 1999-2000" and contains information about 384 residents of the Chechen Republic, detained by power agents and subsequently disappeared or found killed, and about 187 missing persons in the given period.
At the presentation, everyone got a copy of the book, which 470 pages contain names and surnames of the missing residents of Chechnya and briefly describe their history and the course of the investigation into the criminal case instituted in relation to their disappearance.
Oleg Orlov, Chairman of the Human Rights Centre "Memorial", opened the presentation. He has introduced the guest speakers and thanked Alexander Cherkasov for the work done.
According to Alexander Cherkasov, today only the first volume of the book is presented. "It describes the fate of 384 persons. This book represents a history of total impunity of Russian servicemen. I hope that the book will be on the desks of investigators involved in investigations of disappearances of persons," Alexander Cherkasov said.
He has also expressed his opinion with regard to the fact that Vladimir Putin, the head of the Russian Government, had written another article on the social policy of the state (the article "Building fairness. Social Policy for Russia" was posted on February 13 in the "Komsomolskaya Pravda", and in 2012, it became the fifth material published in major media by Prime Minister running for presidency of Russia, note of the "Caucasian Knot").
"Putin should think not about writing a regular article, but about the responsibility for those war crimes that were committed during the second Chechen war, about forced disappearances of persons, which number, according to our estimates, reached 3000-5000 persons," Alexander Cherkasov said.
According to Ekaterina Sokiryanskaya, the manager of the project for Northern Caucasus of the International Crisis Group, who spoke further, stated that families of missing persons need help to obtain legal assistance. "This includes helping to file lawsuits to the prosecutor's office and the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in Strasbourg," Ekaterina Sokiryanskaya has emphasized.
Rukiyat Khadjieva, the staff member of the HRC, said that earlier she used to work as a teacher at a school in one of the Chechen villages, however, "seeing violence against citizens, she came to work at the "Memorial". "The book tells of the victims of military tyranny, when no mercy was given even to women or old men," Rukiyat Khadjieva has stressed.
At present, the analogous volume of the book for 2001 is being prepared for release. This was stated by Oleg Orlov in conclusion at the presentation. "The volumes will be released one by one," the human rights defender said.
Criminal cases on the facts of kidnappings or killings described in the book were instituted very late, and none of them was brought to court or at least to indictment; meanwhile, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has already considered 26 complaints of relatives of persons, who disappeared in 2000, and in all cases the ECtHR has pronounced the responsibility of the Russian authorities for the very crimes and for failure of their investigation, the HRC "Memorial" reports.
Author: Oleg Krasnov; Source: CK correspondent