30 August 2012, 23:00

Statement of the Human Rights Centre "Memorial" on assassination of Sheikh Said Afandi al-Chirkawi

In the evening on August 28, Sheikh Said Afandi al-Chirkawi, one of the most influential and respected spiritual leaders of Dagestan, was assassinated. The bomb was triggered by a female suicide bomber who entered the house of the Sheikh under the guise of a pilgrim. She killed six other people, including a child of twelve; several followers of the Sheikh were wounded.

We hereby bring condolences to casualties' relatives and friends, the followers of the spiritual master and all residents of Dagestan.

All those involved in this terror act should be severely punished according to the laws of Russia.

The terrorist underground doesn't need peace; they hate when people in Dagestan are freely following different religious trends. Terrorists see their future only in the split and tough opposition in the civil society. Their slogan is: "The worse - the better!" Terrorists seek to provoke both state officials and the followers of the traditional for Dagestan Sufi Islam to punitive measures, aimed not against the underground, but against the broader civilian population, professing another - the Salafi trend in Islam. Then, terrorists will be able to present themselves as "defenders of Islam" and draw recruits from among the victims of lawlessness.

The Human Rights Centre (NRC) "Memorial" calls on all those who value the future of Dagestan and Russia not to succumb to provocations.

We call on all the residents of the Republic, no matter what beliefs they profess, to severely condemn terrorism.

The state is obliged to fight terrorism; however, for more than a decade the state terrorism has been a usual response here. This must not happen again: the authorities must strictly follow the rules of law.

August 29, 2012

Source: HRC "Memorial" (Moscow)

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