Alexander Cherkasov. Photo: RFE/RL

09 September 2016, 19:53

HRC "Memorial" intends to recognize Zhalaudi Geriev as a political prisoner

Zhalaudi Geriev, a correspondent of the "Caucasian Knot", sentenced to three years of imprisonment in a penal colony, is deprived of liberty for the performance of his professional duties. The Human Rights Centre (HRC) "Memorial" will soon recognize him as a political prisoner.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on September 5, the Shali District Court of Chechnya sentenced Zhalaudi Geriev to three years of imprisonment on the charge of unlawful possession of drugs. Zhalaudi Geriev has stated that during the preliminary investigation, he testified under pressure.

"I hope that the human rights and journalistic communities will express their solidarity with the journalist, who was sentenced unfairly," stated Alexander Cherkasov, Chairman of the Board of the HRC "Memorial".

Members of the HRC "Memorial" have noted that at the very first court hearing, Zhalaudi Geriev retracted his confession.

According to the human rights defenders, the verdict was based "only on the arguments of the prosecution and the confession given by Zhalaudi Geriev under pressure during the preliminary investigation."

The statement in support of Zhalaudi Geriev was also released by the human rights organization "Human Rights Watch" (HRW), which treated Zhalaudi Geriev as a "journalist suffered because of his professional activities." The Norwegian Helsinki Committee and the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (OBS) (a joint programme of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the World Organization Against Torture) demanded from the Russian authorities to immediately release Zhalaudi Geriev and cancel his verdict pronounced against him.

Full text of the article is available on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’.

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