14 September 2016, 17:35
"Civil Rights Defenders" demands to guarantee protection of Zhalaudi Geriev's rights in Chechnya
Zhalaudi Geriev, a correspondent of the "Caucasian Knot", has been prosecuted in Chechnya for his professional activities, and the criminal case against him was fabricated. This is announced in a statement released by the international human rights organization "Civil Rights Defenders" based in Sweden. The human rights defenders have treated the sentence of the journalist as a demonstration of permissiveness of the Chechen authorities.
The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that the court sentenced Zhalaudi Geriev to three years of imprisonment on the charge of possession of marijuana. Zhalaudi Geriev testified to investigators under pressure and retracted his confession at trial. The defence has challenged the sentence at the court of appeal and pointed out to numerous examples of falsification in the case materials, evident contradictions in the prosecutors' version, and involvement of "hired" witnesses by the police.
At the open civil platform "Change.org", the initiative group of Zhalaudi Geriev's friends began to collect signatures under a petition addressed to the public authorities, investigating and supervisory agencies and aimed at creating the conditions for fair consideration of the journalist's case at the court of appeal. As at 12:09 a.m. Moscow time of September 14, the petition was signed by 619 people.
The sentence of Zhalaudi Geriev is a new fact demonstrating that the Russian authorities do not intend to intervene in the situation with the systematic violation of the rights of residents of Chechnya under the ruling of Ramzan Kadyrov, states Joanna Kurosz, Programme Director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia at the "Civil Rights Defenders".
"This is a clear violation of freedom of the press. Margot Wallström, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden, and her colleagues from the EU should urge the Russian government to fulfill its obligations to protect human rights," emphasized Joanna Kurosz as quoted in the statement, published on the website of the "Civil Rights Defenders" on September 9.
Full text of the article is available on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’.