29 March 2018, 19:58

HRW, UN and the CoE condemn attack on Datsiev

Russian authorities must stop persecuting rights defenders in Northern Caucasus, find and punish the perpetrators of the attack on Sirazhudin Datsiev, the head of the Dagestani branch of the Human Rights Centre (HRC) "Memorial", the Human Rights Commissioners of the United Nations (UN) and the Council of Europe (CoE), and the international Human Rights Watch (HRW) organization have stated.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on March 28, Sirazhudin Datsiev was beaten near his house and taken to a hospital.

"This cowardly attack is undoubtedly the next step in the ongoing campaign aimed at squeezing the HRC 'Memorial' out of Northern Caucasus," said Yulia Gorbunova, a HRW's researcher for Europe and Central Asia.

She noted that authorities must ensure activists' safety and stop the "violent harassment" of them. "The attack on Sirazhudin Datsiev should not remain another unpunished act of intimidation of rights defenders in Northern Caucasus, Moscow's international partners should raise the issue of the ugly persecution of the HRC 'Memorial' and publicly demand that the federal centre ensures its immediate cessation," the HRW's website quotes Ms Gorbunova as saying.

"We resolutely condemn the attack on the head of the human rights group of the HRC 'Memorial' in Dagestan; and we repeat our call for an immediate investigation to avoid future attacks," the head of the department, Zaid Raad al-Hussein, the UN Human Rights Commissioner, wrote on March 28 on the official UN Human Rights Commissariat's page in the Twitter.

"I strongly condemn this brutal attack, committed on the employee of the HRC 'Memorial', which is one of the attacks on rights defenders working in Northern Caucasus committed in recent months," Nils Muižnieks, the CoE's Human Rights Commissioner, has stated.

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

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