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Why Isn’t State-Led Mass Killing Occurring in Russia’s North Caucasus?
October 8, 2014
In the 1990s and early 2000s, the Russian government defeated a separatist insurgency in Chechnya with a scorched-earth campaign that killed thousands of civilians and displaced hundreds of thousands more. Despite that ostensible victory, Russia continues to battle separatist insurgents in its North Caucasus region, of which Chechnya is a part.
Sinister and Disturbing: An Update from Chechnya
March 24, 2010
After visiting Chechnya on a fact-finding mission last month, British parliamentarians Jo Swinson and Frank Judd described the human rights situation in Grozny as "sinister and very disturbing." From 1999 to 2003, Judd was rapporteur to the parliamentary assembly of the Council of Europe on Chechnya. He resigned from this position in 2003 in protest of the Chechen constitution referendum, which he believed was rigged and which ultimately gave Chechnya more autonomy, but stipulated that it remain firmly a part of Russia. Later that year, Judd explained the disappointments that led to his decision during a program at the Museum.
Online Galleries Focusing on Regions at Risk Demonstrate the Power of Photography
November 9, 2009
With the power to capture the complexities of life in a single image, photography plays two unique, distinct, and tremendously important roles in genocide prevention and response. Photographs provide visual evidence so the world can know and remember; they also allow us to understand. By looking at a photograph, we bear witness to the emotions, relationships, and implications of that single moment. In the words of photographer, Ron Haviv, this "time to contemplate, time to absorb, time to put yourself into that situation" has the potential to influence a human being to not only reflect, but also act.
A Victory Against Justice in Chechnya
October 7, 2009
Following Natalya Estemirova's murder in Grozny last July, the human rights group Memorial accused Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov of involvement in her death. Kadyrov subsequently sued Memorial Director Oleg Orlov for libel.
A Deadly Price for Protecting Human Rights in Chechnya
August 13, 2009
Early this week, Zarema Sadulayeva and her husband, Alik Djabrailov, were abducted from their office in Grozny and killed. Sadulayeva was the head of a charity called Save the Generation that helped children who had been physically and emotionally scarred by the conflict. Coming on the heels of Natalya Estemirova's murder in July, this latest tragedy sends a clear message that the struggle to protect human rights in Chechnya comes at a deadly price. Violence in Chechnya today is no longer as widespread or systematic as it was during the war, but it is much more targeted and deadly. Fewer people are at risk, but the risk for them is much greater.
Remembering Natasha Estemirova
July 31, 2009
A journalist, activist, and researcher for Memorial (external link), Usam Baysaev was a close friend of Natasha Estemirova. In "Too Soon, Again" (external link), an article for The New Republic, Baysaev mourns his friend's death. After a decade of putting herself at great risk to defend human rights in Chechnya, Estemirova was kidnapped and murdered on July 15, 2009. Baysaev writes:
A Critical Voice on Human Rights Abuses Silenced
July 24, 2009
On the morning of July 15, 2009, Natalya Estemirova was abducted near her home in Grozny, Chechnya. As people on a nearby balcony heard her call for help, Estemirova was forced into a car. Her body was found a few hours later near a highway in the neighboring republic of Ingushetia.
“If your relatives commit an act of evil, this evil will be brought upon you”
July 8, 2009
Not long ago, a Chechen man named Nazir was visited by armed men in camouflage uniforms who gathered boards to start a bonfire alongside his home. Realizing what was about to happen, Nazir pleaded, "Why do I have to pay for the crimes of my relatives over whom I have no influence? But if this has been decided, I can't do anything about it. However, please listen to me. My roof touches my neighbor's roof. If you start burning my house, the fire will spread over to my neighbor's house." Considering the problem, the armed men patiently called a contractor to come separate the roofs before they set fire to Nazir's house. There was no doubt that they acted with deliberation and impunity.