FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Nicholas Rodman
Washington, DC (12/01/2010) – The Jamestown Foundation and Ilia State University hosted their second international conference entitled: “Hidden Nations, Enduring Crimes: The North Caucasus Between Past and Future”, held in Tbilisi, Georgia on November 19-21. Attended by over 140 participants from over 15 different countries, the conference attracted the world’s premier experts on the Caucasus and included representatives from all six of the North Caucasus republics, many of whom travelled to the conference using the new visa-free travel regime instituted by the Georgian government. Many national representatives, including members of the Georgian Parliament as well as a US State Department official were also in attendance. Panelists included Lord Frank Judd, a member of the British Parliament and former Council of Europe Rapporteur to the Political Affairs Committee on the Conflict in Chechnya who discussed his February 2010 fact-finding mission to Chechnya. While the development of infrastructure has improved in the last ten years in the war-torn North Caucasus republic, very little, according to Lord Judd, has been accomplished in the realm of political and human rights. His talk was then followed by a presentation by Lidia Yusupova, the head of the Grozny branch of the Memorial human rights organization and a prominent human rights activist who provided the conference with a moving speech and slideshow on continuing human rights abuses in Chechnya. The event continued on the second day with a discussion by esteemed French philosopher and writer André Glucksmann who put the current political crisis and abuses in Chechnya into a historical and philosophical context and decried the absence of the rule of law and government accountability in the North Caucasus.
Founded in 1984, The Jamestown Foundation is an independent, non-partisan research institution dedicated to providing timely information concerning critical political and strategic developments in China, Russia, and Eurasia. Jamestown’s research and analysis is available to the public free-of-charge via Jamestown’s website, www.jamestown.org.