Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 6 Issue: 23

The Memorial human rights center reported on June 15 that the beating of detainees has become endemic in the North Caucasus, Kavazky Uzel reported on June 15. “What is going on in the North Caucasus with those detained on suspicion of terrorism – strange deaths, falls from the windows of prosecutor’s offices, now the complaints of [Beslan terrorist attacks suspect Nur-Pashi] Kulaev about beatings – is becoming a system,” said Aleksandr Cherkasov of Memorial. He cited the case of Adam Gorchkhanov, who was kidnapped by unknown men in camouflage and masks in the Ingushetian village of Plievo on May 23 (see Chechnya Weekly, June 1).

Meanwhile, the Chechen Republic’s human rights commissioner, Lema Khasuev, said he has refused to cooperate with Memorial, Interfax reported on June 15. “Memorial’s policy is ‘the worse for Chechnya, the better for Memorial’,” he told the June 15 State Council meeting. “That is why I do not cooperate with them. Memorial’s managers have only one aim – to work off the money that they received from Western structures.”

The International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights released a report on June 10 which states that “the campaign of harassment and prosecution against Russian human rights NGOs dealing with Chechnya-issues” continues. The Vienna-based group specifically cited the ongoing “legal harassment” of the Nizhny Novgorod-based Russian-Chechen Friendship Society (ORChD), noting that the Nizhny Novgorod Human Rights Society, with whom the ORChD jointly publishes the Pravozashchita newspaper, was ordered on June 3 to halt its activities by the Ministry of Justice (see Chechnya Weekly, January 26 and March 23).