Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 8 Issue: 46

– European Court of Human Rights Again Rules Against Russian in a Chechen Case

The European Court of Human Rights ruled on November 29 that Russia was responsible for the deaths of three Chechens during heavy bombardment of Grozny by the Russian military in January 2000, and ordered it to pay a relative of the victims, Zainap Tangieva, 60,000 euros ($88,428) in damages, and the Associated Press reported. The Strasbourg court ruled that Tangieva “had provided sufficient evidence to prove that (the victims) had been killed by the Russian military” and therefore that the Russian state “had been responsible for the deaths.” The court also said the Russian authorities had failed to carry out a proper investigation.

– Convictions in Ulman Case Upheld

The military collegium of Russia’s Supreme Court on November 29 upheld the guilty verdict against Capt. Eduard Ulman and three other Russian servicemen accused of murdering six Chechen civilians in 2002, thereby rejecting an appeal filed by their lawyers, Itar-Tass reported. The collegium, however, also rejected an appeal by the brother of one of the victims, who said the prison sentences handed down were too light. In July, the North Caucasus District Military Court sentenced Ulman to 14 years in prison and the other three defendants to prison terms ranging from nine to 12 years. Prosecutors had has asked for prison terms ranging from 18 to 23 years. Only one of the defendants, Maj. Aleksei Perelevsky, appeared in court during the sentencing in July. Ulman and the other two were sentenced in absentia and are believed to be still in hiding.

– Kadyrov “Recommends” that All Women Wear Head-Scarves

The Associated Press reported on November 22 that Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov called for all women to cover their heads with scarves. According to the news agency, the recommendation, made by Kadyrov during a television address a week earlier, was not a legally binding order or legislation passed by Chechnya’s parliament. Earlier this month, Kadyrov ordered that the sale of Western-style wedding dresses be banned (Chechnya Weekly, November 15). In September, Kadyrov ordered female government employees to dress “strictly in accordance with the republic’s dress code,” stating that their apparel “must comply with the Chechen traditions” (Chechnya Weekly, September 13). Meanwhile, Chechnya’s pro-Moscow government has developed a plan for the “spiritual-moral” education of the republic’s inhabitants, Kavkazky Uzel reported on November 26. Grozny Mayor Muslim Khuchiev told a press conference that “moral education” is one of the most important issues for the Chechen capital. “During a meeting of the president with students of the [Grozny] Oil Institute, the young people did not even stand up when Ramzan Kadyrov entered,” Khuchiev said. “Today young people must understand that a huge amount of money is being spent on their education. And they must deserve all the expenditures. [They must] revere the customs and traditions of our people.”