As expected, a local municipal court in Moscow has fined Lev Ponomarev, director of the For Human Rights movement, for organizing an unsanctioned demonstration last month to mark the sixtieth anniversary of the Stalinist deportation of the Chechen people to Central Asia. In the meantime the European Parliament, responding to a long campaign by members seeking peace in Chechnya, voted formally to recognize that the Soviet regime’s deportation of the entire Chechen people in February of 1944 constituted an act of genocide. The pan-European body cited the Hague Convention of 1907 as well as the United Nations convention against genocide of 1948.
According to Memorial, organizers of an antiwar demonstration that has gathered regularly in Moscow’s Pushkin Square since February of 2000 have been told that their demonstration has been banned. So far, however, the police have not used force to disperse it.