No Letup In Pressure On Refugees

Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 5 Issue: 12

According to an Interfax report on March 17, the federal, Chechen and Ingush authorities are continuing with their plans to dismantle the remaining refugee camps in Ingushetia, and human rights activists are continuing to protest that this is a tactic to force refugees to return to Chechnya against their will. Mompash Machuev, deputy head of the Kadyrov administration’s committee for refugees, told the news agency that the Sputnik camp in Ingushetia–one of only two that remain in that republic–is to be closed by the end of March, and all its tents dismantled. Lyudmila Alekseeva, head of the Moscow Helsinki Group, commented “I continue to insist that the refugees are returning to Chechnya not voluntarily but because they are being forced to. Those who truly wanted to return have long since done so.”