Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 4 Issue: 6

A report signed by Russian officials confirms some of the charges made by human rights activists about the plight of Chechen refugees in Ingushetia. According to an Interfax news story on February 19, the authors of the report found that the refugees’ “rights to choose their place of residence, to housing and its inviolability and to compensation for damage are being violated.”

Though refugees have often requested compensation for the loss of their homes and other property in Chechnya, the report accused the Russian government of failing to respond to such requests. That is despite the fact that compensation would often enable refugees to pay for housing on their own without further government subsidies. The report concluded that facilities for housing refugees who return to Chechnya remain inadequate. They thus indirectly challenge Moscow’s strategy of pressuring refugee families to leave Ingushetia and go home. The report also relayed complaints from refugees that their relatives are being detained illegally.

The report was signed by Stanislas Ilyasov, the federal government’s minister for Chechnya, Igor Yunash, deputy head of the Federal Migration Service, Ella Pamfilova, head of President Putin’s human rights commission, and also by independent activist Lyudmila Alekseyeva, who heads the Moscow Helsinki Group.