Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 3 Issue: 21

In an article entitled “Human Rights Defenders Have ‘Slammed the Door’,” appearing in the July 12 issue of Novye Izvestia, journalist Zoya Svetova reported that on July 8 a number of leading Russian human rights NGOs had “repudiated their participation in regular meetings with representatives of the [pro-Moscow] Chechen authorities, the procuracy, the FSB and the military.” Oleg Orlov, chairman of the human rights organization Memorial, stated: “We did not receive a single answer concerning concrete cases about which we had asked. No military representative even appeared at our last meeting…. ‘Death squadrons’ continue their work, while investigations into cases of the abduction of people are sabotaged at all levels.” Sergei Lapin, “the sole officer from the Khanty-Mansi combined police detachment of the MVD who had been arrested on a charge of having kidnapped and murdered a man,” was recently freed from prison.