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March 9th 2003 · Prague Watchdog / Timur Aliyev · PRINTER FRIENDLY FORMAT · E-MAIL THIS · ALSO AVAILABLE IN: RUSSIAN 

Badalov: Refugees in Ingushetia coerced to take part in referendum under threat of relief aid withdrawal

Timur Aliyev, North Caucasus - Chechen refugees in Ingushetia have been threatened with the loss of humanitarian aid if they do not take part in the referendum, stated Ruslan Badalov, chairman of the Chechen National Salvation Committee.

According to Badalov, refugees have recently been coerced to fill out forms for the territorial electorial commission; if they refuse, they are threatened with losing humanitarian aid.

“I was told at the issuing point in Nazran that if I refuse to sign this form, they won‘t give me anymore bread,“ said Ruslan Zhadayev, a refugee. “When questioned about this, the camp employees insist that they are just following instructions of the local immigration service.

According to Seda Khunarikova, administrator of “Rassvyet“, the refugee camp near the Ordzhonikidzevskaya village, the entire camp (500 people) refused to complete the form. “We will not take part in the referendum; we don‘t want to be responsible for prolonging genocide,“ said Sultan Khadashev, a camp dweller.

(K/E,T)

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