Chechen human rights activists to boycott presidential election
Timur Aliyev, North Caucasus – At their meeting in the Ingushetian town of Nazran on September 7, representatives of Chechen NGOs declared they would not participate in the upcoming Chechen presidential election in any way.
About 70 representatives of Chechen human rights organizations and public figures attended this meeting whose agenda included: “Is There A Choice on October 5 - Participation or Complicity?”; “The Chechen Refugee Problem”; and ”The Blacklist.“
“If we succumb to the provocations connected to the [presidential] election, we'd risk becoming accomplices in the killing of our nation. We must also realize that we'd risk legalizing new punitive actions aimed at ‘introducing constitutional order’,” stated the keynote speaker, Ruslan Badalov, chairman of the Chechen National Salvation Committee.
Madina Magomadova, chairwoman of “Chechen Mothers for Peace”, is convinced that the world must hear about the situation in Chechnya and the Chechen NGOs' stance as soon as possible, before the issue is forgotten.
In discussing the current Chechen refugee problem, Imran Ezhiyev, chairman of the “Society of Chechen-Russian Friendship,” said that normal living conditions have not as yet been created in Chechnya. “If they had, then all the refugees would have returned home by now.”
A joint resolution was adopted at the end of the conference declaring that no one would act as an observer in the upcoming election, and asked that all international organizations not do so either. Meanwhile, the monitoring of human rights violations will continue during the election.
They also asked the OSCE, PACE and the UN Commission on Human Rights to create a forum which would discuss the ending of military activities in Chechnya and in which Chechen organizations would take part.