The Month in Brief - November 2005

November 2

The European Commission envoy in Russia Mark Franko and the ambassadors of Austria and Great Britain made a joint official visit to Chechnya.

Two policemen were shot dead in two separate attacks in Nazran, Ingushetia.

November 3

Two policemen were shot dead in Nazran.

November 4

A policemen and a local FSB agent were shot dead in two separate attacks in Nazran.

November 6

Chechen human rights lawyer and defender Lida Yusupova, who heads the Grozny office of Russian human rights organization Memorial, received the 2005 Thorolf Rafto Memorial Prize in Bergen, Norway.

November 7

In Gudermes, the Kremlin-backed Chechen government organized a music festival with several Russian and Chechen rock and pop groups taking part. Several thousand people attended the event, which was earlier twice postponed for security reasons.

November 9

The outskirts of the village of Starye Atagi was subjected to artillery shelling. Several houses suffered serious damage and one family had to be hospitalized. Subsequent investigation showed that the fire came from the Russian army "by mistake".

Russia's Supreme Court rejected an appeal lodged by three Chechens who won a case against Russia in the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg to which they turned after they were detained in Georgia in 2002, extradited to Russia and sentenced to 9-15 years in prison.

November 13

The website, reporting about the September 2004 school hostage tragedy in Beslan and its lengthy investigation, was hacked and all files removed. It was put in operation on the same day.

November 14

The Nizhny Novgorod regional court turned down a request from the local branch of the Russian Justice Ministry to liquidate the non-governmental organization Society of Russian-Chechen Friendship, which mainly reports on the conflict in Chechnya.

November 15

The Chechenpress internet news agency posted an interview given by Abdul-Khalim Sadulayev in which the Chechen guerrilla leader said that guerrillas stage attacks in the neigbouring republics, especially Kabardino-Balkaria, because of Russians terrorize local people there.

Former top Chechen guerrilla commander Magomed Khambiyev, who in March 2004 surrendered to the Moscow-backed Chechen forces under unclear circumstances and now runs for a parliamentary seat in the Moscow-staged elections, admitted that he had to surrender to save the life of his family and friends who had been taken hostage by government forces, a Reuters correspondent reported.

International and human rights law professor Bill Bowring of Great Britain, who provides legal assistance to Russian citizens and planned to attend the trial of Russian human rights defender Stanislav Dmitriyevsky in Nizhny Novgorod, was denied entry to Russia in the Sheremetyevo airport.

November 16

Three Chechens were shot dead by drunken masked men wearing camouflage in Staraya Sunzha on the outskirts of Grozny. The incident sparked public protests and on November 18 the Russian Defense Ministry admitted that its servicemen were responsible for the killing.

Two trials of Stanislav Dmitriyevsky started in Nizhny Novgorod. The editor-in-chief of the Pravozashchita newspaper and head of the Society of Russian-Chechen Friendship, was charged with inciting ethnic, national and social hatred for publishing two peace appeals by Chechen resistance leaders and faces up to five years in prison.

November 17

Sergei Abramov, head of the Moscow-backed Chechen government, was seriously wounded when his car collided with a truck near Moscow. He is expected to return to work in several weeks.

November 17-18

About two hundred people rallied in front of the building of the Moscow-backed Chechen government in Grozny, demanding the payment of financial compensations for property lost during military operations in Chechnya.

November 20

Early voting in the Moscow-staged parliamentary elections was begun in Chechnya by border guards on the remote Russian-Georgian border, who will be on duty on the regular election day, November 27.

Zaynap Gashayeva, chairwoman of the Chechen human rights organization Ekho Vojny, was awarded the 2005 Lev Kopelev Award.

November 21

Human rights and youth organizations held a rally in Grozny in protest against abuses by the Russian military in Chechnya, following the November 16 killing of three villagers by drunken Russian servicemen in Staraya Sunzha..

November 23

In a report on the upcoming parliamentary elections in Chechnya, a group of Russian and foreign human rights organizations led by Memorial stated the Moscow-staged November 27 vote would take place in an atmosphere of fear and will not be free and democratic.

November 24

Taus Jabrailov, chairman of Chechnya's State Council, withdrew from the Moscow-staged parliamentary elections, claiming it was "for personal reasons" and not because of alleged disputes with the powerful First Vice-Premier Ramzan Kadyrov.

November 27

The Kremlin and pro-Russian Chechen authorities organized elections to the republic's new parliament. Separatists were not invited to take part in the elections and observers said the vote would not help solve the Chechen conflict.

November 28

Supyan Demilkhanov, head of administration of the village of Pamyatoy in the Shatoysky district, was shot dead when travelling by car at night. A Russian soldier was arrested on suspicion of murder.

November 29

Abubakir Baybatyrov, who in June 2003 - May 2004 headed Chechnya's committeee on compensation for destroyed housing and lost property, was arrested in Moscow on fraud charges and then escorted to Grozny.

Ibragim Umpashayev, head of administration of the village of Avtury in the Shalinsky district, and his son Isa were shot dead in their house.

Compiled by Prague Watchdog. Along with these monthly summaries, we also publish weekly summaries, distributing them on Mondays to the subscribers of our free weekly newsletter.




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