Human rights authors freed from extremism accusations

Stanislav Dmitrievsky, Photo: Tina Axelsson

Stanislav Dmitrievsky, Photo: Tina Axelsson

On 2 July, the city court of Dzerzhinsk, Russia, rejected the prosecutor’s claim to recognize a monograph documenting human rights abuses in Chechnya as an extremist publication. Civil Rights Defenders welcomes the decision that shows that independent judgements are still possible in Russia, despite big setbacks for the rule of law in the recent year.

“This is very positive news, which indicate a personal courage by the judge. It is pleasing to note that independent judgements are still possible in Russia, even though the country has suffered big setbacks for rule of law in the recent year”, said Joanna Kurosz, Programme Director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia at Civil Rights Defenders.

The so called “International Tribunal for Chechnya”, is a joint work of Russian human rights defenders Stanislav Dmitrievsky from Russian-Chechen Friendship Foundation, Bogdan Gaureli from Memorial and the journalist Oksana Chelysheva.

The book, published in 2009, analyses violations committed by all parties to the armed conflict in Chechnya. The analysis is based on, among others, the provisions of international criminal law and legal proceedings of international tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. It emphasized the responsibility of Russian top political leadership and military command in committing war crimes.

Civil Rights Defenders interpret the case as part of a growing misuse of the “anti-extremism” legislation adopted in Russia and now used to stifle civil society and punish individual human rights defenders.

“The attempt to ban the book appears to be a personal retaliation of the authorities against Stanislav Dmitrievsky, the book’s main author”, said Joanna Kurosz.

Stanislav Dmitrievsky has been subjected to a range of administrative arrests, criminal prosecution, office inspections and arson attacks committed by authorities. Moreover, he and members of his family were subjected to physical attacks by unknown individuals.

Stanislav Dmitrievsky, Photo: Tina Axelsson

Stanislav Dmitrievsky, Photo: Tina Axelsson

Categories: News.
Regions: The North Caucasus.