Summoned to court for publication of human rights monograph

A new court case against Stanislav Dmitrievsky, Head of the human rights organisation Russian-Chechen Friendship Society, signals that Russian authorities continue to restrict the work of human rights defenders. Civil Rights Defenders call for international attention to this case as this is yet another attempt to silence Stanislav Dmitrievsky and his organisation for their work against impunity in the North Caucasus.

On 6 December, Stanislav Dmitrievsky is summoned to a court hearing in Dzerzhinsk city court. The prosecutor claims that the monograph “International Tribunal for Chechnya”, published in 2009 and written by Stanislav Dmitrievsky, Oksana Chelysheva and Bogdan Gaureli, is an extremist publication under Article 13 of the Federal Law on Countering Extremism and accordingly should be banned.

“We call for international attention to this case. This is yet another attempt to silence Stanislav Dmitrievsky and his organisation for their work against impunity in the North Caucasus. We call on the authorities to drop this case and to stop attempting to ban the human rights monograph”, states Robert Hårdh, Executive Director of Civil Rights Defenders.

The Russian-Chechen Friendship Society, formally registered in Finland, monitors and reports on the human rights situation in Chechnya and other parts of the North Caucasus. The organisation has also been part of the White Ribbon coalition, which organised rallies and protest demonstrations in Nizhny Novgorod related to December 2011 and March 2012 elections and beyond.

The office of the Russian Chechen Friendship Society in Nizhny Novgorod has been attacked six times since March 2012. Last time was on 31 October, when heavily armed men smashed windows and doors and sprayed the facade with orange colour. In addition, the Russian-Chechen Friendship Society has been the target of defamatory statements in the public and media, which further aggravates the situation.

“The authorities should investigate the long series of attacks against the Russian-Chechen Friendship Society, and take appropriate action to protect the staff members of the organisation”, says Robert Hårdh.

On the night between 3 and 4 November, Stanislav Dmitrievsky’s family was exposed to an attack in their home. Masked and heavily armed men crushed the windows, encased with lead, with a special hammer. They also squirted glue into the lock on the apartment door to prevent the family from escaping. Read more on the attack

The full title of the book, which is now under risk to be banned, is “International Tribunal for Chechnya. Prospects of Bringing to Justice Individuals Suspected of War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity During the Armed Conflict in the Chechen Republic”. The book is a detailed account of human rights violations by all conflicting parties in the Chechen conflict and includes prospects for combating impunity of the perpetrators.

For more information, please contact:

Marie Månson, Programme Director for Support to Human Rights Defenders at Risk, +46 709 89 60 10

Robert Hårdh, Executive Director, +46 709 14 63 14

Categories: Statements.
Tags: Russian-Chechen Friendship Society, Stanislav Dmitrievsky, and Violence against human rights defenders.
Regions: The North Caucasus.