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10 February 2010 – natpress
Source: nytimes.com - Michael Schwirtz




Chechnya’s powerful president, Ramzan A. Kadyrov, backed down from a conflict with human rights defenders and journalists on Tuesday, withdrawing several libel suits at the request, aides said, of his mother.

It was a rare concession from Mr. Kadyrov, who has exercised nearly unchecked authority over the volatile southern Russian region. The lawsuits were prompted by accusations that the Chechen leader has employed kidnapping, torture and murder in his Kremlin-supported effort to grind down a lingering Islamic separatist movement in the region.
“His mother insistently asked him to do this,” said Alvi A. Karimov, Mr. Kadyrov’s spokesman, adding that prominent Chechen cultural figures and clergy had also advised him to drop the suits.
Mr. Karimov could not say whether the Kremlin, to whom Mr. Kadyrov is ultimately answerable, had anything to do with the decision.

Of late, Russia’s leaders have appeared to be shifting their strategy in Chechnya and the Caucasus region from war fighting to economic development, and his mother’s wishes aside, Mr. Kadyrov’s move seems more the result of Kremlin pressure, some observers said.
“It is obvious that Ramzan Kadyrov was advised to find some way out of the uncomfortable situation he got himself into,” said Oleg P. Orlov, director of the rights group, Memorial. “I think this advice came from Moscow.”

Mr. Kadyrov sued Mr. Orlov last fall, asking prosecutors to open a criminal case against him after he accused the Chechen president of complicity in the July murder of his colleague, Natalya Estemirova. Though the criminal suit has been dropped, Mr. Orlov and Memorial must still pay Mr. Kadyrov about $2,200 after losing a civil suit in October. Ms. Estemirova’s murder, meanwhile, remains unsolved.

Mr. Kadyrov also dropped claims against Lyudmila M. Alexeyeva, a prominent 82-year-old human rights worker, and journalists with Novaya Gazeta, the independent newspaper known for its harsh criticism of Russia’s Chechnya policies.
Mr. Kadyrov’s decision comes just a few weeks after President Dmitri A. Medvedev appointed a personal envoy to oversee the region, raising questions of whether the Chechen leader could lose his direct access to officials Moscow. At about the same time, Vladimir V. Putin, Russia’s prime minister, called on officials in the Caucasus region to support the work of human rights groups there.

Still, Mr. Karimov, Mr. Kadyrov’s spokesman, said he could not rule out more lawsuits in the future. “God forbid there should appear another reason to appeal to the courts.”
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Опубликовал administrator, 10-02-2010, 17:38. Просмотров: 742
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