Attacks on Human Rights Defenders - Chechnya

Cut and paste the letter below into the message box on the right. Fill in your details and send your urgent protest to the Prosecutor General urging him to investigate promptly, effectively and impartially the threats and attacks on Igor Kalyapin and the Joint Mobile Group of human rights defenders. 

Igor Kalyapin leads the Joint Mobile Group of human rights defenders working in Chechnya (JMG). He was labelled a “supporter of terrorists” by the Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov after he publicly opposed Kadyrov’s promise to punish families of suspected insurgents. Since then, Igor Kalyapin has been receiving anonymous death threats and has been attacked. The premises of JMG have been subject to arson and destroyed by unknown assailants - but prompted by statements from Kadyrov - it is suspected that agents of the state have acted:

Kindly cut the letter and paste in the message box, fill in your details submit your protest to the Prosecutor General. 


Prosecutor General
Yurii Chaika
Bolshaia Dmitrovka 15 A,
125993 Moscow
Russian Federation
Email: prgenproc@gov.ru

Dear Prosecutor General

Re: threats to Igor Kalyapin and members of the Joint Mobile Group.

As you are aware Igor Kalyapin leads the Joint Mobile Group of human rights defenders working in Chechnya (JMG).  We are concerned that recently he was labelled  a “supporter of terrorists” by the Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov after he publicly opposed Kadyrov’s promise to punish families of suspected insurgents. Since then, Igor Kalyapin has been receiving anonymous death threats and has been attacked.

Kalyapin spoke at a press conference in Moscow on 11 December where he highlighted the unlawful practice of collective punishment in Chechnya. Two men attacked him while he was speaking, accusing him of supporting terrorism, and pelted him with eggs. 

At a government-sponsored demonstration in Grozny against terrorism on 13 December, banners that said “Kalyapin Go Home $” and labelling human rights defenders “supporters of terrorism” were held by some participants in the front of the crowd.

Later that day the JMG’s office in Grozny was destroyed in a fire, an apparent arson attack, while its two staff were followed by armed masked men in a car believed to belong to Chechen law-enforcement agencies. Police came to the destroyed JMG office the next day, while JMG members Sergei Babinets and Dmitry Dimitriev were there, and, without any explanation or search warrant, subjected them to personal search, confiscated their mobile phones, cameras, laptop computers and other electronic equipment. They also searched the JMG’s car. They held the two JMG members for several hours before releasing them without charge and without returning their equipment.

I urge you to investigate promptly, effectively and impartially the attack on Igor Kalyapin at the press conference, and the threats made against him, including statements by high ranking officials.
 

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