28th Jul 2017

EU speaks out on Chechnya murders

The Swedish EU presidency has urged Russia to protect its NGO community following a series of killings of human rights activists in Chechnya.

The EU statement comes after the bodies of Alik Dzhabrailov and his wife Zarema Sadulayeva, who worked for the children's charity Save the Generation, were found dumped in the Chechen capital Grozny.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now and get 40% off for an annual subscription. Sale ends soon.

  1. €90 per year. Use discount code EUOBS40%
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

  • Mr Kadyrov (r) and Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin (Photo: wikipedia)

Mr Dzhabrailov may have been targeted because of alleged links with separatists. But his wife asked kidnappers to take her as well when the couple were snatched on Monday night, family members reported.

"It is important that an investigation into these latest murders is conducted promptly, transparently and thoroughly. The perpetrators must be brought to justice," the Swedish presidency said on Wednesday (12 August).

"The EU urges the Russian authorities to do everything in their power to ensure the protection of human rights defenders."

The Save the Generation deaths follow the shooting in July of prominent civil rights activist Nataliya Estemirova and the earlier slayings in Moscow of Chechnya human rights lawyer Stanislav Markelov and journalist Anna Politkovskaya.

A spokesman for German chancellor Angela Merkel told DPA that she will raise the topic at a meeting with Russian president Dmitry Medvedev in Sochi on Friday.

Mr Medvedev himself has condemned the Grozny killings as "vile."

Previous statements by both Moscow and Brussels have done little to bring people to account, however.

The string of murders has been widely linked to the regime of Ramzan Kadyrov, the 32-year old president of the semi-autonomous Chechen republic, who dresses in Armani sportswear and lives in a mansion with caged lions.

Mr Kadyrov has blamed "militants" trying to destabilise his rule.

Two of Russia's leading human rights organisations, the Memorial NGO and the Novaya Gazeta newspaper, have pulled out of Chechnya in recent days due to safety concerns.

"The light of public scrutiny is gradually being turned off in Chechnya. First, international organisations and journalists were banned from the region, and now, local civil society is being eliminated," Amnesty International said.

The situation in Chechnya is part of growing instability in Russia's North Caucasus region.

In neighbouring Ingushetia, gunmen on Wednesday murdered the local construction minister while he was sitting at his office desk. A bomb in June almost took the life of Ingushetia president Yunus-Bek Yevkurov.

Journalists on trial highlight Turkey crackdown

The trial, which opened Monday, of 17 journalists and administrative employees of the daily newspaper Cumhuriyet is considered one of the most important episodes in a systematic campaign to silence dissent.

News in Brief

  1. EU citizens will need registration to enter UK in Brexit transition
  2. Italy weighs up sending navy into Libyan waters
  3. Swedish PM fights for survival amid IT scandal
  4. Poland's Kaczynski vows to continue judicial reform
  5. Werner Hoyer re-appointed as EU investment bank chief
  6. Spanish PM denies knowledge of party corruption
  7. France 'routinely' abuses migrants, says NGO
  8. Swedish government rocked by data scandal

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNICEFReport: Children on the Move From Africa Do Not First Aim to Go to Europe
  2. Counter BalanceOut for Summer, Ep. 2: EIB Promoting Development in Egypt - At What Cost?
  3. EU2017EELocal Leaders Push for Local and Regional Targets to Address Climate Change
  4. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceMore Women Than Men Have Died From Heart Disease in Past 30 Years
  5. European Jewish CongressJean-Marie Le Pen Faces Trial for Oven Comments About Jewish Singer
  6. ACCAAnnounces Belt & Road Research at Shanghai Conference
  7. ECPAFood waste in the field can double without crop protection. #WithOrWithout #pesticides
  8. EU2017EEEstonia Allocates €1 Million to Alleviate Migratory Pressure From Libya in Italy
  9. Dialogue PlatformFethullah Gulen's Message on the Anniversary of the Coup Attempt in Turkey
  10. Martens CentreWeeding out Fake News: An Approach to Social Media Regulation
  11. European Jewish CongressEJC Concerned by Normalisation of Antisemitic Tropes in Hungary
  12. Counter BalanceOut for Summer Ep. 1: How the EIB Sweeps a Development Fiasco Under the Rug

Latest News

  1. UK and EU stuck on 'philosophy' of Brexit bill
  2. Europe needs a policy for peace in Nagorno-Karabakh
  3. Spain's PM appeals to court over Catalan independence
  4. Senate backs Russia sanctions, setting scene for EU clash
  5. France and Italy quarrel over shipyard and Libya
  6. Corbyn re-opens Labour's single market wound
  7. Visegrad lobby makes food quality an EU issue
  8. EU court could dismiss national borders in cyberspace