Four Human Rights Organizations Address Acting Dagestani President

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Feb 20, 2013, 3:42:41 AM2/20/13

Four Human Rights Organizations Address Acting Dagestani President

February 18, 2013 Mr Aleksander Cherkasov, chairman of the Board of the Human Rights Center Memorial, Mrs Liydmila Alekseyeva, chaiperson of the Moscow Helsinki Group, Mrs Svetlana Gannushkina, chairperson of the Civic Assistance Committee, and Mr Lev Ponomarev, executive director of the All-Russia movement For Human Rights, wrote an open letter to acting President of the Republic of Dagestan Mr Ramazan Abdulatipov,

In the text of the letter, the human rights activists direct Mr Abdulatipov's attention to the abduction and torture of an 18-year-old resident of the town of Derbent, Mr Alibek Mirzekhanov. Memorial Human Rights Center reported this case earlier (see in Russian:

On February 2, siloviks abducted the young man. They tortured him in an attempt to exert from him false testimony.

Earlier Mirzekhanov applied to the Commission under the President of the Republic of Dagestan that focuses on adaptation of ex-terrorists to peaceful life. He completed the necessary procedures within the Commission's framework successfully.

Such "extremism fighters" activities make all governmental efforts to counteract militants' propaganda unavailing, so they make all positive effects of the Dagestani Commissions.

Mr Alibek Mirzekhanov posted another video on YouTube on Monday ( stating that the Dagestani authorities paid no attention to his request to defend him from siloviks' lawlessness.

Human rights defenders' address to the acting president reads as follows:

"Dear Mr. Abdulatipov: You have declared the intention to meet the crisis in Dagestan. One will be unable to change the situation in Dagestan, to prevent the youth from joining illegal armed formations without putting an end to mass gross violations of human rights committed by officers of power structures. Equally necessary is to defeat criminal practice of abductions, torture, and falsification of evidence.

Mr Alibek Mirzekhanov is only 18. He is very young and still believes in justice and your sincere intention to achieve rule of law in the republic.

We urge you to respond to Alibek’s address and to take over the control of investigation into the abduction and torture of Alibek. You mustn’t let the guilty siloviks escape the penalty. The future of Dagestan depends on whether the Constitution and Federal laws would be obeyed and whether the religious youth including Mr Alibek Mirzekhanov would believe you."

The whole text of the open letter by the human rights defenders is available in Russian on Memorial’s web-site:

February 20, 2013

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