Tag Archives: human rights

Azerbaïdjan-France: Quand M. Hollande, le Président Français partait en voyage d’affaires// When my President is on a business trip


  • English:

AFP reported that the court, on the 5th of September,was going to hear an unprecedented defamation lawsuit by Azerbaijan against two French journalists in a case that critics describe as an attempt by the ex-Soviet republic to “export its censorship to France.”

The case opens a day after a media investigation revealed that Azerbaijan has allegedly been using a a 2.8-billion-dollar slush fund to buy political influence in Europe and boost the country’s international image.
A French court began hearing a lawsuit by Azerbaijan’s government against two French journalists it accuses of defamation, in a case described by the defendants and media freedom activists as an attempt by Azerbaijani authorities to export censorship beyond the country’s borders.
The lawsuit against the two television journalists has been slammed by the media watchdog Reporters Without Borders’ (RSF) as “an act of intimidation highlighting the Azerbaijani government’s contempt for free speech.”
This is the first time a foreign government has brought a defamation suit against journalists before a French court, according to RSF.
Investigative journalist and television host Elise Lucet and journalist and film-maker Laurent Richard are accused of defaming the Azerbaijani government by referring to it as a “dictatorship” when the former Soviet republic received a visit from then French president Francois Hollande two years ago and the reporting was titled: Mon président est en voyage d’affaires (When my President is on a business trip).The journalists were at the time working on a programme for France 2 television called “Cash Investigation” about the background to Hollande’s trip.
Richard was arrested and later released in Azerbaijan at the end of his reporting trip to cover Hollande’s visit to the oil-rich country of 10 million people in in the South Caucasus region.

Continue reading Azerbaïdjan-France: Quand M. Hollande, le Président Français partait en voyage d’affaires// When my President is on a business trip

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Chechnya- Russia: Gay men slaughtered and buried in a single bloody night revealed by Novaya Gazeta as purge continues


In late February or early March, Ali was in his apartment in Grozny, the capital of Chechnya, when he got a phone call from a local police officer. “Get dressed, we have to take you in,” the man said. Ali took the sim card out of his cell phone, inserted it into a spare, blank phone, and hid his regular handset. By the time he was done, two police officers were knocking on the door. They put him in a car and drove to a nearby street, where two cars were waiting. The men put him in the back seat of one of the vehicles and got in with him.

Ali was taken into a room. “Their boss is sitting there, sprawled out,” he continued. “He says, ‘You take it up the ass.’ I start denying everything.” The boss asked Ali about another man, whom Ali knew to be gay. That morning, the man had called Ali and suggested that they meet. “I knew that if they tortured him he’d break and give everyone up,” Ali told me. He said to the police that he knew the man only as a business client. “They started beating me. I kept saying that I don’t know anything, I’ve never even heard that there were gays here in Chechnya.”

The jailers tortured Ali and then brought him back upstairs to face the boss, then back to the basement for more torture, then back up. Eventually, he was thrown into a cell and left there without food. Ali counted the days by the number of times he was allowed to perform his ablutions, then to drink the dirty water. He had seven drinks of water in all, which means that his captivity lasted more than a week. (Source: New Yorker)

The secret mass execution is thought to have seen up to 56 people killed – all without trial. Novaya Gazeta, citing two high level sources in Chechnya, reported on July 9 that dozens of people were unlawfully detained across the republic during unannounced raids that began in mid-December 2016. Twenty seven of them were allegedly killed on the night of January 26 without being formally arrested.

The outlet has spent months investigating illegal detentions in the area.The same newspaper broke the story that the region is rounding up and persecuting gay people earlier this year.

Français:

LisezTchétchénie : le retour des camps de concentration par Christine Robledo- Les Chroniques Mortes ou Vives

  • Background

According to Novaya Gazeta, who published a series of articles about the persecution of gay men in Chechnya, these executions are not linked to the anti-gay campaign in the republic. The mass arrests are believed to have been triggered by the killing of a policeman on 16 December 2016. The executions were all carried out in Chechnya’s capital, Grozny, on the night of 25 January, the newspaper claims.

The newspaper has published the list of names it claims President Ramzan Kadyrov’s government killed.

It reports that the victims were shot without trial, then the bodies were “taken to various cemeteries, including Christian ones, where they were buried in hastily dug graves”.

The Russian LGBT Network confirmed that a number of the men killed were gay and bisexual, but some are believed to be heterosexual.

“As far as we know, the information in the Novaya Gazeta regarding 27 people being killed is true,” a representative for the group said.

“With regards to the sexual orientation of those killed, as far as we know there are homosexual people in this list, but not all of them at all.”

  • Amnesty International’s reaction

Following these reports in Russia’s Novaya Gazeta newspaper that security forces in the Russian republic of Chechnya killed 27 people on the night of 26 January 2017, Denis Krivosheev, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for Europe and Central Asia, said:

“These allegations come from a credible source and as horrendous as they are, appear totally plausible for Chechnya, where the authorities enjoy complete  impunity for human rights violations.

“Amnesty International has documented the practice of extrajudicial executions in Chechnya and elsewhere in the North Caucasus for many years, and these allegations are consistent with our past findings. They must be investigated immediately, and if proven to be true, all perpetrators must be brought to justice.

“In addition, a full and thorough investigation needs to  be carried out into allegations of the secret imprisonment and torture and other ill-treatment of more than 100 gay men in Chechnya in April.

“The security forces cannot be allowed to get away with torture and murder simply because they wear the badge of the state.”

The Chechen government has denied allegations of a gay purge in the region, despite many victims coming forward to reveal their ordeals.
European leaders Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron have both raised the issue publicly during meetings with Vladimir Putin, and the UK government has also expressed concerns.
Activists in Russia say Chechen authorities have re-started the detaining of gay and bi men following on from a “gay purge” this year.
Now, according to Enrique Torre Molina of All Out, Chechens have contacted the Russian LGBT Network hotline to say that arrests are again being made once again.

These are the 27 men said to have been killed:

Abdulmezhidov Adam Isaevich, born May 27, 1987

Abumuslimov Apti Hasanovic, born June 2, 1989

Abdulkerimov Side Ramzan Ramzanovich, born March 25, 1990

Alimhanov Islam Aliev, born July 6, 1998

Abubakarov Adam Dzhabrailovich, born May 5, 1995

Bergan Ismail Shadidovich born August 19, 1998

Dasaev Adam Ilyasovich, born June 16, 1988

Dzhabayev Zelimhan Hizirovich, born December 18, 1993

Ilyasov Adam Huseynovich, born September 22, 1997

Lugano Rizwan Saeed-Hamzatovich, born September 13, 1987

Malikov Rizwan Agdanovich, born January 6, 1990

Musk ICYE Turpalovich, born July 19, 1988

Muskhanov Temirlan Ahmadovich, born April 28, 1986

Ozdiev Usman Vahaevich, born December 24, 1989

Rashidov Doc Ibrahimovic, born May 30, 1995

Siriev Magomed Musaevich, born February 23, 1993

Soltahmanov Ismail Ezer-Aliyev, born March 30, 1994

Suleymanov Magomed Arbievich, born January 3, 1987

Tuchaev Ahmed Ramzanovich, born February 23, 1987

Habu Khamzat Slaudinovich born February 14, 1993

Khakimov Alvi Aslambekovich, born November 16, 1992

Hamidov Shamil Ahmedovich, born November 14, 1986

Tsikmaev Sultanovich Ayoub, born April 2, 1984

Shapiev Muslim Isaevich, born November 28, 1989

Eskarbiev Sayhan Vahamsoltovich, born May 23, 1992

Yusupov Sahab Marshak, born January 19, 1990

Yusupov Shamhan Shayhovich, born June 17, 1988

Petitions:

UN: Stop the Kidnapping and Torture of Gay Men in Chechnya:

CHECHNYA: STOP ABDUCTING AND KILLING GAY MEN

References/Other Sources:

1.Russian authorities must investigate new allegations of extrajudicial executions in Chechnya. Amnesty International. Retrieved 12th July 2017.

2.Это была казнь. В ночь на 26 января в Грозном расстреляли десятки людей. Novaya Gazeta. Retrieved 12th July 2017.

3. Batchelor, Tom (1 May 2017). “Russian police round up LGBT activists demonstrating against persecution of gay men in Chechnya”The Independent. Retrieved 12th July 2017.

4.Kramer, Andrew E. (1 May 2017). “Russians Protesting Abuse of Gay Men in Chechnya Are Detained”The New York Times. Retrieved 12th July 2017.

5. “Information uncovered about a second prison for homosexuals in the Russian republic of Chechnya”

6.Smith, Lydia (10 April 2017). “Chechnya detains 100 gay men in first concentration camps since the Holocaust”International Business Times UK. Retrieved 16 April 2017.

7.Reynolds, Daniel (10 April 2017). “Report: Chechnya Is Torturing Gay Men in Concentration Camps”The Advocate. Retrieved 12 July2017.

8. Milashina, Elena (1 April 2017). “Murder of honor: the ambitions of a well-known LGBT activist awake a terrible ancient custom in Chechnya”. Retrieved 12 July 2017“Novaya Gazeta” became aware of mass detentions of residents of Chechnya in connection with their unconventional sexual orientation – or suspicion of such. At the moment, more than a hundred men have been informed of the detention. “Novaya Gazeta” knows the names of the three dead, but our sources say that there are many more victims.

9.Kramer, Andrew E. (1 April 2017). “Chechen Authorities Arresting and Killing Gay Men, Russian Paper Says”. Retrieved 12 July 2017 – via NYTimes.com.

10.Analysis – She broke the story of Chechnya’s anti-gay purge. Now, she says she has to flee Russia.”. Retrieved 12 July 2017.

11.“Reports Of New, Terrifying ‘Gay Concentration Camps’ Where Men Are Getting Tortured And Murdered”ELLE UK. 2017-04-13. Retrieved 12 July 2017.

12. Masha Gessen (3rd July 2017). The Gay Men Who Fled Chechnya’s Purge. New Yorker– Retrieved 12 July 2017.

13.Lizzie Dearden.Chechnya gay purge: Footage taken inside prison shows where men were ‘detained and tortured‘.The Independent. Retrieved 12th July 2017.

Featured Image Credit:A demonstrator holds up a picture depicting Russian President Vladimir Putin with make-up, during a protest by the gay community.Cris Toala Olivares/Reuters