Posts Tagged ‘arson’

Now arson attack on Memorial’s office in Ingushetia

January 17, 2018

Memorial / memohrc.org

Unknown arsonists wearing masks torched the office of Russia’s prominent human rights group Memorial in the North Caucasus republic of Ingushetia on 17 January in the morning. Security camera footage captured two masked men climbing into the organization’s office in the town of Nazran and setting three rooms on fire. The attack comes a week after the arrest of Oyub Tityev, the head of Memorial’s branch in Chechnya, on (fabricated) drug charges. [https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2018/01/15/chechen-human-rights-defender-oyub-titiev-arrested-on-trumped-up-charges/]

Amnesty International and Front Line (https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/profile/memorial) – amongst others – condemned the attach, while TASS reports that the Kremlin calls not to draw conclusions on oppression of human rights defenders in Chechnya. “I don’t think that it is right to draw such conclusions after the head of the Memorial Center’s Chechen branch was caught with drugs,” he said. “An investigation is underway, and only investigators are eligible to say if accusations are credible. We don’t believe it possible to draw any general conclusions in this case,” the Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peksov added. While commenting on the fire at the Memorial Center’s office in Ingushetia, Peskov said that “that is two different republics, two different regions of Russia.

https://themoscowtimes.com/news/masked-arsonists-torch-memorial-human-rights-office-in-north-caucasus-60201
http://tass.com/politics/985454

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-42718183

Why did so many assume B’Tselem fire was arson?

January 13, 2016

Further to my post about the pressure under which human rights defenders in Israel have to work [https://thoolen.wordpress.com/2016/01/05/michael-sfardjan-israels-human…] this post by Chelsey Berlin (B’Tselem USA) “The blaze at B’Tselem’s Jerusalem office was an accident, but many of us assumed it was arson”  is telling:

In “Why Did We Assume B’Tselem Fire Was Arson?” she explains the context:  …..”For months, the message that human rights defenders are the problem in Israel has been repeatedly delivered with sledgehammer strength: In Tirtzu’s video labeling four human rights activists, including B’Tselem Executive Director Hagai El-Ad, “moles”; the government’s ongoing legislative crusade against organizations receiving foreign government funding, and last Thursday’s sensationalized report on an Israeli TV news program that aired false accusations against a B’Tselem field researcher. All this is done to hide the dire situation they expose, the real evil, which is the occupation, the human rights violations it produces in the occupied Palestinian territories and the fascism increasingly required of Israel to maintain it.“….

(When news broke on 10 January 2015 of a fire at B’Tselem’s Jerusalem office most feared the worst: arson. Since then, the smoke has cleared — literally — and a preliminary investigation has been concluded. The Jerusalem fire brigade has announced that the cause of the fire was likely an electrical fault.)

Source: Why Did We Assume B’Tselem Fire Was Arson? – Opinion – Forward.com

Russia: Grozny Office of Joint Mobile Group, Russian MEA Laureate 2013, burnt and staff threatened

December 14, 2014

Igor Kalyapin at Press ConferenceAFP, Front Line, Human Rights Watch’  Moscow office report that the office of the Joint Mobile Group (JMG) in Grozny, Chechnya, was torched after they criticised the Kremlin-supported Chechen leader, Ramzan Kadyrov, who had called for collective punishment against families of Islamist insurgents (such as burning their houses). It is only the latest chapter in years of harassment and murder of human rights defenders investigating torture, kidnapping and war crimes in Chechnya. Read the rest of this entry »

Investigate Attacks Against Human Rights Defender Igor Sazhin and others in Russia

February 25, 2014

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Skyline_Parkway_Motel_Burned.jpg

(Photo Credit: SchuminWeb via Wikimedia Commons)

In ForceChange Avram Reisman posts an appeal to be signed asking President Putin of Russia to investigate attacks against human rights defenders. The background is that in early February 2014, human rights defender Igor Sazhin’s apartment was attacked by an unknown assailant. Video from Sazhin’s apartment building shows that the man set the rug outside his family’s apartment ablaze after dousing it with fuel. Despite Sizhan filing a complaint with the police immediately afterward, the police claim the attempted arson was not a crime and refuse to investigate. Sazhin is a founding member of the Komi Human Rights Commission, which has been consistently targeted by the ultra-nationalist group Northern Frontier. In May 2013, Northern Frontier attacked a meeting of the Human Rights Commission. In addition, they have posted the names and addresses of many local human rights defenders, including Sazhin.

The open letter asks President Putin to denounce any violent political actions as deplorable; without this official response, human rights defenders across Russia will be in implicitly acceptable targets for ultra-nationalists.

Investigate Attacks Against Human Rights Defender – ForceChange.