Russian – Chechen Friendship Society intends to continue its human rights work


Statement from the Society on the court ruling to close it down

On 23 January 2007 the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation upheld the ruling of the Nizhny Novgorod Regional Court to close down the Russian – Chechen Friendship Society. This means that as of yesterday, the ruling has come into effect and the organization, in accordance with Russian legislation, has ceased to exist.

We consider that the decision to close down the Society is a cynical mockery by the judiciary of our country of the Law, Russia’s international commitments and commonsense. Having exhausted all national judicial options, we will be seeking to defend our rights in the European Court of Human Rights.

We would also state that despite this ruling, the Russian – Chechen Friendship Society will continue its work aimed at promoting peaceful resolution of the armed conflict in the Northern Caucuses, human rights defence, bringing those responsible of grave violations of norms of humanitarian law to answer, and also providing humanitarian assistance to the most vulnerable groups of the population who have suffered from the war, especially children.

If the present Russian leadership therefore believes that the court ruling will force us to give up and go silent, they are seriously mistaken. On the contrary, we intend to increase our work and heighten its effectiveness. The guarantee of our success is the invaluable support we have received from many representatives of the public all over the world – from prominent politicians, scientists, philosophers, writers and public figures. This support also strengthens us in our conviction that we are on the right path.

We hereby notify that today (25 January) the procedure was completed in Finland for registering the civic organization “Russian – Chechen Friendship Society in Europe”.  This organization is the successor of the Russian – Chechen Friendship Society, which was closed down yesterday in Russia. Its founders are the Russian activists of the Society – Stanislav Dmitrievsky, Oksana Chelysheva and Tatyana Banina. The work of the Society in Russia and in Europe will continue under the auspices of the given legal entity, in close cooperation with Russian and foreign partners.

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