A free interpretation of extremism


An international forum in memory of Anna Politkovskaya has been prevented in Nizhny Novgorod (Russia).  The Russian State Bank Vneshtorgbank has refused to transfer an American grant for holding the conference on the grounds that the organizers of the event were on the “blacklist” of terrorist and extremist organizations.

The forum which was supposed to begin on Friday 5 October was organized by the Nizhny Novgorod Foundation to Support Tolerance.  According to one of the organizers, human rights defender Stanislav Dmitrievsky, the Foundation was planning to hold roundtables with victims of so-called “cleansing operations” in Chechnya and of terrorist acts.

The financial assistance from the USA was to pay travel and accommodation expenses for the participants in the conference.

The above-mentioned list of terrorist and extremist organizations is put today by the Russian Federal Financial Monitoring Service which was headed by Viktor Zubkov until the latter’s recent appointment as Prime Minister.

Anna Politkovskaya was murdered in Moscow on 7 October 2006. Among other themes, she investigated human rights violations in Chechnya, including those by the Russian enforcement structures and their Chechen allies. .

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