Göttingen/Dresden, 10. Oktober 2006
A few minutes before the Russian President Vladimir Putin was due to pass by the protest campaign of the Society for Threatened Peoples (GfbV) in Dresden the police wanted to remove the banner of the human rights organisation, which measured three metres by four. When the participants protested and said that they would have to remove it by force the head of the police unit, Herr Stein, pulled the GfbV leader of the demonstration, Sandra Bremer, roughly to one side and only let her go several metres away. Since however the federal government had not made out a charge on the grounds of insulting the Russian President, the banner was finally allowed to remain in place.
The non-violent vigil of the GfbV had been applied for in the proper way, permission had been given and for almost two hours it had taken place under the eyes of the police without any objections. On the banner of the GfbV there was a picture of Putin: in front was the mask with the harmlessly smiling face and behind could be seen the evil face of terror and violence. Next to the drawing stood in giant letters: "Mr President, you are bringing death to Chechnya!"
"While the former KGB officer in Dresden, Putin, puts in at his old place of work an appearance as the wily representative of the Russian economy, in Chechnya thousands of people are being abducted every day, they are being tortured and murdered", said the accompanying press release of the GfbV, which with this campaign wanted to draw attention to the continuing suffering of the Chechnyan civilian population. Putin could put an end to this genocide, which his predecessor Yeltsin began ten years ago and which has to date claimed 160,000 victims. However he is protecting the present Prime Minister of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, whose militia is responsible for some 75 percent of the severe violations of human rights in Chechnya and has not been brought to justice.
The GfbV also emphasised in its statement the demand for a stringent investigation into the circumstances of the murder of the Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya last Saturday in Moscow. Putin must remove the suspicion that Russian secret agents were involved with the object of getting rid of this tenacious critic of the regime. Although Politkovskaya has been threatened for many years she always reported fearlessly in the "Novaya Gazeta"on the most serious violations of human rights in Chechnya. Yesterday an article by her on torture. in the small Caucasian republic was due to be published in that newspaper.
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