Russian Federation: Attack against Mr. Bakhrom Khamroev
URGENT APPEAL - THE OBSERVATORY
RUS 004 / 0611 / OBS 087
June 8, 2011
The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in the Russian Federation.
Description of the situation:
The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about the attack against Mr. Bakhrom Khamroev, member of the Human Rights Centre "Memorial".
According to the information received, on June 6, 2011, around 6.30 p.m., Mr. Bakhrom Khamroev was on his way home, where he was supposed to take his luggage to travel to Murmansk, where he had planned to meet Mr. Yusip Kasymakhunov in detention.
As Mr. Bakhrom Khamroev arrived in front of his building, he noticed an unknown man, who called somebody on the phone when he saw him, as if it was to announce he had arrived. As Mr. Bakhrom Khamroev entered his building, he noticed that another man was standing between the first and the second floor, near the mail boxes. The latter seemed to be waiting for him. Then a third man, wearing leather gloves, went out from the lift and started to hit Mr. Bakhrom Khamroev violently with his fists and feet without saying a word. The man standing near the mail boxes subsequently joined him. One of them sprayed Mr. Bakhrom Khamroev's face with a chemical product, so he could not open his eyes anymore. After the aggressors left the place, Mr. Bakhrom Khamroev managed to reach his apartment and his wife called the emergency services.
An ambulance took Mr. Khamroev to a nearby hospital, where he underwent first-aid treatment before returning back home. At 10 p.m., the Department of Interior Affairs was informed of the attack. Then, between 10.30 p.m. and 11.00 p.m., the Head of the Investigation Service of the Direction of Interior Affairs of the South-East Area of Moscow arrived on the scene with his team and inspected the place. A criminal case will be opened.
Mr. Bakhrom Khamroev had already been the target of a violent attack in December 7, 2010 by security forces in Moscow, as he had arrived to an apartment where the authorities were carrying a "special operation" against Central Asia migrants, officially searching for "religious literature" in the framework of the so-called fight against terrorism and extremism. A criminal case had been subsequently opened, but no responsible has reportedly been identifed as of issuing this urgent appeal.
The Observatory strongly condemns this assault and fears that it was an organised ambush to sanction his human rights activities in favour of migrants. More generally, the Observatory is deeply concerned about the ongoing hindrances to the activities of human rights defenders in the Russian Federation.
Please write to the authorities of Russian Federation, urging them to:
i. Guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of Mr. Bakhrom Khamroev as well as of all members of Human Rights Centre "Memorial" and all human rights defenders in the Russian Federation;
ii. Order a thorough, impartial and transparent investigation into the above mentioned facts in order to identify all those responsible, bring them before a civil competent and impartial tribunal and apply to them the penal sanctions provided by the law;
iii. Put an end to any act of harassment against Mr. Bakhrom Khamroev as well as against all members of Human Rights Centre "Memorial" and all human rights defenders in the Russian Federation, and ensure in all circumstances that they are able to carry out their legitimate activities without any hindrance and fear of reprisals;
iv. Comply with the provisions of the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted by the UN General Assembly on December 9, 1998, especially:
- its Article 1, which states that “everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, to promote and to strive for the protection and realisation of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the national and international levels”,
- and Article 12.2, which provides that “the State shall take all necessary measures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually and in association with others, against any violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of the rights referred to in the present Declaration”;
v. Comply with the provisions of the Declaration of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on the protection of human rights defenders and the promotion of their activities, and in particular with Article 2.i), in which the Committee calls on member States to “create an environment conducive to the work of human rights defenders, enabling individuals, groups and associations to freely carry out activities, on a legal basis, consistent with international standards, to promote and strive for the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms without any restrictions other than those authorised by the European Convention on Human Rights;
vi. More generally, ensure in all circumstances the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and with international and regional human rights instruments ratified by the Russian Federation.
- Mr. Dmitri Medvedev, President of the Russian Federation, Ilinka Str, 23, Moscow, 103132, Moscow, Russian Federation, Faxes:+ 7 495 606 5173 / 630 2408
- Minister of Internal Affairs, Mr. Rashid Nurgaliev, ul. Zhitnaya, 16, 117049 Moscow, Russian Federation, Telegram: Rossiia, 117049, Moskva, Fax: + 7 495 637 49 25
- Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Sergey Lavrov, Smolenskaya-Sennaya pl, 32/34, 121200 Moscow, Russian Federation, Telegram: Fax:+ 7 495 644 2203
- Mr. Alexander Ivanovich Bastrykin, Chairman of the Investigations Committee of the Russian Federation, Building 28, house 15, Naberezhnaya Akademika Tupoleva, Moscow, 105005, Russia, Tel: + 7 495 640 10 48
- Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations in Geneva Av. de la Paix 15, CH-1211, Geneva 20, Switzerland, e-mail : email@example.com, Fax: +4122 734 40 44
- Embassy of the Russian Federation in Brussels, 31-33 boulevard du Régent, 1000 Brussels, Belgium, Fax: + 32 2 513 76 49.
Please also write to the diplomatic mission or embassy of the Russian Federation in your respective country.
Paris-Geneva, June 8, 2011
Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.
To contact the Observatory, call the emergency line:
· Tel and fax FIDH + 33 (0) 1 43 55 20 11 / +33 1 43 55 18 80
- Tel and fax OMCT + 41 (0) 22 809 49 39 / + 41 22 809 49 29