Human Rights Council turns to Prosecutor over detention of Beslan mothers

posted 21 Sept 2016, 13:04 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 21 Sept 2016, 13:12 ]
5 September 2016


The Presidential Human Rights Council is to address the Prosecutor’s Office over the detention of mothers, whose children were killed in the 2004 terrorist attack in Beslan, who took part in a protest.

“Members of the Council are planning to prepare an appeal to the Prosecutor’s Office because in their view the actions of the protesters did not constitute a crime. The right to express views and opinions should be protected,” the Human Rights Council said in a statement published on its website.

In addition Novaya gazeta reports that comments by individual members of the Human Rights Council on the incident were also published on the Council’s website.

“I think that what happened in Beslan [in 2004] was a disgrace for the authorities, regional and federal. Yes, the authorities want to forget that day, but those mothers who have lost their children will never let the authorities forget what happened 12 years ago,” Elena Masyuk wrote.

“I completely agree that we need to support the mothers of Beslan and express our outrage at the fact that they have faced penalties under administrative law. But the demand to bring those police officers who detained them to justice is, I think, wrong. There are no grounds for such a demand,” said Igor Kalyapin, the chairman of the Committee for the Prevention of Torture.

On 1 September 2016 in Beslan police detained the mothers of six children who had been taken hostage and died during the terrorist attack in Beslan. They had taken part in a protest wearing T-shirts with accusations against the President of Russia written on them. The court sentenced the women to 20 hours of compulsory community service.

As Novaya gazeta has reported, the following women participated in the protest: Ella Kesaeva (her daughter Zarina was a hostage), Emma Betrozova (her husband Ruslan, and sons 16-year-old Alan and 14-year-old Aslan, died), Zhanna Tsirikhova (she was held hostage along with her two daughters, one of whom, 8-year-old Elizaveta Tsirikhova, died), Svetlana Margieva (she was held hostage with her daughter Elvira who died in her arms) and Emiliya Bzarova (her two sons, husband and mother-in-law were in the school, and her 9-year-old son Aslan Dzasarov died).

Translated by Kate Goodby