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First Chechen president's widow protects Georgian human rights activist

Politics Materials 16 June 2010 22:46
Alla Dudayeva, the widow of the first Chechen president Dzhokhar Dudayev, asks the European human rights organizations and the European Court on Human Rights to protect the rights of a citizen of Georgia and Russia George Zaridze, who protests the decision of the Bulgarian court for extradition to Russia.
First Chechen president's widow protects Georgian human rights activist

Georgia, Tbilisi, June 16 /Trend, N.Kirtskhalia/

Alla Dudayeva, the widow of the first Chechen president Dzhokhar Dudayev, asks the European human rights organizations and the European Court on Human Rights to protect the rights of a citizen of Georgia and Russia George Zaridze, who protests the decision of the Bulgarian court for extradition to Russia.

Living in Tbilisi Alla Dudayeva today sent a letter with the petition to Freedom House (New York), Human Rights Watch (London), Amnesty Internetional (London) and the European Court on Human Rights (Strasbourg).
In her letter Alla Dudayeva pointed out that "if George Zaridze is extradited to Russia, there is a high probability of Zaridze's being subjected to torture, inhuman and degrading treatment and other violations of his rights."

"George Zaridze participated in the campaign for human rights in Chechnya, criticizing the policies of Russia. Now the Russian authorities want to curb his activities by deprivation of liberty," Alla Dudayeva told reporters.

According to her, George Zaridze was forced to leave Russia in 2007, during an anti-Georgian campaign of the Russian authorities. In home land, he acquired the citizenship of Georgia, organized a sports and travel company and since then has not returned to Russia.

Dudayeva said in Georgia, Zaridze also conducted public activities, cooperated with the media outlets and Internet publications that criticized the Kremlin's policies in the Caucasus and in Chechnya. He became one of the organizers of the photo exhibition "The Chronicles of Hell" held in Tbilisi in 2009, which tells about terror and violence of the Russian armed forces in Chechnya.

"During the preparation and organization of the exhibition, Zaridze closely contacted with me and the owner of media companies, human rights activist Sergei Melnikov. George was going to make a presentation of the exhibition in the U.S. and Europe, and for this purpose, he went to Bulgaria, where was immediately detained by border guards after crossing the border on the basis of request of the Russian side," said Alla Dudayeva.

According to her, George Zaridze never hidden, he knew nothing about the criminal case against him in Russia and that he was searched. "I am confident that Russia's accusations of swindling were fabricated, in fact he is persecuted for his political beliefs," said Alla Dudayeva.

May 10, 2010 the Regional Court of the Bulgarian city of Haskovo decided to extradite Zaridze. Protection could not get an opportunity to collect and present evidence to either National or to Appeal Court despite that the Russian side has not presented evidence that Zaridze's rights were protected and guaranteed in the criminal case.
Bulgarian Lawyers for Human Right Law Company, which represents the interests of George Zaridze at the request of his relatives, filed a complaint to the European Court on Human Rights (Zaridze against Bulgaria N31243/10) with the requirement to suspend the extradition.

8 June, the European Court made a decision to temporarily suspend extradition and requested additional information. The final decision should be made June 30. There is a risk that under pressure of Russia, the Bulgarian leadership will make extradition to Russia that will be a clear violation of human rights," says Alla Dudayeva's letter to international human rights organizations.

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