ACPC Weekly News UPDATE
May 3, 2010 – May 9, 2010

Explosions overshadow Victory Day celebrations in the North Caucasus

A series of explosions, including a suicide attack, killed three people and left at least 18 civilians and police officers injured last week, despite heightened security measures leading up to the Victory Day celebrations on May 9. On Monday, May 3, militants, armed with automatic weapons and grenade launchers, attacked a police checkpoint located on the outskirts of Nazran in Ingushetia, injuring 11 police officers. In the neighboring republic of Dagestan, an explosion at a train station in the southern city of Derbent on May 7, killed one passenger and injured eight others, including three policemen. Two days later on May 9, two soldiers were killed in the coastal city of Kaspiysk during Victory Day festivities. One of the soldiers was killed by a suicide bomber when his vehicle exploded near a military outpost. The attacks brought back tragic memories of the deadly 2002 Victory Day terrorist attack in Kaspiysk, when a powerful blast killed and injured almost 200 people.

Additionally, two bombs were defused in the capital of Dagestan, Makhachkala, according to the authorities, while in Chechnya, officials reported that a supposed suicide bomber was killed when he attempted to detonate an explosive device after being stopped by the security services. Another explosion on May 9 destroyed a convenience store in the republic of Kabardino-Balkaria, but no casualties were reported in the incident.
 
Related articles:

Russia foils ‘major terror act’ in Caucasus: report
Agence-France Press, May 9, 2010

Eleven police injured in grenade attack on S. Russian police station
RIA Novosti, May 3, 2010


Experts weigh in on Russia’s troubling human rights situation at U.S. Congress hearing

On Thursday, May 6, the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission held a public hearing on the human rights situation in Russia and the escalation in violence and reports of rights abuses in the North Caucasus. The Co-Chairman of the commission, James P. McGovern (D-MA), heard testimonies from a distinguished panel of experts and human rights activists who voiced concern about the state of press freedom and the murder of journalists, corruption in the legal system, an increasingly dangerous environment for activists and the overall deterioration of the human rights situation in the Russian Federation and the North Caucasus region, in particular.

The 2009 U.S. State Department human rights report on Russia named the North Caucasus region “an area of particular concern” and pointed to continued reports of “killing, torture, abuse, violence, politically motivated abductions and other brutal or humiliating treatment” by local and federal security forces. The panelists called for the need for continued dialogue and emphasis on intolerance of human rights abuse in bilateral discussion between U.S. and Russian government officials.

Related articles:

At Lantos commission, CPJ details Russian press climate

The Committee to Protect Journalists, May 6, 2010

Country report on human rights practices in Russia
U.S. Department of State, March 11, 2010


Daily news from the region available at  http://www.peaceinthecaucasus.org/.
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