An unidentified assailant viciously attacked a representative of Memorial, Russia’s leading human rights group, on March 28, 2018, Human Rights Watch said today:
Sirazhutdin Datsiev (left), the head of the Memorial office in Dagestan was hospitalized with a head injury. Russian authorities should promptly and thoroughly investigate the attack and punish those responsible.
The Memorial Human Rights Center director Oleg Orlov, and the analyst for the Hot Spots Program at Memorial, Vladimir Malikhin, told Human Rights Watch that Datsiev was leaving for work at about 9:30 a.m. when he noticed a car with tinted windows parked near his apartment building. He passed the car, then heard rapid footsteps behind him, and was hit on the back of the head with a heavy object, causing him to fall….
Human Rights Watch has documented a series of brazen attacks in recent months apparently directed at silencing Memorial and forcing it to end its human rights work in the North Caucasus region. The authorities have yet to effectively investigate the attacks.
“This cowardly attack can only be regarded as part of the ongoing harassment campaign against Memorial’s work in the North Caucasus region,” said Yulia Gorbunova, Europe and Central Asia researcher at Human Rights Watch.