Russian rights defender attacked in Chechnya


A mob of unidentified people attacked a leading Russian human rights defender on March 16, 2016, in Chechnya, Human Rights Watch said today:

The attackers hit Igor Kalyapin, head of an independent Russian human rights group called the Committee for the Prevention of Torture, as he was leaving his hotel in Grozny, the capital. They also pelted him with eggs, and threw flour and bright antiseptic liquid on him, which stained his face and clothes. The attack came a week after a group of masked men brutally beat six journalists and two members of Kalyapin’s group traveling together from neighboring Ingushetia to Chechnya.

“The attack on Igor Kalyapin shows again that it’s open season on human rights defenders in Chechnya,” said Hugh Williamson, Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch.

Transitions Online adds: A lawyer for the Committee for the Prevention of Torture tweeted that 15 attackers “beat” and “threw eggs” at Kalyapin as he left the Grozny Citi Hotel, where he had planned to meet Chechen human rights activist Kheda Saratova, The Moscow Times reported.

According to Russian independent news site MediaZona, at about 7:30 pm on the night of the incident an administrator at the hotel had gone to Kalyapin’s room – accompanied by armed policemen – and told him he had to leave because of the “unpleasant things” Kalyapin had said about Chechnya’s leader.

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