German NGO protests visit by Chechnyan leaders

7th April 2005, Comments 0 comments

7 April 2005, GOETTINGEN - A leading German human rights group on Thursday protested plans for a visit to the upcoming Hanover Fair by Chechnyan President Alu Alkhanov and Deputy Premier Ramsan Kadyrov, calling the two men "suspected war criminals".

7 April 2005

GOETTINGEN - A leading German human rights group on Thursday protested plans for a visit to the upcoming Hanover Fair by Chechnyan President Alu Alkhanov and Deputy Premier Ramsan Kadyrov, calling the two men "suspected war criminals".

The Goettingen-based Society for Threatened Peoples (GfbV) sent an open letter to Lower Saxony Premier Christian Wulff demanding that he make it clear to the public that the two Chechnyan leaders were unwelcome in the state. Hanover is the capital of Lower Saxony.

The GfbV protest came three days before German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and Russian president Vladimir Putin were due to open the Hanover Fair, with both Alkhanov and Kadyrov also due to attend.

The group said Schroeder and Putin were permitting themselves "to be accompanied by two suspected war criminals".

Alkhanov came to power in August 2004 "under the bayonets of the Russian army", while Kadyrov maintains his own private army which was responsible for 70 percent of the murders, rapes, torture and kidnappings in Chechnya, the GfbV charged.

The protest letter came as human rights groups announced plans to hold a vigil in Hanover to protest against the visit by the two Chechnyan leaders.

DPA

Subject: German news

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