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Chechnya: women forced to wear a head scarf

Tuesday 28 September 2010, by siawi2

Source: Caucasian Knot, Tuesday, September the 28 th, 2010

Lukin asks GPO to check data about attacks on women without headscarves in Chechnya

Sep 24 2010, 22:00
Russian Ombudsman Vladimir Lukin has addressed his letter to the General Prosecutor’s Office (GPO) asking to investigate the facts of attacks on women, who appear in the streets without headscarves. The GPO says that they have not received Mr Lukin’s letter yet, while Nurdi Nukhazhiev, Ombudsman in Chechnya, rejects any attacks on women in his republic whatsoever.

Vladimir Lukin notes in his letter placed on his personal website that according to mass media dozens of women have already suffered from such attacks. “Shooting at them is usually accompanied by offensive shouting,” says the document, where the Ombudsman asks to check up, whether such facts had really taken place.

The letter is addressed to Ivan Sydoruk, Deputy General Public Prosecutor.

When asked why Mr Lukin addressed the GPO only in September, the Ombudsman’s office answered that they have reacted “as soon as respective complaints arrived”; however, they failed to specify who had sent the complaints.

The GPO asserts that they have not received Mr Lukin’s letter dated September 22 yet; therefore, no check of the above facts has been initiated, the “Gazeta.Ru” writes.

As reported by Tatiana Lokshina, deputy director of the Moscow office of the Human Rights Watch (HRW), who has recently returned from Grozny, her organization had been receiving information about persecutions of women appearing in the street with uncovered head all the summer long. However, according to her story, shooting from paintball rifles at local residents has stopped.

She said that schoolmasters are inviting parents both of senior pupils and schoolgirls of elementary grades, who go to schools with uncovered head, for conversations and urge them that the initiative that girls should wear headscarves in schools “comes down from the very top.”

Minkail Ezhiev, Chairman of the Human Rights Centre of Chechnya, has stated that the problem of headscarves “is old for Chechnya,” “but passions were especially hot in June.” “We then went to the venues, talked to the victims who had been paint-balled and met activists of other human rights organizations. After the problem had been discussed at the Public Chamber of Chechnya, it received a broad public resonance; and attacks stopped,” he said.

Human rights activists welcome Russian Ombudsman’s letter to the GPO, but are afraid that it can not give results, as public prosecutors will send the official answer in which also will specify that any complaints of a similar sort did not act.

Let us note here that Nurdi Nukhazhiev, Ombudsman in Chechnya, refutes the information about attacks in Chechnya on women without headscarves.

When asked whether there is a decree in Chechnya forbidding women to appear in public places without headscarves, Mr Nukhazhiev said on the air of the “Echo Moskvy” Radio station: “Nobody would ever dare to issue such legal document.”

See earlier reports: “Bareheaded women in Chechnya were not admitted to a party,” “HRW: women in Chechnya are instructed how to dress,” “Grozny: eyewitnesses report abduction of”improperly dressed“girl,” “Chechen women tell Spanish paper about”hunting“for women without headscarves,” “Studio of design and fashion to be opened in capital of Chechnya.”