Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Artillery Fire in Serzhen-Yurt

Via Prague Watchdog (my tr.):

Around 80 houses in Serzhen-Yurt damaged by artillery fire

By Ruslan Isayev

CHECHNYA – Around 80 private houses in the village of Serzhen-Yurt have suffered damage of various kinds as a result of artillery fire by Russian soldiers located in the outskirts of the city of Shali, about 25 kilometres southeast of Grozny. Cracks have appeared in the walls of all the houses, some in the foundations. This was recently reported to Prague Watchdog by Imran Ezhiyev, director of the North Caucasus section of the Russian-Chechen Friendship Society.

Throughout the entire summer the residents of Serzhen-Yurt have been subjected to a very high level of stress caused by the firing. “Each shell flew across the whole village, so we could even hear the sound as it went, and then exploded in the forested area close by. Sometimes this went on all night. No one in the village could get any sleep, and some people went down to their basements until the shelling stopped,” Imran Ezhiyev says.

Only after lengthy negotiations was it possible to make the soldiers halt these sporadic firings. The village residents now plan to create a commission, and to take legal action against the soldiers for the damage that has been caused.

Imran Ezhiyev says that the authorities don’t welcome his activity. “They have told me many times that we – the human rights workers – are the same kind of people as Anna Politkovskaya. We don’t understand what they’re accusing us of. I mean, by asking that the law be observed, I’m helping the authorities in their primary task – the observance of laws and human rights,” the human rights worker says in perplexity. He is approached almost daily by people complaining about all kinds of violations of their rights.

Translated by David McDuff.

Post a Comment