Rule of Law Institute
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BROWN DAWN OVER THE BLACK SOIL- THE CASE OF THE KRASNODAR THREE

  
Latest News from Krasnodar:

Larisa is free. Comrades from Krasnodar report: "one of the judges who took part in the cassational trial on regional level, has expressed his own opinion and sent a complaint to regional court presidium. The latter accepted it. The Presidium cancelled the verdict of 20 July by administering punishment not connected with imprisoning. That means a suspended sentence: It's still hard to say who has rendered such a service. The lawyer says: "We do work". But that can be also a FSB intrigue, or maybe, in fact, the objectivity of one of the judges from the Presidium or something else. Anyway, we hope that it's not a false report and Larisa will soon meet her kinsfolk, friends and comrades in arms. And her little daughter will soon see the world as it is for the first time.

OTHER NEWS: The last mailradek told about the arrest of the Anti-nuclear campaign director Vladimir Slivyak. It's known, the militioners who refused to call their names were forcing him to tell where is Jacov Kochkarev, who was a defense's witness during the "Krasnodar case". Kochkarev (who was at Slivyak's when the latter got arrested) was taken the same day. He's still imprisoned and is accused in transporting drugs. We definitely know, he didn't have any, and suppose the cops gave him the same marijuana package which they promised to "find" in Slivyak's bag. FSB which is investigating the latest explosions at Moscow was, probably, trying to work out several versions, so Pimenov first, and than Slivyak and Kochkarev were the victims of such "work". This all makes even the news about the "real" Tchetchen terrorsists successfully "found" very doubtful.

The Russian Helsinki group of human rights defense is gonna pay for the Kochkarev's lawyer's work. Slivyak plans to provoke a case against the militioners who tried to arrest him.

Dmitrii Pimenov and Avdei Ter-Oganyan are in Prague, they're going to look for a political asyl. The personal site of Dmitrii Pimenov has been deleted by the personal order of internet provider 's director.

Source: Mailradek

LARISA'S LETTER TO COMRADES FROM INVESTIGATION CELL

Hi to my dear friends and all people who feel worried about the "Krasnodar epopee". I'm writing after a show performed by the court which resulted in my imprisonment. Since the court session was open, many people could watch the case disintegrating - all their fake evidences were clearly seen. Nepshikuyev had changed his testimonial statements again (now he refuses the fact that he intended to blow up Kondrat's office - he wanted just to blow something up, for fun); Randina, who was transferred to witnesses, claims to have received some parcel (containing those damned grenades) at my place from some people whom she doesn't remember since she was in state of intoxication, and I (Larisa) was asleep at that time; witness Platonov has testified the fact of oppression brought upon him by FSB and judge Osipenko: and things of the kind. Material evidences from my apartment were also produced: soldering irons, wires, a dirty finger-size empty can - the very can from which the dreaded experts have managed to get 2 grammes of explosive materials (they must have scraped it): I'm not going to describe all that fuss - let the eye-witnesses do that - the Muscovites and Krasnodarians who came to support me.

I also had many and not always pleasant contacts with the media. At first I didn't want that, but FSB continued to badger my family even after the end of the trial: threatening my mother and step-father, searching my relatives, trying to falsely charge my husband Ilya Romanov, interrogating and tracing my lawyer Markelov. At the same time, just as I expected, the secret police began searching through the leftist radicals. I only established contacts with the media because these rascals are like roaches hiding in their holes in the light, and i wanted to denounce FSB, their ways and also to show that there's something in the world that they cannot either crush or suppress. Moreover, i openly proclaimed my anarcho-communist ideas. In the freedom, together with other materials about the gathered by me, all these things are presented in the rough copy of my last word. I hope that the people who possess these papers will publish it together with this letter.

The "just and democratic" result was my 4 years sentence, and 3 years for Nepshikuyev. By the way, here's a good lesson for all the future "nepshikuyevs" actively cooperating with court. What about me, i'm pretty fed up with my relatives' tears and liberal-democratic snivel. I have to survive both physically and morally, thus fighting on.

Then i had to spend some hours in the escort truck outside the jailhouse - the prison authorities didn't want me, because, according to the law, they cannot take pregnant women after 28 weeks (i had 32 at the moment). The escort was already going to take me to 1st department, and then to Ust-Labinsk to Camp 3. I liked that, for i couldn't even think of returning to the jailhouse. But suddenly some important Krasnodarian man - colonel Afanasiev - called and by personal order made the doctors take me to the temporary investigation cell, directly violating the law. So now I'm writing from the jailhouse infirmary. At first I had some confrontation with the cell inspector, but then it all settled up in a few days - I try not to quarrel, but neither I let oppress me. Now i'm occupying a good place - the lower berth near the table. My comrades had aided by the third day, so i'm quite accustomed now. Our cell is a transit one, so we don't have much time to sleep, we receive and send jail-mail: letters and parcels between cells and buildings. There's a crazy woman in our cell, she's in a constant hysterics, she's urinating uncontrollably and stays awake for two days in a row. We all have trouble with her. Most of my cellmates are having their second sentence, so we're keeping the cell in order; there are no lesbians, we guard the cell and contribute our belongings to the common stock. The life is more free, compared to FSB penitentiaries - food is easy to get, we communicate through the personnel (prisoners who perform small services for keeping the jailhouse). The men support us a little by sending tea, cigarettes and candies. But at the same time i see people disintegrating of cancer, gangrene, sepsis. There are no remedies, and the local doctors can't even take a blood sample. Outing walks are 20-30 minutes long, the people are choking in their cells.

The media, cops and politicians describe those who are imprisoned as marginal elements and criminals, and the pseudo-leftist weenies call them lumpens. But they are our people - humiliated and oppressed. All the workers whom they deprived of their rights, work, wages; and thus they are forced to commit small crimes to feed their families, their kids. Yes, the rules of life here are hard, and even cruel, but there is also real mutual aid - when people give their medicines to those who feel even worse and those who have nothing; when they altogether declare a boycott against the authorities' illegal treatment etc. But those who don't care about their people, who doesn't know about their needs and sorrows, will never fell the class hatred and the necessity of revolutionary violence. Aesthetes refined and fed by authorities can only declare abstract humanism and personal rights without even understanding what it is, and without knowing that there will be constant humiliation and oppression, until the system of state terrorizing. But it is impossible to bring down the system without physical extermination of those who support this system: politicians, cops and other scum, who will never give away the power at will. I'm writing these lines - not just writing, i suffered it - the terror that is brought by anyone possessing power to any common man.

I perfectly understand that these ideas can only be supported by the minority, even among the leftists; moreover, even those who perform "leftist protection" do think of me as of someone suffering the complex of inferiority; the others even call me a provocateur among "normal" leftists. Let them be - i follow my own way, i hope that the leftists are going to have some social roots sometime, and there will be more and more people, whose life and fate are unbreakably connected both to social revolutionary processes and to their own people.

I hope that the letter will be published together with the last word, partially if necessary. I also want my second letter from the FSB investigation cell to be published together with the large article.

26.07.99,
Revolutionary hails from Larisa Romanova
- translation: Alexey Kovalev

No Mercy for Anarchists in Krasnodar

- COURT ANNOUNCES PRISON SENTENCE,
REFUSES AMNESTY

On July 20 Pervomaysky district court in Krasnodar, South Russia, finally made a ruling concerning the case of anarchists arrested several month ago. The prison sentence for two anarchists was unexpectedly harsh, especially because one of them, a woman  8 month pregnant now, is subject to amnesty which is valid until the end of the year.

By the end of the investigation (end of May)  the situation for the three arrested people - Maria Randina, Larisa Schiptsova and Gennady Nepshikuyev - seemed to be improving. Charges against Maria Randina were dropped and she became a witness, not  an accused in this case. All of the three arrested were freed from prison until the court hearings. The investigators failed to present charges of establishing a criminal group and terrorism, it was obvious that the "case" is likely to be ruined in court due to lack of evidence other than Nepshikuyev's statements. Larisa Schiptsova and Gennady Nepshikuyev were facing charges of possession and transportation of explosives, Schiptsova was also charged with possession of cannabis.

At the same time all pledges to free Schiptsova from FSB (ex-KGB) prison were ignored, in spite of the fact that she is now 8 months pregnant. Her lawyer, Stanislav Markelov, attracted too much interest from the FSB - he was illegally spied on (and tapes were incorporated into the materials of the investigation - rather normal violation of the law, by Russian standards). On June 28 he was also interrogated in Moscow by FSB officers concerning the bombing of FSB offices in April this year.

On July 12 the court hearings started in Krasnodar. The prosecutor asked for 6 years of imprisonment for Schiptsova and 7 years for Nepshikuyev, but the lawyers of the accused were hoping to get a softer sentence and get amnesty for Larisa due to her pregnancy. The court failed to listen to all of the witnesses, while the main witness- Maria Randina - retrieved her earlier testimonies and denied that it was Larisa who gave her the explosive device. The court took a break on July 14 only to hear Larisa's last statement and announce its verdict on July 20. Pledges for amnesty were refused by the court, contrary to the regulations of the amnesty bill, which is valid until December this year.

On July 20 the court announced its ruling - 4 years of imprisonment in a prison camp for Larisa Schiptsova and 3 years for Gennady Nepshikuyev, no amnesty or postponement of the sentence is provided. Lawyers plan to make an appeal against the ruling of the court in the next few days, meanwhile a press conference is being organized.

The prison sentence for Schiptsova and Nepshikuyev was announced the same day a notorious Russian journalist Grigory Pasko was freed from KGB prison in Vladivostok, Far East. The two cases were very similar in some respects, namely the fact that the KGB was trying to charge the accused with serious crimes ("terrorism" in case of the Krasnodar 3, "betrayal of the country" in case of Pasko - for reporting information on nuclear waste in the Russian Pacific Navy), but failed to present these charges in court. Nevertheless, once captured and imprisoned, the accused didn't have a chance for being acquitted - KGB and the procurator's office never admit "mistakes" and instead present weaker charges and a softer sentence. Pasko was charged with violations of his responsibilities, sentenced to 3 years, amnestied and freed. He also had the fortune of having public opinion on his side and extensive media coverage. The anarchists arrested in Krasnodar made it to newspapers and TV programs to a much lesser extent and mainly at the time of the opening of the trial. Not a single nationwide paper reported the court ruling the next day after it was pronounced (July 21), that means that the people campaigning on their behalf should put an extra effort into making the public know about the unjust prison sentence.

The Case of the Krasnodar Three

"THE PLOT"

 It all started in a very familiar way. On November 28, 1998 at Krasnodar railway station the cops apparently disliked the way several young anarchist punks looked and the fact that they drank vine in public. A search followed and some explosives were found in the bag of Gennady Nepshikuyev. Police has arrested him and 2 other people, namely Maria Randina and Jan Musel, a Czech citizen. Jan was released after a while on the insistence of the Czech consulate, Gennady and Maria remained under arrest.

 Little if any information is available on what happened between their arrest in November and February 2, when two more searches in the flats of anarchists were conducted by FSB (successor of KGB) in Moscow and a third person, Larisa Schiptsova, was arrested. On this very day Vlad Tupikin, a Moscow-based anarchist whose house was searched and documents and computer confiscated, was asked by the FSB whether he knows of Shiptsova's attitude towards "national policy of governor Kondratenko". That's when the anarchists began to understand that they are part of the great Zionist design to overthrow the beloved governor of Krasnodar, whom the region's dwellers refer to as "batka Kondrat" (father Kondrat). This was just a first sign that the paranoid anti-Semitic governor and his lackeys are looking forward to present the case as an attempt on his life. The plot to assasinate Kondratenko will become just another minor detail (although nobody knows to which proportions it can be blown) of his own policy to blame everything on Jewish and other conspiracies.

 Nikolai Kondratenko became notorious after he made public chauvinistic and anti-Semitic statements on the regional TV (later aired on the national channel as well) and his support of regional Nazis became widely-known (Russia's largest fascist party, Russian National Unity, or RNE, operates legally in Krasnodar). Southern Russia is a fertile ground for Russian nationalism, with Cossack militias, who are usually racist and anti-Semitic and who are actively trying to arm themselves and get some legal status (the same as RNE, the Cossacks usually work together with police in patrolling the streets and fighting "people of Caucasian nationality").

 For the Krasnodar anarchists it should have been little surprise that their comrades became the targets of Kondratenko's paranoid search for enemies. Kuban Anarchist Federation (FAK) was almost the only political group in the region to have the guts to openly demonstrate against nationalist policies of Kondratenko and the thugs of RNE. Local anarchists had a few fights with the Nazis and constantly received threats of murder. Maria Randina knew it too well - she was the most active anarchist to resist the establishment of nazi-controlled University police in Krasnodar (for which she was thrown out of the Krasnodar Uni). Besides that for a few years now Krasnodar anarchists were under close surveillance of the regional FSB, which was also due to the active anti- fascist stance.

 Although the 3 persons arrested to this date are formally charged with transportation and possession of explosives, and no charges of terrorism and establishing a criminal group were presented to them, the regional papers controlled by the governor reported that an attempt to kill him was prevented. Kondratenko himself is reported by the press to be telling that the terrorists were going to plant a bomb into his office and that they were acting on behalf of "certain" (one can be sure, "pro-Zionist") circles in Moscow. "What else but money could bring together a Czech, an Adygeyan and a Russian from Siberia?" Kondratenko is reported to have said at a meeting of nationalist writers. (Nepshikuyev lives in Adygeya, a region bordering on Krasnodar region, Randina is originally from Siberia.)

 THE SITUATION OF THE KRASNODAR 3

 Some serious difficulties have already emerged for the arrested people - while the usual cases of carrying explosives are investigated by the local police, the Krasnodar 3 received special treatment. They were placed into the prison of the regional FSB and the case is being conducted by the regional procurator's office and the Krasnodar FSB.

 Larisa Schiptsova is suffering physically the most since she is 4 months pregnant and the nutrition in Krasnodar FSB prison is outrageous (a plate of watery soup with just a little cabbage and potato once per day). Already after 3 weeks of imprisonment her dents were bleeding and doctors already detected some problems in fetus' development.

 Larisa's attorney, Stanislav Markelov, also attracted attention from the investigators - all of the anarchists interrogated in Krasnodar at the end of February were questioned not only about the case, but also about where Markelov comes from, etc. It is no coincidence that searches in Krasnodar were carried out in the flats of people whom Markelov met when he was in town, even those who are not active anarchists and have no relation to the case. (Markelov was also an attorney for Andrey Sokolov, a young Stalinists sentenced recently for blowing up a monument to the Russian royal family. His case was reconsidered in mid-March, he got softer sentence for vandalism, not terrorism, and was released from prison.) There are chances that the investigators simply want to replace Markelov with a more obedient lawyer.

 Something similar to that was happening to Maria Randina, because until recently she only had a lawyer recommended by the investigator (since pressure was put on her relative who had to sign a contract with a lawyer). Fortunately another, more experienced lawyer was found for Maria, the one who has some experience at defending the "politicals."

 Gennady Nepshikuyev, in whose bag the explosives were found, seems to be too talkative and his words are the only evidence for charges against the other two arrested. There are reasons to believe that he basically tells what the investigators want to hear (naming people, who cannot even be connected with the accused). Unfortunately FSB keeps his testimonies secret and there is no detailed information on that. Some anarchists believe that Nepshikuyev was either used by the authorities to create a "conspiracy" or is too willing to cooperate with the investigators now.

 PROTESTS AND MEDIA BLACK OUT

 On March 30 anarchists and human rights activists picketed the Federation Council (upper houses of the Russian parliament) demanding release Maria Randina and Larisa Schiptsova. The protestors handed out leaflets, held large posters against the police state, for the release of the arrested anarchists and chanted slogans "The state is the main extremist", "FSB (KGB) is child murderer", etc. On the same day pickets were organized in Yekaterinburg and St.Petersburg (Russia) and Berlin. Various human rights, ecological and leftist groups are sending their protests to the Krasnodar authorities.

 So far there is very few reports of the case in the Russian media, which apparently finds the story not spectacular enough. Now, with the war in Yugoslavia and nationalistic craze here in Russia, there are even fewer chances that the Krasnodar case will be among the topics actively discussed by the media. Not a single journalist showed up at the demo on March 30 (partly due to the fact that the media was preoccupied with Yeltsin's address to the parliament which happened on the same day, unfortunately at a different building). Groups set up in Moscow, St.Petersburg and other cities to campaign for the release of the arrested anarchists are continuing their efforts to break the media blockade.

KRASNODAR THREE STILL IMPRISONED, PROTESTS CONTINUE, LIES KEEP FLOWING

(This is an update - as of April 23 - on the situation of and the campaign in defense of the three anarchists arrested in Krasnodar, Southern Russia, who are charged with a plot to assassinate governor Nikolai Kondratenko.

PROTESTS

Anarchist and human rights activists in Russia and other countries continue campaigning for the release of Maria Randina and Larisa Schiptsova arrested on dubious charges of plotting a terrorist attack against Krasnodar governor Nikolai Kondratenko.

April 15 was a special day to send protests to the Krasnodar governor's office and the regional procurator. About 30 letters that we know about were sent by fax on behalf of anarchist, human rights, ecological and youth organizations from across Russia and foreign countries. Protests were also faxed before this date and we hope that this campaign will continue. One of the most significant results is that a human rights group from Krasnodar got in touch with us and said that it is willing to work with the case.

The largest demo to date was organized in Moscow on April 18 outside the infamous FSB (ex-KGB) headquarters in the center of Moscow. About a hundred people gathered for a rally and a concert near the monument to the victims of political repression (a stone from one of the parts of the GULAG empire was installed there during the perestroika years to commemorate victims of the Soviet regime). Half a dozen bands (some of them were established right on the spot in a classical punk fashion) and about the same number of speakers expressed their outrage through the loud speakers. The highest point of the rally was the signing of the "Ice Under the Boots of the Major", an anti-totalitarian/anti-KGB anthem which dates back to the early perestroika years and sounds very up-to-date now with the numerous cases of political repression against anarchist, leftist and ecological activists and the general mood which spreads in the society:
But until we exist,
there will be black ice,
the major will slip,
the major will fall.
We are ice under the boots of a major"

The mood at the demo was not that one of a stupid punk concert - most of the bands were straightforwardly political, the crowd was rather reluctant during the music interludes, but gathered together in order to hear the speakers.

In St.Petersburg anarchists carry out regular pickets (March 30, April 16, 21, 28) outside the city council. They have delivered a petition to the St.Petersburg governor, handed out leaflets, talked to the people and journalists, gathered sigtnatures under the letter of protest to the Krasnodar authorities. Information is also being spread during the concerts of local anarcho-punk bands.

MEDIA WAR

Both in Moscow and Petersburg the activists managed to break the media blockade of the Krasnodar case. Moscow and St.Petersburg city TV stations run reports on the solidarity demos and pickets and informed about the case, there were some publications in the regional press as well. Even one of the Krasnodar papers made quite an informative report on the case. The latter is especially significant, since most of the nationwide papers still didn't report the case or grossly misrepresented it.

Kommersant, the leading business daily, refused to publicize information on the arrests back in February, than occasionally ran a piece with Kondratenko's paranoid version of the story: "Among the terrorists were a Czech, an Adygeyan and a Russian from Siberia. What else but money could have brought these people together?" (Kommersant, March 25, 1999)

Izvestia, another nationwide daily, only mentioned the case in passim by providing yet another paranoid quote from Kondratenko: "In November a terrorist group was arrested with a bomb of 1,7 kgs of TNT, which they were to blast under my office. They were arrested. They were people of Jewish nationality. I have gathered law enforcement agencies and said: don't publicize that in order not to provoke a wave of anti-Semitism." (Izvestia, April 10, 1999)

Both the way Kondratenko twists information around and the way his line changes now are quite saying. It was obvious from the very beginning that the conspiracy card will be played, that "Jews" will come up at some point, that old lies will be disproved by new ones. The case is obviously a political one, since most of the things that are openly discussed don't have anything to do with the legal or technical side of the case. This is especially true for Kondratenko's version.

MORE BOMBS, MORE MEDIA SPECULATIONS

On April 4 a big bomb exploded in Moscow and seriously damaged the office of the FSB where people can report acts of non-
conformity 24 hours a day (a cop and an FSB officer lightly injured - one with a piece of glass, another with the sound wave). Until a few days later nobody claimed responsibility for the action and the most likely versions discussed by the media included Muslim fundamentalists from Chechnya and some mysterious nationalist group "Scythian" which tried (unsuccessfully) to shoot grenades into the US embassy during a rally protesting against NATO bombings of Yugoslavia.

A few days later one of the radio stations has received a letter from another mysterious  terrorist group, New Revolutionary Alternative (NRA), which claimed responsibility for the bombing of the FSB office and stated that the attack was "a protest against bourgeois terror of the Russian state police system against the radical opponents of the regime". (Besides the Krasnodar 3, a few Stalinists and national-bolsheviks are now imprisoned on bombing and egging charges, so it is not clear who exactly was meant). Most of the papers, which reported that, thought that NRA was unlikely to be behind the bombing due to the professional way in which the bomb was placed and the large amount of explosive material that was used (NRA previously claimed responsibility for some minor arsons and bombings of military call up stations, military procurator's office, ex-Communist trade union federation).

Nevertheless, Kommersant ran a blasphemous piece linking the bombing to the Krasnodar case in a very peculiar way - NRA was presented as a "clandestine anarchist organization" (although NRA never made statements to that effect and can be called leftist at best), then there was a very biased description of the Krasnodar case and an ungrounded conclusion anarchists had reasons to bomb FSB and thus may have resorted to such an action. The piece was written by the very same journalist who previously refused to publicize the case as "not interesting enough" and just a couple of days before publishing this recent piece linked the bombing of FSB to "Scythian" group.

SITUATION OF THE KRASNODAR THREE

Until now only Larisa Schiptsova had a good lawyer and the defense group was trying to get Maria Randina a different lawyer from the one she has now. We found a lawyer, but when he went to Krasnodar the investigators presented a strange claim that there should be a written request by Maria to have a new lawyer. The problem is that there is no communication with Maria and there is no way to let her know about it. So far she has the lawyer recommended by the investigators (who signed a contract with Maria's aunt living in Krasnodar). The one, which we found to replace him, has an agreement with Maria's parents who live in Irkutsk, Siberia, but there is no way of letting her know that she should make a statement demanding that he represents her in this case. Of course, the investigators don't request a statement from her that she wants the lawyer that she has now - "he is already there", they say. Both Larisa's lawyer and Maria's new lawyer are trying to get things straightened out, but it is really difficult.

Larisa's health and treatment have improved slightly, partly due to the protest campaign (or so we think), she started to get some medical aid (she is now more than 4 months pregnant). At the same time she has to go through all sorts of abuse when the lawyer comes to see her, - rules suddenly become strict: "You have half a minute to get dressed and come out!" the warden shouts. Larisa reports that all wardens in the Krasnodar FSB prison are male, even in the female part of the prison. Still, she stands firm, refusing to give investigation any "information" on the supposed plot and the role other people played.

Gennady Nepshikuyev acts very much differently from the very beginning. This is the reason why defense campaign is not carried out on his behalf. It was him, who had the bomb in his bag and according to the testimonies of the people he was with at the time of arrest, he started shouting and naming people right on the spot and later, when he was taken to the police station (that is, before any psychological or physical pressure may have been used against him). He is now the only person on whose testimonies the charges are made up - not so much against him, but against Maria, Larisa and some other people in the anarchist movement in Krasnodar and Moscow whose houses were searched (some of them only met him once and couldn't have any relation whatsoever to the supposed plot). While we don't have grounds to claim that he definitely is an agent-provocateur, we also don't campaign on his behalf.

Source: http://flag.blackened.net/agony/krasnodar.html

 

 

Mother of hostage killed in "Nord-Ost" to sue investigative bodies

The press conference "Mother of a Hostage Killed in "Nord-Ost" Sues Investigative Bodies for Inaction" will take place at the Independent Press Center on January 26. The mother of a girl who was taken hostage in "Nord-Ost" and killed, Tatyana Lakashova, and her lawyer, Stanislav Markelov, will be participants in the press conference.

22 January 2004

Source: Regional Public Organization "Human Rights Information", Caucasian knot

 

Yakha Neserkhayeva, a Nord-Ost hostage, to sue a Newspaper

Yakha Neserkhayeva, an ethnic Chechen who was among hostages in the last month's terror raid in Moscow, intends to sue Den and Zhizn newspapers. Den alleged that the woman is ashamed of her ethnic origin and Zhizn' described her as an accomplice of terrorists.

Neserkhayeva attended the musical with her fried Galina Mozhegova. When the terrorists took over the theater and said that "all people of North and South Caucasus origin and Muslims may leave the hall," she would not leave her friend and tried to keep her and everybody around cheerful throughout the hostage drama. Following the storming of the theater the two women were rushed to different hospitals, both in grave conditions.

Neserkhayeva's problems started in the hospital. She told other patients that she is a Chechen, a refugee from Grozny. Investigators and forensic experts appeared shortly afterwards. They interrogated her, took her fingerprints and then moved to Maryino remand center on suspicion of links with the terrorists. Neserkhayeva's apartment was searched.

Prosecution investigators found no evidence against her and released her 10 days later. They treated her very politely and the police gave her a lift to her apartment, Neserkhayeva said. But this was not the end of her troubles.

Some media hastened to accuse Neserkhayeva of links to terrorists. Zhizn's October 29 issue carried a front-page story headlined Moscow Pensioner Unmasks Fugitive Terrorist, reporting that Neserkhayeva's ward-mate reported her to the police. Den published her friend Mozhegova's story on November 1 in which Neserkhayeva was quoted as saying: "Gal, forgive me for being a Chechen. I am ashamed of them [the terrorists] before all these people [the hostages]."

Neserkhayeva's family interpreted these words as something like betrayal, attorney-at-law Stanislav Markelov says. The woman intends to press for opening a case of slander against Zhizn and a case of libel against Den. "My client denies having said that she is ashamed of her ethnicity and wants the paper to withdraw the report."

Source: Bulletins of Center for Journalism in Extreme Situations

 
   
 
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