Archive for August 18, 2012

23 September 2011

Investigation continues into the massacre of three Chechens in Istanbul on September 16.

It is to be recalled that the Turkish security forces got on trail of the alleged killer Alexander Zharkov, after they had captured the crime weapon and a set of spy accessories during the raid on a hotel room, where the killer stayed.

According to Turkish media, which refer to sources in police investigation departments, the killer used a 9 mm pistol of Russian GRU special troops “Groza 3” (pistol “Groza 1” with 7.62 mm bullets was used in the murder of Musa Atayev in 2009).

It was also established that there had been 3 Russian teams involved, each of them consisting of two or three persons, who had been have involved in the slaughter and direct execution of the terrorist attack.

The name of another Russian terrorist, Nadim Ayupov, who seems to have acted in team with Alexander Zharkov, leaked to the press.

The killer group rented 6 cars in total. Two squads conducted surveillance and logistics, the third one, apparently the squad of Zharkov, was involved in the direct killing.

Some Turkish media write that some members of the killer group of killers, which included 7 to 9 people in total, were probably able to leave Turkey before the massacre.

Meanwhile, a press statement from several human rights and public Turkish organizations was published, which accuses Russia of unleashing bloody terror in Turkey and calls on the government to take rapid and effective measures to prevent Russians from further terrorist attacks.

The statement says:


The aggression of Russia has resulted in the deaths of 250,000 people in Chechnya in front of the world’s public opinion.

In the present situation there is, on one hand the aggressors’ collaborating Chechen government which is claiming legitimacy with its propaganda, especially in Muslim public opinion, and on the other hand they have developed an elimination policy against the dissident population.

A part of the dissident people, who are opposed to the collaborator Kadyrov’s regime, took refuge in Turkey only seeking safety, as has happened in many other countries.

While today the winds of freedom are blowing all over the world and democratization is occurring in a push to terminate autocratic governments, our demand from the government, law enforcement and judicial powers is below:

The only entity responsible for the safety of the people, which includes both life and property, who are in the country as refugees, is the government and the state of the Republic of Turkey.

The investigation into and judicial process for both the previously committed murders, which still are not solved, as well as the recent attack which resulted in the deaths of three Chechen asylum seekers, should be carried out urgently and sensitively; and the necessary security measures against probable future attacks should be taken.

We present this matter to the attention of those who are concerned in the public arena.

Caucasus Foundation
Caucasus-Chechen Solidarity Association
United Caucasus Association
MAZLUMDER Istanbul branch


Department of Monitoring
Kavkaz Center

Source: Kavkaz Center.

24 September 2011

According to Turkish sources, a mass rally of representatives of the Chechen and Caucasian diaspora in Turkey, as well as activists of Turkish human rights organizations (Caucasus Foundation, Caucasus-Chechen Solidarity Association, United Caucasus Association) and international lawyers organization MazlumDer, was held on Saturday 1 pm local time in front of the Russian bandit consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.

Hundreds of people marched to the den of Russian terrorists, thieves, bandits, spies and money washers. After that, a protest meeting was held against the massacre of the three Chechens by the Russian KGB on September 16.

The demonstrators were stopped by police 15 meters from the wall of the Russian bandit consulate. The participants of the rally accused Russia of launching bloody terror in Turkey.

The demonstrators demanded from the Turkish government to take efficient and resolute actions against Russian terrorism.

A statement that was read at the rally says:


In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful!

We, the Chechen and Caucasian muhajir living in Turkey, have come here to name the murderer of our brothers.

The murderer is Russia, which sheds blood and terrorizes the Chechens and the whole Caucasus for centuries. The whole world has shuddered from its bloody atrocities in Chechnya.

Bloody Russian terror has gone outside the Caucasus. Now we are being killed in Qatar, Azerbaijan and Turkey.

Shaking hands with Erdogan in Moscow, Putin sent with his other hand the killers to this country. This is the real face of Russia and Russians.

Our sons and brothers continue to be killed. 250,000 Chechens were killed over the past 20 years, our country was turned into a concentration camp. And the words “Russian” “Russia” became for Chechens synonyms for death and terror.

Over 25,000 Chechens and Ingushs are held in Russian torture prisons. They are tortured to break the spirit of the people and to instill fear of Russia in the hearts. But they only fill us with hatred and contempt for everything Russian.

There is no nation in the world, which have been destroyed for so long, for centuries. And there is no nation in the world, except for Russians, who would torture its victims with savage cruelty and hatred.

Russia clings to the Caucasus, as if Chechens, Caucasians were the last breath of its life, without which it would die. So may Allah make us a mouthful with which it will choke.

Cursed be bloody Russia! Cursed be Putin and his dirty puppets in the Caucasus.

We will never give up our homeland.

The death of our brothers and sons will not stop our struggle for liberation of the Caucasus. The bloody Russian terror will not force us to abandon the path of independence.

Our first President Dudayev said: “A slave who doesn’t wish to get out of slavery deserves double slavery!”

And we bequeath to our children our hatred of Russia and curse them if they submit to slavery and occupation.

Let Russia and its lackeys in the Caucasus leave hope that we will get tired and courage leaves us and that the Caucasus will not have enough worthy sons to liberate their Homeland. The dead are replaced by a new generation that knows who their enemy is and the price of freedom.

Today we say that we will defend our religion, freedom and independence. Russian invaders will be driven out of the Caucasus.

And we came here to say – We are not broken!

We will not weep! We will not forget! And we will not forgive!

Allah Akbar!

Department of Monitoring
Kavkaz Center

26 September 2011

The Guardian published an article by its former Moscow correspondent Luke Harding, recently expelled from Moscow by Putin’s terrorist gang FSB, about the impending death of Russia.

The article is called “Vladimir Putin’s comeback spells gloom for Russia and the west”.

The article has a subtitle “There is no prospect now of any UK-Russian thaw, and Russia itself faces a long period of political and economic stagnation”.

The British journalist pointed out that even in 2010 US diplomats had concluded that Project Medvedev was hopeless. One expert describe Russia’s ruling model not as a tandem but as “a bicycle with a child’s seat in the front”.

“Spare a thought for poor Dmitry Medvedev. It was US diplomats who cruelly dubbed him Robin, to Vladimir Putin’s Batman”, writes Luke Harding.

“The phrase stuck. Over the past four years Medvedev has done nothing to dispel the impression that he is anything other than a useful seatwarmer”, the article says.

It wasn’t always like this. At the start of Medvedev’s presidential term there were faint hopes that he might preside over a partial liberalisation of Russian society. The Obama administration tried to reach out to Medvedev in the hope this would nudge Russia’s foreign policy away from its hawkish Putin vector towards a more constructive approach. By 2010, however, US diplomats had concluded that “Project Medvedev was hopeless”, the article says. One expert describe Russia’s ruling model not as a tandem but as “a bicycle with a child’s seat in the front”.

Medvedev’s announcement on Saturday that he was stepping down to allow Putin a third presidency came as a surprise to no one, then, indicates Harding. Medvedev’s only significant act as president was to extend Russia’s presidential term from four years to six, he said. “This was seen, rightly, as teeing up the conditions for a triumphant comeback during elections in the spring of 2012: Putin’s”.

Putin’s return means the west faces another decade of difficult relations with Russia. The former KGB agent demonstrated his gift at G8 gatherings and other international get-togethers for sardonic repartee mixed with snide remarks about western hypocrisy and double-dealing. We can expect more of this.

Until Downing Street caves in to the Kremlin’s demand that it resumes co-operation with Russia’s FSB spy agency – suspended after Alexander Litvinenko’s polonium murder – no “reset” is possible with Britain.

“The prospects for Russia itself are equally gloomy. The country now faces a long period of political and economic stagnation and single-party rule”, the author thinks.

In theory Putin could go on until 2024. However, the blogger and anti-corruption campaigner Alexey Navalny predicted that “Russia’s kleptocractic system would collapse well before that”, because it was useless even for the corrupt people who benefit from it. According to Navalny Russian revolution was inevitable, and the Caucasus will spark it.

“Many observers have plausibly argued that Putin is tired of being leader. So why did he come back?”, asks the journalist.

Harding points out that the presidency, of course, is more prestigious that then prime minister’s office, and gives Putin an international platform. “More than this, though, it allows Putin to protect his own alleged secret assets and those of his team, US diplomats believe”.

And it allows him to avoid potential law enforcement prosecution – “inevitable, once he steps down from power”, reminds the British journalist.

Department of Monitoring
Kavkaz Center

Source: Kavkaz Center.

Mon Sep 26, 2011

Thousands of Moroccans have once again taken to the streets to call for deep political changes despite recent reforms aimed at curbing powers of King Mohammed VI.

The demonstrations were held in the country’s biggest city of Casablanca as well as in Tangiers, Marrakesh and the capital city of Rabat on Sunday, AFP reported.

The demonstrations were organized by the February 20 movement, named after the date Moroccans, inspired by revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt, first began their anti-government protests.

Protesters urged the government to fight corruption and called for “more social justice.

Demonstrators in Rabat also called for the release of a protester detained during rallies in Casablanca in June.

The king’s proposed reforms received people’s positive vote in a referendum on July 1. However, critics believe the changes do not go far enough.

The reforms include the transfer of some of the powers of the king to the prime minister and the parliament, but the king will remain the head of state and the military as well as the highest religious authority in the country.

The Moroccan government has announced that the country’s parliamentary elections will be held in November.

Source: PressTV.

Mon Sep 26, 2011

Opposition parties in Turkey have expressed their disagreement with the Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan government’s decision to host a NATO radar system on the country’s soil.

The leader of Turkey’s Democratic Party (DP), Namik Kemal Zeybek, voiced his opposition to the Turkish government’s decision and warned about its negative consequences.

In an interview with Turkey’s TV 8 on Friday, Zeybek said NATO’s decision to deploy its missile-tracking radar system on Turkish soil is aimed at monitoring Iran’s moves and pitting the two neighboring countries against each other.

He added that the West is seeking to cause rifts in the world of Islam as Iran has resisted its dominance in spite of heavy pressure.

This comes as other opposition parties in Turkey have similarly disagreed with the plan, expressing concerns about its negative impact on the country’s relations with its neighbors.

The Republican People’s Party (CHP), headed by Kemal Kilicdaroglu, criticized the plan and stated that it is aimed at protecting Israel in the face of Iran’s missiles.

The leader of People’s Voice Party, Numan Kurtulmus, was also among the critics of the plan, saying that Erdogan’s government opposes Israel on the one hand while agreeing to a plan that is chiefly intended to defend Israel on the other.

Another Turkish politician, Mustafa Kamalak, who is the leader of Felicity Party, has additionally pointed out that Turkey’s agreement with the deployment of a NATO missile defense system on its soil will distance it from its neighbors.

Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Selcuk Unal recently announced Ankara’s plan to host the Western military alliance’s radar system.

The Turkish official said the plan, which would “boost NATO’s defense capacity and strengthen [Turkey’s] national defense system,” is in line with the alliance’s “New Strategic Concept” adopted in a summit in Lisbon last year.

Source: PressTV.

Mon Sep 26, 2011

Fresh anti-regime protests have been held in several villages in Bahrain despite the country’s heavy-handed crackdown on people, Press TV reports.

Bahraini regime forces clashed with the protesters in several villages including Dair, Sitra, Nuwaidarat and Muqaba on Sunday night.

Witnesses said on Monday that protesters also created massive traffic jams in the capital Manama, ignoring threats of confiscating driver’s licenses and barring protesters from driving for up to four years.

Hundreds of Bahrainis flooded the roads with their cars during the morning commute on Monday.

The Bahraini opposition had organized the gathering, which was named the “the Second Dignity Blockade.”

Meanwhile, Bahraini clerics have condemned the massive arrests and the disrespectful treatment of Bahraini women by regime forces over the past few days.

The protests intensified after the opposition boycotted last week’s parliamentary elections. Less than one in five Bahrainis reportedly participated in the country’s by-elections.

The Al Khalifa regime held the polls to fill 18 seats abandoned by members of the largest opposition party, al-Wefaq.

Al-Wefaq said that the 40-member parliament has lost its legitimacy and that it does not represent the will of the Bahraini people.

Bahrainis have been holding anti-government rallies since mid-February, demanding an end to the Al Khalifa dynasty.

Source: PressTV.

Mon Sep 26, 2011

A military court in Bahrain has sentenced the head of the country’s Teachers Association to ten years in prison and his deputy to three for supporting anti-government protests.

Union chairman Mehdi Issa Mohammed Abu Deeb and his deputy Jalila Mohammed Reza al-Salman were convicted on Sunday by the court of national safety of “inciting hatred of the [Persian] Gulf kingdom’s monarchy and calling for its overthrow during protests earlier this year”.

They were also found guilty of using the union to “instigate acts that are considered criminal like calling for sit-ins by teachers, obstructing teaching, holding protests near schools… and calling upon parents not to send their children to school,” Bahraini human rights activist Maryam al-Khawaja wrote in an e-mail to Press TV.

Abu Deeb, 49, who was arrested in April, started a hunger strike on September 11 to demand his release and for all false charges against him to be dropped. Abu Deeb, who suffers from diabetes and high blood pressure, is reported to be in critical health condition.

The court also sentenced Hadi Ahmeh Hasan Mekki to three years in prison for “witnessing an attack on two policemen and refusing to report the incident” as well as an additional 12 months in jail for attending anti-regime protests.

Three others were also jailed for three years for harboring Shaikh Mohammed Habib Al Saffaf, a clergyman. Al Saffaf, also known Al Meqdad, who was earlier sentenced to life imprisonment, is accused by the Manama regime of involvement in a plot to overthrow the monarchy.

The verdicts came a day after the kingdom held by-elections boycotted by the opposition to replace 18 lawmakers, who resigned from the parliament to protest the violent crackdown on anti-regime demonstrators.

On April 7, the Ministry of Social Development dissolved the Bahrain Teachers’ Association (BTA), accusing the union of “issuing statements and speeches aimed at inciting teachers and students against the government and disrupting educational establishments.

Bahrainis have been holding anti-government rallies since mid-February, demanding an end to the Al Khalifa dynasty’s 40-year rule.

Scores of people have been killed and hundreds more have been arrested in the brutal crackdown on peaceful protesters in Bahrain, home to a huge American military installation for the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet in the Persian Gulf.

Source: PressTV.

Sun Sep 25, 2011

Election results in Bahrain show that more than 80 percent of the electorate refused to vote in the recent parliamentary by-elections in the country.

According to a Bahraini government website, less than one in every five voters cast their ballots in the recent by-elections, Reuters reported on Sunday.

The controversial by-elections were held on Saturday to replace 18 Bahraini lawmakers from the main opposition party, al-Wefaq, who walked out of the parliament in February after security forces opened fire on anti-government protesters, killing and wounding scores of them.

Of the 144,513 eligible voters in 14 districts only 25,130 came out to vote, representing a 17.4 percent turnout, the Bahraini government’s elections website reported.

Voting did not take place in four districts where candidates were running uncontested and automatically won the seat.

Al-Wefaq leader Sheikh Ali Salman said the results showed that Bahrainis rejected the king’s reforms, adding, “There is no such thing as Bahraini democracy. There has to be peaceful rotation of power.”

“If there is no transition, Bahrain will remain in a crisis of security and human rights, this is a historic moment,” he added.

Meanwhile, Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa is to travel to Riyadh and meet with King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia on Monday to hold talks regarding the relations between the two countries.

Bahrainis have been holding anti-government rallies since mid-February, demanding an end to the Al Khalifa dynasty, which has ruled the country for over 40 years.

Source: PressTV.

August 17, 2012

OLOVSKE LUKE, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) — The last clothes that 6-year-old Tarik Bijelic wore hang on a line in his yard: a red “Miami” basketball jersey, a pair of gray pants, blue size 2 sneakers.

The blood has been washed off. But the jersey carries the mark of tragedy: a long incision between the “i” and the “a” where doctors tried to get to the boy’s shattered chest. Tarik was hit by a land mine last week as he scavenged in the forest for firewood to help his family make ends meet.

He died in his father’s arms. Under an international treaty, Bosnia was supposed to be free of mines by 2009. Instead, it has quietly obtained another decade to clear the estimated 1,300 remaining square kilometers (500 square miles) of mine fields. In the 16 years since Bosnia’s three-year war ended, mines have killed 591 people. So far this year, seven people have been killed and 3 maimed.

Tarik had been looking forward to starting school wearing a backpack stamped with his favorite cartoon character. Instead, he became his village’s sixth land-mine victim — the casualty of a war that ended a decade before he was born.

Living next to mine fields is accepted as a fact of life here. The village was a front line during the 1992-95 Bosnian war and when the residents returned to their homes in 1996, they found their houses devastated, surrounded by mine fields. The Bijelic family, like many others in the village, makes a living by selling wood from nearby forests, ignoring signs bearing a white skull and the warning “Attention Mines.”

Familiarity with tragedy doesn’t blunt the pain. At the hospital, Tarik’s father, Ibro Bijelic, repeatedly whispered: “I wish it would have been me.” “Bosnia-Herzegovina is one of the most (mine) infested countries in the world,” said Dusan Gavran, the head of the country’s Mine Action Center. He said the only obstacle to making Bosnia mine-free is the cost: “We have the capacity, qualified deminers, equipment, but we lack funds.”

Bosnia’s war over its independence from Serb-led Yugoslavia took more than 100,000 lives. All three sides in the conflict — Bosniaks, Serbs and Croats — secured their front lines with mine fields that, laid end to end, would form a belt stretching 8,700 miles, more than a third of the circumference of the earth.

Bosniaks, the least armed group, often laid mines hastily around cities they controlled and the Serbs besieged. This made it harder for the much better equipped Serbs to conquer them. That’s how the capital of Sarajevo remained completely encircled by mine fields when the war ended.

Bosnia needs 40 million euro ($50 million) every year to meet its new goal of clearing the mines by 2019. It costs $2.50 to scan a square yard of territory — more than the going price for some land. It may sound cheap until you consider the vast areas of Bosnia that must be poked and prodded to ensure they’re safe. All told, locating and removing a single mine costs $10,000.

By now, almost all mine fields are clearly marked. Villagers brave the mines out of economic necessity in a region where the unemployment rate is almost 30 per cent. “The key factor is the economy. Life is very hard for the population,” Gavran said. In the past five years all mine accidents happened in marked mine fields. “People enter them consciously. When we investigate, they tell us ‘we have to,’ and often even after they witness casualties, they still go.”

In one case, he said, the Mine Action Center recorded three deaths in one family that occurred within 300 meters (yards) of one another. The victims were cutting wood in a forest marked as a mine field.

Searching for wood with his father, Tarik picked up a branch, apparently setting off the land mine. His father, wounded himself, carried him to a road and stopped a car, which drove them to a hospital. Doctors made a frantic attempt to revive the boy but it was too late.

At the Bijelic home, neighbors gather around a family album looking at Tarik’s pictures. One shows him playing with children; in another he’s in a plastic pool playing with a yellow rubber duck. Tarik’s younger brother, Bakir, plays with an old chair in the yard. He will inherit his brother’s drying clothes.

“Hey,” the 4-year-old calls out to mourners walking out of the house. “Do you know when Tarik will come home? “It’s boring without him.”

August 17, 2012

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Lakhdar Brahimi, a former Algerian foreign minister and longtime U.N. diplomat known as a strong-willed, independent broker, has agreed to replace former Secretary-General Kofi Annan as peace envoy to Syria, the United Nations announced Friday.

Brahimi, who served as a U.N. envoy in Afghanistan and Iraq, formally accepted the post and will resume efforts to find a diplomatic solution to Syria’s crisis, said Eduardo del Buey, deputy spokesman for Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon.

“The violence and the suffering in Syria must come to an end,” del Buey said. “The Secretary-General appreciates Mr. Brahimi’s willingness to bring his considerable talents and experience to this crucial task for which he will need, and rightly expects, the strong, clear and unified support of the international community, including the Security Council.”

Annan announced earlier this month that he would resign on Aug. 31 as joint U.N.-Arab League envoy to Syria, after failing to broker a cease-fire as the country descended into civil war. The U.N. says at least 18,000 people have been killed since March 2011.

Brahimi will travel to New York and then Cairo in the coming days. Speaking to The Associated Press by telephone from Paris, Brahimi said “I realize it’s an extremely complicated and very, very difficult mission.” He said he hopes military intervention isn’t necessary, and that talking about a military option is akin to admitting diplomatic failure.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton welcomed Brahimi’s appointment, saying he “will continue the pursuit of an end to the conflict and a peaceful transition in Syria.” “My message to special envoy Brahimi is simple: The United States stands ready to support you and secure a lasting peace that upholds the legitimate aspirations for a representative government of the people of Syria,” Clinton said. “And to the Syrian people: you are not alone. The international community remains fully committed to a Syrian-led political transition leading to a pluralistic political system representing the will of the people.”

Brahimi, 78, who emerged last week as the leading candidate to replace Annan, brings a long record of working in the Arab and Islamic world. He served as Algeria’s foreign minister from 1991-93 and joined the United Nations in 1994, where he served in a variety of high-profile posts until he retired in 2005.

As an Arab League envoy, Brahimi helped negotiate the end of Lebanon’s civil war. Several U.N. diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly, said Brahimi had delayed taking the job as Syria envoy because he wanted a signal of support from the council. What kind of support Brahimi wanted remains unclear.

Gerard Araud, the French U.N. ambassador and current Security Council president, has called the special envoy post something of an “impossible mission” and said he could understand why someone would take their time before deciding to take it.

Annan said when he announced his resignation on Aug. 2 that the Security Council’s divisions prevented the united approach needed to stop the fighting in Syria. Russia and China have used their veto power three times to block strong Western- and Arab-backed action against President Bashar Assad’s regime.

On Thursday, Araud announced that the Security Council had agreed to end the U.N. military observer mission and back a small new liaison office that will support any future peace efforts. The 15 council members agreed that international efforts to significantly reduce violence and end the Syrian government’s use of heavy weapons — conditions set for possibly extending the observer mission — had failed.

Expectations for what Brahimi can accomplish should be lower than they were for Annan, whose mission suffered from unrealistic hopes, said Richard Gowan, associate director of the New York University Center on International Cooperation. Still, Brahimi is the right kind of negotiator for the job, he said.

“Brahimi has an incredibly strong reputation around the U.N., but is also well-known for not taking orders from the big powers or worrying too much about media attention,” Gowan said in an e-mail. “This may be just what is needed in Syria now: a hardened but independent mediator, who will stick with diplomatic efforts even if he faces a lot of criticism for failing to cut a deal fast.”

Brahimi is a member of the Elders, a group of former world leaders working for global peace that includes Nelson Mandela. Last week, Brahimi issued a statement through the Elders on Syria, where he last visited while on a delegation with the group in 2010.

“Syrians must come together as a nation in the quest for a new formula,” he said. “This is the only way to ensure that all Syrians can live together peacefully, in a society not based on fear of reprisal, but on tolerance. In the meantime, the U.N. Security Council and regional states must unite to ensure that a political transition can take place as soon as possible.

“Millions of Syrians are clamoring for peace. World leaders cannot remain divided any longer, over and above their cries.” Brahimi’s long U.N. career took him to countries like Haiti, Yemen, Sudan and South Africa, where he led U.N. efforts to oversee democratic elections that brought Mandela to power.

In Afghanistan, Brahimi served as the U.N. envoy both before the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States and after a U.S.-led force ousted the Taliban. In Iraq, he helped piece together the interim government that took power in 2004, following the U.S.-led war that ousted Saddam Hussein.

Brahimi served as Annan’s special advisor on conflict prevention and resolution. He also headed independent panels that reviewed U.N. peacemaking efforts and security worldwide. During Annan’s six-month tenure, the Syrian government and its allies did at least agree to his six-point peace plan. The plan included a cease-fire leading to a Syrian-led political process to end the crisis. While Annan singled out the regime for failing to take steps to end the violence, as required by the peace plan, he also blamed the opposition’s increasingly militant tactics for dooming his plan.

Araud last week defended the need for appointing another special envoy to Syria. “We simply can’t let down the Syrians and say to these people ‘Go fight and come back when you are done with your fighting,'” he said. “Maybe the special envoy will be useless in the first week or in the first weeks, but at least there will be somebody to seize every opportunity to find a political solution.”

Associated Press writers Angela Charlton in Paris, Aomar Ouali in Algiers, Edith Lederer at the United Nations and Julie Pace in Washington contributed to this report.