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Stanislav Dmitrievsky, the head of the Russian-Chechen Friendship, in court in February (ITAR-TASS) PRAGUE, October 14, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- Amnesty International has denounced the October 13 decision by a court in the Russian city of Nizhnii Novgorod to shut down the Russian-Chechen Friendship Society (RCFS).


The RCFS monitors human rights in Chechnya.


An Amnesty International spokesperson said the decision appears to be "the latest move in a carefully calculated strategy to get rid of an organization that has been outspoken on behalf of victims of human rights violations in Chechnya."


The court based its decision on a law that makes it illegal for a nongovernmental organization to be headed by a person convicted of "extremist" activities.


The executive director of the RCFS, Stanislav Dmitrievsky, was convicted in February for publishing articles by Chechen separatist leaders.


Amnesty International said the conviction violated Dmitrievsky's peaceful exercise of his right to freedom of expression.

The Chechnya Conflict

The aftermath of a December 2002 Chechen resistance attack on the main government building in Grozny (epa)

CHRONOLOGY

The fighting in Chechnya has raged, with short breaks, since 1994. It has brought misery, death, and destruction to the North Caucasus republic and to Russia as a whole. View an annotated timeline of the conflict.



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RFE/RL's complete coverage of Russia's war-torn Republic of Chechnya.
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