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Rights Groups Urge Austria To Bring Killers Of Chechen Exile To Justice

Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov
Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov
A troika of top international human rights organizations have come together to urge the Austrian government to act swiftly to bring to justice those responsible for the killing of a Chechen man who alleged he had been tortured by Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov.

The statement was issued by Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and the Memorial Human Rights Center.

According to news reports, assailants shot and killed 27-year-old Umar Israilov on January 13 in Vienna, where he had lived in exile.

Israilov had stated publicly that he had been tortured by Kadyrov and had filed a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights in 2006.

Several days prior to the killing, Israilov complained to Austrian police authorities that he was being followed by unknown individuals.

“We are deeply alarmed about what appears to be another politically motivated killing of a critic of high-level Russian government officials,” said Oleg Orlov, director of Memorial.

“In light of the brutal retaliation inflicted on those who speak out on abuses in Chechnya, Israilov’s actions were particularly courageous, and his killers and those behind them need to be promptly held to account," Orlov said.

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"Watchdog" is a blog with a singular mission -- to monitor the latest developments concerning human rights, civil society, and press freedom. We'll pay particular attention to reports concerning countries in RFE/RL's broadcast region.


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