Hautala “outraged by Aushev’s brutal assasination”

PRESS STATEMENT by Mrs Heidi Hautala, Chair of the EP sub-committee on Human Rights

It is with great sadness and a sense of outrage that I have learned of the brutal assassination yesterday of Mr. Maksharip Aushev, yet another human rights activist shot dead in Ingushetia.[:]

Mr. Aushev was a popular opposition figure in Ingushetia and had worked to publicize human rights abuses and to organize rallies against Ingushetia’s unpopular former president, Murat Zyazikov. Aushev had worked with journalist and lawyer Magomed Yevloyev, who owned the opposition web site now known as Ingushetia.org and agreed to take over the Web site, after Magomed Yevloyev, was himself shot dead in police custody last year.

I would like to express my sincere condolences to the Aushev family and insist that the EU reiterate the need for an impartial, thorough and credible investigation conducted by the Russian authorities into this and all other extra-judicial killings. The EU-Russia summit in November will be an opportunity to repeat the EU’s insistence on this matter. As the European Parliament has stated in its resolution of 17 September 2009, the Russian authorities must make it their priority to put an end to the climate of terror, lawlessness and impunity in North Caucasus.

I will be looking into ways of addressing this issue within Parliament. Sadly the latest tragic outrage confirms the appropriateness of Parliament’s recent decision to award the 2009 Sakharov Prize to MEMORIAL.