Excerpt from Caucasian Knot (Jan. 20):
A rally is now on in the Peoples’ Friendship Square in the capital of Chechnya in connection with the murder in Moscow of well-known advocate Stanislav Markelov.
Many people in Chechnya are shocked by Markelov’s murder. Representatives of political parties, public and human rights organizations, youth movements and higher school students have held a broad-scale protest action in Grozny.
The action was also attended by several dozens of women who held photos of their killed and missing friends and relatives in their hands.
One of participants of meeting, a woman named Zara, 48, who had lost her daughter and niece in the course of a “counterterrorist operation”, related the advocate’s murder with Budanov’s release.
Usam Baisaev, another participant of the rally and employee of the Human Rights Centre “Memorial“, was of a similar opinion, having stated that Budanov had not killed Markelov himself, “but it was done for him and for his sake.”
This opinion was also supported by Aslambek Apaev, another human rights activist and expert of the Moscow Helsinki Group (MHG) for Northern Caucasus, who also took part in the action. “I’ve already said and now repeat: Stanislav’s murder is directly linked with Budanov. Yuri Budanov was released not in order to be put back to prison, while Stanislav’s execution is a warning to everybody who will further dare investigating the crimes accomplished by militaries in Chechnya and trying punish them,” said Mr Apaev.