Chechnya Peace Forum – Press Release

BRITAIN MUST STAND UP TO PUTIN AND HIS GANGSTER POLITICS

Following the Foreign Secretary, David Miliband’s decision to expel four  Russian diplomats in protest at Moscow’s refusal to extradite Scotland  Yard’s prime suspect in the murder of Alexander Litvinenko, Ivar  Amundsen, Director of the Chechnya Peace Forum, said:

“I am very pleased at the new Foreign Secretary’s decision to stand up  to Russia over their refusal to extradite the man charged with the  murder of a British citizen on the streets of London. This is the first  diplomatic test faced by Gordon Brown’s new Government and I urge him to  do everything in his power to ensure those responsible for Alexander’s  death are held accountable for his murder.

“Alexander, like the investigative journalist Anna Politkovskaya, was a  good friend of mine and a fierce critic of the ongoing human rights  atrocities and war crimes in Chechnya that have been a hallmark of  Vladimir Putin’s Presidency. Their murders clearly illustrate the extent  to which Putin’s political critics are at risk in Russia, and now even  here in London.

“It is crucial that those of us who cannot remain silent in the face of  this flagrant violation of human rights, continue with their endeavours,  and stand up to Putin and his gangster politics.

“We, the Chechnya Peace Forum, will continue our campaign to support the  extradition of Andrei Lugovoi and to ensure that justice is seen to be  done for both Alexander and his family. We will do everything we can to  keep this issue in the public eye.”

Press Release  16.7.2007 

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1. Ivar Amundsen is Director of the Chechnya Peace Forum, a human rights  organisation based in London which seeks to promote the cause of  democracy and human rights in Chechnya by bringing the humanitarian  crisis there to greater international attention.

2. A letter initiated by the Chechnya Peace Forum was published in the  Independent on May 7 calling for President Putin to use the last year of  his tenure to restore peace and justice to Chechnya. The letter was  signed by more than 100 members of Britain’s political and cultural  elite. Signatories included Sir Tom Stoppard, Lord Giddens, Lord Bragg,  Ian McEwan, Ken Loach, Peter Tatchell, André Glucksmann, Noel Malcolm,  Alain de Botton, Rt Hon Sir Menzies Campbell MP, Rt Hon Charles Kennedy  MP and Rt Hon Sir Malcolm Rifkind MP. A copy of the letter can be seen  at http://comment.independent.co.uk/letters/article2519068.ece

3. For press enquires please contact Geoff Duggan on 020 7149 3705 or  Laura Brodie on 020 7149 3703.

 

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