On 1 October 2009, representatives of the Chechen diaspora in Austria organised a demonstration in Vienna against the opening of “representative offices” of Chechen dictator Ramzan Kadyrov’s regime in European countries. More than a thousand people from different parts of Austria, including many women and children, took part in the demonstration.
The protesters chanted slogans, carrying flags of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria and Austria, photos of Chechen civilians killed by Russian forces, and posters saying “Putin Leave us Alone,” “Today Chechnya, Europe Tomorrow?,” “Asylum with Deadly Consequences,” and “Putin must be in the Hague!”
After the speakers finished their public speeches, the protesters marched toward the government building. At the end of the action, the protest organisers had a brief meeting with an assistant to the Austrian Chancellor and handed him the resolution of the protesters. (The statement is available below.)
Dear Chechen compatriots,
There are disturbing news that the criminal regime in the Kremlin plans to open so-called representative offices in European countries, including Austria, to promote the return of Chechen refugees to occupied Chechnya.
The actual aim of opening the “representative offices” is not to help Chechen refugees, but to establish total control over them and, if need be, to physically liquidate people undesirable to Moscow.
It is well known that those Chechen refugees who want to return to their homeland are not being held by force in Austria. The Austrian government covers all the costs of those willing to return home. No “representative offices” are needed for this end.
Ludicrously, some “Chechen refugees,” who ostensibly fled from the clutches of [Chechen dictator] Ramzan Kadyrov and the Kremlin, are now complaining about the actions of the Austrian authorities to representatives of Kadyrov’s regime, who have come here to spread their criminal activities and dirty propaganda.
Why does Moscow — aided by its puppet, Ramzan Kadyrov, — insist on the return of the unfortunate people who have fled torture, killings, beatings, and other atrocities committed with total impunity by the Russian occupiers and Kadyrov’s puppet regime?
The answer is very simple: almost half of the Chechen nation has fled Chechnya. Kadyrov and his masters in Moscow need new victims to satisfy their beastly appetite.
Kadyrov has made cynical statements in Russian media that he has full information about the arguments presented by Chechen refugees to support their claim for asylum, and that those refugees will not go unpunished.
Kadyrov has not limited his actions to statements alone. It is well known that soon after his statement, a Chechen refugee, Umar Israilov, was killed in broad daylight in the centre of Vienna.
The investigation into this crime remains unresolved. What is more, there are serious concerns that this was by far not the last killing, but that we will with all likelihood see more killings in the future.
The criminal regime in the Kremlin, through its puppets in Chechnya, has created an atmosphere of fear and incertitude among Chechen refugees in Europe, who feel not protected even in Austria.
We call on all those who do not wish to become victims of the murderous plans of Moscow and its puppets in Russian-occupied Chechnya to join us in our protest against the opening of the so-called representative offices.
Photos and video of the demonstration in Vienna: