Chechnya: burning down homes after Grozny attack appears to be collective punishment

‘Punishing the relatives of those suspected of involvement in crimes is a flagrant violation of international law’ - John Dalhuisen
 
The Russian authorities must urgently investigate the burning down of at least five houses believed to belong to the relatives of 11 men blamed by officials for carrying out a recent armed attack in the Chechen capital Grozny, Amnesty International said after news emerged today of the “collective punishment” against the families.   
 
The 11 men were killed alongside 14 law-enforcement officers during an armed confrontation in Grozny last Thursday, with at least one civilian also believed to have been killed. A day after the attack, Ramzan Kadyrov, the Head of the Chechen Republic, said the families of the armed group members would be expelled from Chechnya and their houses demolished. 
 
Amnesty International Europe and Central Asia Programme Director John Dalhuisen said:
 
“Nothing can justify acts of collective punishment. The federal authorities must ensure an independent and impartial investigation is conducted into the burning of the houses and bring those responsible to justice in fair trials.
 
“Punishing the relatives of those suspected of involvement in crimes is a flagrant violation of international law. 
 
“By allowing these alleged acts of collective punishment to go unchallenged, the Russian leadership will be sending a dangerous message that such abuses are actually allowed and encouraged.” 
 

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