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Voice of Beslan activists to standtrial
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, 28 2008
Radio Liberty program by Andrei Shary with Radio Liberty Moscow correspondent Maxim Yaroshevsky participating.
Andrei Shary: Ella Kesayeva, the leader of the human rights movement, ‘Voice of Beslan’, gave evidence today in court on the right bank of Beslan, concerning an administrative violation. Thecourt will consider the case against two other ‘Voice of Beslan’ activists, Svetlana Margiyeva and Emily Bzarova, on Monday, March 31st. Themovement activists are accused of violating several articles of the Administrative Code, but human rights activists and fellow members of ‘Voice of Beslan’ are convinced that the women are being tried primarily for political reasons.
Maxim Yaroshevsky: Ella Kesayeva is on trial for ‘failing to obey the orders of a judge or bailiff’. Weare talking about an incident that occurred on January 7th of this year. During consideration of a complaint by ‘Voice of Beslan’ about their re-organization under another person, three activists from the movement allegedly insulted and beat a judge and seven bailiffs. Afew days later court officers said that nothing happened, but the Beslan public prosecutor decided to bring criminal charges on several counts. Thecourt officers made a second attempt to resolve the conflict peacefully, and passed a resolution to drop criminal proceedings due to a lack of grounds. Asa result, the criminal offense was changed to an administrative violation. EllaKesayeva’s comrades believe that the main reason that the human rights activist, one of the leaders of ‘Voice of Beslan’ is now in the dock is because of the politics that the movement engages in. According to the chairman of Anti-Corruption Committee of the Northern Caucasus, Musa Sadayev
Musa Sadayev: Kesayeva is apparently seeking more of a political investigation into the case. Ibelieve that in this Ella Kesayeva is right, while with respect to the conduct against her, Isay that this is not a fair game. Ibelieve that she is being persecuted for political reasons. Thewoman stands firm and demands justice, which, unfortunately, she cannot get. Theauthorities, apparently, do not want it and have begun to persecute her. Mostof her associates for various reasons have withdrawn under pressure, apparently.
Maxim Yaroshevsky: In your opinion, will there be justice in Beslan with respect to Ella Kesayeva at least, who is pretty well known in Moscow, among other places?
Musa Sadayev: Unfortunately, Ithink she will not get it. Theauthorities are not interested in it.
Maxim Yaroshevsky: On Monday, the same court in Beslan is to examine the case of two other members of ‘Voice of Beslan’, Svetlana Margiyeva and Emilia Bzarova, who are also accused of administrative violations. EllaKesayeva on that day is to stand trial for criminal offenses that were immediately brought under four articles of the Penal Code: intentional infliction of bodily harm, battery, slander, and insulting. Amember of the ‘Nord-Ost’ human rights movement, Tatyana Karpova, who has long worked with ‘Voice of Beslan’, regrets that she cannot help her friends. Shebelieves that everything happening to the women today is directly related to their human rights activities.
Tatyana Karpova: Unfortunately, Iwas not present at the court hearings, but Iknow that if we were there, or at least representatives from 'Nord-Ost', we would have stood shoulder to shoulder with Ella Kesayeva and not retreated from her behavior, from her politics, or from her statements to the court, because this mess has really driven us all to the breaking point. And‘Nord-Ost’, and Beslan, and Volgodonsk, and you can count to infinity, these cases do not budge, and an insane pain gnaws at all of us because there is still no one who is found guilty, and nobody is looking for them. Noone even makes an attempt to punish the perpetrators. Perhaps it would be much wiser on the part of the big politicians if they would really look at this whole situation and get on our side, be our supporters in this case, in this matter, and not the other way around. Iunderstand Ella Kesayeva perfectly. Iunderstand what is now happening perfectly. Unfortunately, it is not possible to be with them, but we are fully with the girls because they we love them all and we know them very well, and naturally we respect their actions and their behavior. Andonce again we are ashamed of our government and of our state, which knocks all who are trying to do something for the country. After all, our aspirations are directed not towards some mindless punishment of officials, or punishment of the government, but in order that the government does not to repeat its heinous mistakes with respect to ordinary citizens. Wecan only express our support and wish courage and strength to ‘Voice of Beslan’.
Maxim Yaroshevsky: The court in Beslan is still working on another case involving ‘Voice of Beslan’. TheNazran public prosecutor in January of this year went to court in the Nazran district asking that the text of an open letter, titled: “To all who sympathize with the victims of the Beslan terrorist attack” be judged to be an extremist appeal. Thelast hearing into the case took place on March 22nd, when the court decided to send the text of the appeal for psychological and linguistic analysis. Experts are to determine whether the ‘Voice of Beslan’ letter contains signs of extremism.
In ‘Radio Liberty’

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