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Russia “thins out” Chechens with executions
| Moscow: The head of a top world rights watchdog on July 23, accused the Russian military of executing up to 80 Chechen men a month to “thin out” the republic’s adult male population in a war of attrition.
“The process by which young Chechen men are being abducted and murdered... is claiming more lives than the bombing campaigns of the two wars,” said the executive director for the International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights, Aaron Rhodes, AFP reported.
“If you look at the evidence from reliable, non-partisan human rights organizations, between 50 and 80 people are being murdered every month,” Rhodes said. He added that given Chechnya’s relatively small population, estimated at between 300,000 and 600,000, but impossible to verify, the scale of killing in the republic is almost unprecedented.
“This violence is on a huge scale in the world context. It is difficult to find an analogy to this,” he said. “We have a very hard time finding such numbers in other historical cases.”
Russian troops stormed into Chechnya in October 1999 in a self-declared anti-terrorist operation after the predominantly Muslim republic in the turbulent north Caucasus won de facto independence in a first war, which lasted from 1994-96.
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