Sunday, October 30, in the framework of Tsentralnoye Televideniye programme, NTV was to broadcast a short story about on-going abductions in Chechnya, in particular, about the work of the Joint Mobile Group of human rights defenders and Islam Umarpashayev’s case. However, the story was shown only in the Far East and in the Urals; in the central region of Russia the piece was urgently taken off the air.
The story which is already available on the internet narrates about investigations into abductions in the Chechen Republic, inability of Investigation Committee investigators to do their job effectively due to unparalleled counterstand of Chechen law enforcers. The situation is illustrated by the case about abduction, ill-treatment and almost 4-month long unlawful detention of Grozny resident Islam Irisbayevich Umarpashayev at the Chechen OMON base. There are also other JMG cases mentioned in the story.
It is difficult to find the exact reason why the story has been taken off the air. However, such incident is indicative. Alas, we have to admit that the human rights movement has faced the same problem it began with, again it has to struggle for the freedom of expression. It’s terrible when there are tortures and abductions in a country, but the situation when you cannot even speak about them in public is twice as terrible.