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Saturday, October 14, 2006

Yusupova Passed Over for Nobel

Lidia Yusupova, pictured left, was not awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Instead, it was given to Muhammed Yanus and Grameen Bank "for developing micro credit as an instrument in the struggle against poverty."

In other words they've given the Nobel Peace Prize for . . . economics. Perhaps not surprising since they also gave it to Yasir Arafat, a terrorist. Are Yanus and Grameen risking their lives to promote peace like Yusupova? Not hardly. SHAME on the Nobel Committee; it is now up to you and me to find ways to make it up to Yusupova, if we want to preserve our humanity (three cheers for the Ford Foundation, which has awarded her a grant). The Moscow Times outlines Yusupova's struggles against the cowardly Russian nationalists who would cut her down just like Politkovskaya:

The call came in on Lidia Yusupova's cell phone at 9 a.m., Thursday morning.

"The number was blocked, and the man was speaking Chechen," Yusupova said. "He said I might not be alive long enough to collect the award."

Yusupova, a Grozny lawyer who has spent the past several years gathering evidence of human rights abuses in Chechnya and fighting for victims, was nominated earlier this month for the Nobel Peace Prize. On Friday, the Nobel Committee will announce the winner in Oslo.

She declined to speculate on who placed the anonymous call, but she takes death threats in stride.

"I told him that if he were a real man he would come and threaten me to my face," said Yusupova, who is temporarily living in Moscow. "It's always amusing to me. These people are so weak and helpless that all they can do is make anonymous threats."

Yusupova, 46, garnered the nomination for her work at the Grozny office of the human rights group Memorial. She is one of 191 nominees this year; oddsmakers say she has a good chance of winning.

Last month, Centrebet, an Australian online sports-betting service, put Yusupova's odds at 12-to-1. Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who signed a peace agreement last year with Aceh separatist rebels, is the odds-on favorite: His chances are 3-to-1. Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari, who brokered the agreement, is 4-to-1.

No citizen of post-Soviet Russia has ever won the Nobel Peace Prize. Soviet dissident Andrei Sakharov won the award in 1975 and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev won in 1990.

A Grozny native, Yusupova studied law at Chechnya State University.

She said winning the prize would be a "great victory" that could help bring international attention to the kidnappings, illegal detentions and torture that continue to plague the republic.

While the military has curtailed its sweep operations since the second Chechen war broke out in 1999, danger is still prevalent, she said. "Everyone still lives in fear of the arbitrary behavior of the powers that be."

Yusupova said she was honored just to have been nominated for the peace prize, adding that there were more deserving Russian rights activists such as journalist Anna Politkovskaya. The 48-year-old Novaya Gazeta reporter was gunned down Saturday in an apparent contract killing in her apartment building in Moscow.

Politkovskaya's death would only strengthen the resolve of rights activists in Chechnya, Yusupova predicted. "Everyone who has ever worked with her feels it is their duty to carry on her work," she said.

Yusupova has already earned international recognition for her work. In 2004, she won the Martin Ennals Award for human rights, and last year she was awarded Norway's Rafto Prize. Since the Rafto Prize for human rights was inaugurated in 1987, four recipients have gone on to win the Nobel Peace Prize.

Human rights activists at home and abroad describe Yusupova as a fearless lawyer adored by the young men she has defended and the families of those who have disappeared.

"She is an absolutely dedicated and inspiring person, without whom our successful litigation at Strasbourg could not have happened," British human rights lawyer Bill Bowring, who has represented Chechen clients in the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, said by e-mail Wednesday.

Yusupova, Bowring said, has shown "extraordinary courage and tenacity in continuing her work in Grozny in the most difficult conditions."

Ibragim Zubairayev, a spokesman for the office of Chechnya's human rights ombudsman, Nurdi Nukhazhiyev, praised Yusupova's courage. But he said Yusupova might have overstated the seriousness of human rights abuses, saying many problems have abated in recent years.

Usam Baisayev, a Memorial activist in Nazran, recalled a young man giving Yusupova a macrame pen cover for defending him. The man, Baisayev said, had woven the pen cover from threads he had pulled from his socks while in detention. The words "To my favorite lawyer" were woven into the gift.

Yusupova remembers the young man. "The last I heard, he was somewhere in the Arkhangelsk region serving a 20-year sentence," she said. "Murder, illegal gang activity. They threw the book at him. He was only 19."

She said the man told her he had been tortured and sexually assaulted while he was in police custody. "He said he was in Ingushetia when the murder they charged him with was committed," Yusupova said. "I asked him why he'd signed a written confession, and he said, 'I'd rather serve 20 years than have to put up with such shame.'"

After completing a Ford Foundation fellowship in Moscow, Yusupova said, she plans to return to Chechnya. She does not expect her work to get any safer. "There were, are and will be threats," she said.

9 comments:

17 ugly raccoons said...

Cowardly Russian nationalists speaking Chechen - it's best, absolutely best!..

La Russophobe said...

UGLY: Actually, if you were paying attention, you'd see that in this case we're talking about cowardly Russian IMPERIALISTS. Russians can't consider Chechnya part of their country when they believe only Slavs can be citizens, now can they?

17 ugly raccoons said...

The Moscow Times outlines Yusupova's struggles against the cowardly Russian nationalists who would cut her down just like Politkovskaya:

Now about your question. Chechnya is part of Russia. It includes territory of Terek Cossacks and other land never belonged to Chechens. These land have been given to them by reds for help in massacre of Cossacks. At Great Patriotic War, Chechens aligned themselves with Hitler - when I say 'aligned', I mean most of their manpower sabotaged the efforts of Red Army or directly fought for Nazis. Stalin was quite merciful only exiling them, if he'd ordered to go by martial law, most of Chechen men might been shot absolutely lawful.

I have no objections to idea return every Chechen who want to be independent on their *native* lands, some barren mountains those are. Most of them will extinct from famine there in month or two, some part of the rest of them will die when they try another marauding attack. Rest will beg on their knees to rejoin with Russia.

Anna Medley said...

Hey guys, I know who UGLY is! He is one of Limonov's psychos! His is a brown-red national-fascist! Hello, Nazi!!!

La Russophobe said...

UGLY:

So let me see if I understand: You think that the Russian imperialists/nationalists (words are synonymous in this context) don't care about Lidia, but only native Chechens? Isn't it too early in the day for samagon?

Well, if you have no objection to Chechen independence, then why don't you write a letter to President Putin and tell him so. Because he's sacrificed tens of thousands of Russian lives in order to keep the Chechens from having their native lands. You say the mountains are barren, but for a decade now the rebels have been living quite successfully there, and they've managed to kill off quite a few Russians in their spare time.

Oh yeah. If you wrote him such a letter, he'd have you arrested. Good reason!

I wonder why the Chechens would possibly have liked Hitler better than Stalin? Hmmmm . . . could it be because Stalin killed more Russians than Hitler did?

Why do you forget to mention that RUSSIANS allied themselves with the Nazis, stabbing their allies France and UK in the back with a secret pact to carve up Europe, and only fought Hitler because he in turn betrayed Stalin like the utter craven fool that he was?

La Russophobe said...

ANNA: Yes, it appears that the only significant difference between Russia of 1930 and Russia of 2030 will turn out to be fascism instead of communism. How many Russians who perished at the hands of the Nazis are now spinning in their graves?

17 ugly raccoons said...

anna medley: Of course, you are wrong, I am not from NBP. You know, I really like when some westerner scraps his appaling knowledge about Russia and tries to apply it to current situation. And about terminology... I already forgot about totalitarian ideologies of XX century a little more than you ever will know, so it is real fun reading your pitiful attempt to use the words meaning of those you don't understand. Keep up the good work.

LR: Yes, I think that most of 'nationalists/imperialists' (you obviously don't have a clue about hot discussion 'empire vs. national state' which has been not long ago in Russian blogosphere) don't know about Yusupova and wouldn't care about her even if you'll wake up them at midnight and start to scream her name in their ears.

About Chechen independence - I already stated my point of view publicly in my blog (I wrote to Putin indignant letters on other themes, and it is not polite to disturb him too often :-) ). And I think you're clueless again - borders of Chechen republic aren't borders of Chechen lands, Chechen lands are much smaller. Why Chechen wars were fought so un-gracefuly? Because Yeltsin, Putin and all that clique were/are weak and afraid to do what needs to be done. They kept then and keep now their stolen money in western banks so they needed to look 'civilized' and paid for that idiocy by lives of Russian soldiers. I'd like to remind you that SU won some guerilla wars and gained all necessary experience (yes, I am provoking you to shout about Soviet 'defeat' in Afghanistan, spill away another foolish myth like SDI).

Chechens liked Hitler better than Stalin because they hate Russians. Russians a) deprived them their favorite hobbies: marauding and slave-trading and b) not killed them all in process. And about another myth: archives de-classified long ago, so there is already known the real number of sentences for 'counter-revolutionary crimes' (from Beria's official letters to Stalin).

Your gibberish about Molotov-Ribbentrop pact (which wasn't secret, btw, the protocols to that pact were secret) is boring.

First, prove that non-agression pact means alliance.

Second, prove that Soviets (you should write 'Communists allied with Nazis' or 'Russians allied with Germans', but I'll magnanimously forgive your childish dishonesty) had *alliance* with UK and France before August 1939. History of negotiations between them is very interesting, but in short - negotiations were botched by a) western powers who wanted to get promise from Stalin to fight Hitler without giving the same promise to Stalin, b) position of Poland.

So Stalin just took better price - chunks of Russian territories stolen by Poland after Russian civil war and German technologies, many of these were priceless.

Next myth that Hitler took Stalin completely by surprise. Of course, you not knew that orders to Red Army to prepare for war were issued at least week before 6/22/1941. Of course, Hitler betrayed Stalin, but it was Hitler's mistake, not Stalin's - just look at results of that betrayal. And of course, history might be much better if Hitler wasn't idiot and not attacked Stalin. But it's stupid to blame man who had been attacked by mad dog.

How many Russians who perished at the hands of the Nazis are now spinning in their graves?

No one. Because they fought not against Nazis, but first and foremost for Russia. Feel the difference and don't try to recruit my heroic ancestors to your worthless cause. You're just humiliating yourself.

La Russophobe said...

UGLY: Your country made a deal with Hitler. You can run, but you can't hide from that. You're the one who criticized the Chechens for doing just what Russia did. Typical air-headed Russophile hypocrite.

17 ugly raccoons said...

LR: my COUNTRY made a deal with GERMANY. Don't cheat, please. Now, show me more or less important country which didn't made a deals with Germany in that time.

And Chechens weren't authorized to make any deals - with Germany, with US or with Gabon, like Cherokee chieftains or governor of Texas are not authorized to make such deals with Germnany, Russia or Uruguay. Sorry, there is hypocrite in this thread, but not I.