07 May 2008, 09:24

Human rights activists: 25,000 hectares of Chechen territory are still mine-studded

Leaders of human rights and other public organizations of Chechnya are concerned with slow rates of de-mining the territory. They also are dissatisfied with the intention of the Russian Ministry for Emergencies to finance mine clearing in Serbia and forget about mines in Chechnya.

On May 6, Said-Emi Jabrailov, Chairman of the Public Chamber of the Chechen Republic, together with representatives of the human rights organizations-members of the Council, disseminated a statement asserting that the republic "has 24,496 hectares of death zone stuffed with mines and unexploded shells, the territory in need of complete clearing, which includes agrarian estates, large forests, enterprises and organizations."

The authors of the statement, namely, the Council of Human Rights Organizations and Public Associations for Civil Society Development and Human Rights Monitoring under the Ombudsman of Chechnya and the Public Chamber of Chechnya, emphasize that during the period from the start of armed operations in 1994 till March 2008, a total of 3097 peaceful residents suffered in the territory of the Chechen Republic from mines and unexploded shells; of them 715 persons were lost, including 135 children, 2382 persons were wounded and crippled, 626 of them were children, and 575 persons from among those killed and wounded were women, the "Interfax" Agency reports.

Public figures of Chechnya have supported the protest of the organization named "Laman Az" (Voice of Mountains) against the intention announced by Sergey Shoigu, Russian Minister for Emergencies, to fund the programme on mine clearing in Serbia, the "Regnum" Agency informs.

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