Norwegian Support Committee for Chechnya

Last updated

The Norwegian Support Committee for Chechnya (Norwegian : Den norske støttekomiteen for Tsjetsjenia) is a Norwegian advocacy group.

Norwegian language North Germanic language spoken in Norway

Norwegian is a North Germanic language spoken mainly in Norway, where it is the official language. Along with Swedish and Danish, Norwegian forms a dialect continuum of more or less mutually intelligible local and regional varieties; some Norwegian and Swedish dialects, in particular, are very close. These Scandinavian languages, together with Faroese and Icelandic as well as some extinct languages, constitute the North Germanic languages. Faroese and Icelandic are not mutually intelligible with Norwegian in their spoken form because continental Scandinavian has diverged from them. While the two Germanic languages with the greatest numbers of speakers, English and German, have close similarities with Norwegian, neither is mutually intelligible with it. Norwegian is a descendant of Old Norse, the common language of the Germanic peoples living in Scandinavia during the Viking Era.

Advocacy groups, also known as special interest groups, use various forms of advocacy in order to influence public opinion and ultimately policy. They play an important role in the development of political and social systems.



Non-partisan, its purpose is to "work for immediate, total and unconditional withdrawal of all Russian military forces [from Chechnya ] and for the right of the Chechen people to autonomy". In addition it works to spread information about the situation in Chechnya, to help organize developmental support within Chechnya, and to assist Chechen refugees in Norway and other countries. [1]

A political party is an organized group of people who have the same ideology, or who otherwise have the same political positions, and who field candidates for elections, in an attempt to get them elected and thereby implement the party's agenda.

Russia transcontinental country in Eastern Europe and Northern Asia

Russia, or the Russian Federation, is a transcontinental country in Eastern Europe and North Asia. At 17,125,200 square kilometres (6,612,100 sq mi), Russia is, by a considerable margin, the largest country in the world by area, covering more than one-eighth of the Earth's inhabited land area, and the ninth most populous, with about 146.79 million people as of 2019, including Crimea. About 77% of the population live in the western, European part of the country. Russia's capital, Moscow, is one of the largest cities in the world and the second largest city in Europe; other major cities include Saint Petersburg, Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg and Nizhny Novgorod. Extending across the entirety of Northern Asia and much of Eastern Europe, Russia spans eleven time zones and incorporates a wide range of environments and landforms. From northwest to southeast, Russia shares land borders with Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia and North Korea. It shares maritime borders with Japan by the Sea of Okhotsk and the U.S. state of Alaska across the Bering Strait. However, Russia recognises two more countries that border it, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, both of which are internationally recognized as parts of Georgia.

Chechnya First-level administrative division of Russia

Chechnya, officially the Chechen Republic, is a federal subject of Russia.

Its board of directors are chaired by Hilde Jørgensen. Members of the board include former national legislator Ingvald Godal and the Norwegian PEN chairman Kjell Olaf Jensen. [2]

Ingvald Godal was a Norwegian politician for the Centre Party and later the Conservative Party. For the former party he was a State Secretary as well as mayor of Vinje; for the latter party he served four terms in the Norwegian Parliament. He was also involved in various organizations, most latterly the Norwegian Support Committee for Chechnya.


The committee has played a somewhat controversial role in Norwegian politics. Following the Moscow theater hostage crisis in October 2002, Ingvald Godal said of the terrorists that "I understand their action, even though I do not defend it". [3] He later claimed that he failedly attempted to enlist Norway as a negotiator during the crisis. [4] In November the same year, ahead of a state visit by Vladimir Putin in Norway, Ingvald Godal filed a prosecution request to the Police of Norway. He also suggested that the Prime Minister of Norway take initiative to an international criminal tribunal for Chechnya. The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs replied that a police prosecution of a foreign head of state is not possible, and rebuffed the latter proposal. [5] During Putin's visit, the committee held a demonstration together with Amnesty International, the Norwegian Helsinki Committee for Human Rights and Norwegian Church Aid. [6] The committee has engaged in other peaceful protests, such as a 2007 memorial of Anna Politkovskaya in cooperation with the Helsinki Committee, the Norwegian PEN, the Human Rights House, the Norwegian Union of Journalists and Nobel Peace Center. [7]

Moscow theater hostage crisis seizure of the crowded Dubrovka Theater on 23 October 2002 by some 40 to 50 armed Chechens

The Moscow theater hostage crisis was the seizure of a crowded Dubrovka Theater by 40 to 50 armed Chechens on 23 October 2002 that involved 850 hostages and ended with the death of at least 170 people. The attackers, led by Movsar Barayev, claimed allegiance to the Islamist separatist movement in Chechnya. They demanded the withdrawal of Russian forces from Chechnya and an end to the Second Chechen War.

State visit formal visit by a head of state to a foreign country

A state visit is a formal visit by a head of state to a foreign country, at the invitation of the head of state of that foreign country, with the latter also acting as the official host for the duration of the state visit. Speaking for the host, it is generally called a state reception. State visits are considered to be the highest expression of friendly bilateral relations between two sovereign states, and are in general characterised by an emphasis on official public ceremonies.

Vladimir Putin Russian politician, 2nd and 4th President of Russia

Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin is the President of Russia since 2012, previously holding the position from 2000 until 2008. In between his presidential terms, he was also the Prime Minister of Russia under president Dmitry Medvedev.

In 2004 the committee and the Socialist Left Party of Norway invited Ahmed Zakayev, a separatist exiled in the United Kingdom, to visit Norway. The Norwegian ambassador to Russia Øyvind Nordsletten received a letter from the Solicitor General of Russia, who called the visit "blasphemous" and demanded extradition. [8] Another visit to Norway by Zakayev followed in December 2004. As a result, counsellor Paul G. Larsen at the Embassy of Norway in Moscow was summoned to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in what journalist Carsten Thomassen described as a "forceful diplomatic reaction". [9]

Socialist Left Party (Norway) Norwegian political party

The Socialist Left Party or SV, is a democratic socialist political party in Norway.

Øyvind Nordsletten is a Norwegian diplomat.

Extradition is an act where one jurisdiction delivers a person accused or convicted of committing a crime in another jurisdiction, over to their law enforcement. It is a cooperative law enforcement process between the two jurisdictions and depends on the arrangements made between them. Besides the legal aspects of the process, extradition also involves the physical transfer of custody of the person being extradited to the legal authority of the requesting jurisdiction.

See also

Related Research Articles

Akhmed Halidovich Zakayev is a former Deputy Prime Minister and Prime Minister of the unrecognised Chechen Republic of Ichkeria (ChRI). He was also the Foreign Minister of the Ichkerian government, appointed by Aslan Maskhadov shortly after his 1997 election, and again in 2006 by Abdul Halim Sadulayev. During the First Chechen war Zakayev took part in the battles for Grozny and other military operations, as well as in high-level negotiations with the Russian side.

Second Chechen War war

Second Chechen War, also known as the Second Chechen Сampaign or officially Counter-terrorist operations on territories of North Caucasian region, was an armed conflict on the territory of Chechnya and the border regions of the North Caucasus between the Russian Federation and the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, also with militants of various Islamist groups, fought from August 1999 to April 2009.

Federal Security Service Principal security agency of Russia

The Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation is the principal security agency of Russia and the main successor agency to the USSR's Committee for State Security (KGB). Its main responsibilities are within the country and include counter-intelligence, internal and border security, counter-terrorism, and surveillance as well as investigating some other types of grave crimes and federal law violations. It is headquartered in Lubyanka Square, Moscow's centre, in the main building of the former KGB. According to the 1995 Federal Law "On the Federal Security Service", direction of the FSB is executed by the president of Russia, who appoints the Director of FSB.

Ramzan Kadyrov President of Chechnya

Ramzan Akhmadovich Kadyrov is the Head of the Chechen Republic and a former member of the Chechen independence movement.

Anna Politkovskaya Russian journalist

Anna Stepanovna Politkovskaya was a Russian journalist, writer, and human rights activist who reported on political events in Russia, in particular, the Second Chechen War (1999–2005).

Turpal-Ali Atgeriyev was a Deputy Prime Minister and National Security Minister of Chechnya.

Dokka Umarov Chechen warlord

Doku Khamatovich Umarov ; also known as Dokka Umarov as well as by his Arabized name of Dokka Abu Umar; was a Chechen Islamic extremist militant in Russia. Umarov was a major military figure in both wars in Chechnya during the 1990s and 2000s, before becoming the leader of the greater insurgency in the North Caucasus. He was active mostly in south-western Chechnya, near and across the borders with Ingushetia and Georgia.

Movladi Saidarbievich Udugov is an activist and the former First Deputy Prime Minister of the separatist Chechen Republic of Ichkeria (ChRI). As a Chechen propaganda chief, he was credited for the Chechen separatists' victory on the information front during the First Chechen War.

Russia incurred much international criticism for its conduct during the Second Chechen War, which started in 1999. The governments of the United States and other countries condemned deaths and expulsions among civilians. The United Nations Commission on Human Rights (UNHCR) passed two resolutions in 2000 and 2001 condemning human rights violations in Chechnya and requiring Russia to set up an independent national commission of inquiry to investigate the matter. However, a third resolution on these lines failed in 2004. The Council of Europe in multiple resolutions and statements between 2003 and 2007 called on Russia to cease human rights violations. The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) between 2005 and 2007 conducted legal cases brought by Chechens against the Russian government, and in many of these cases held Russia responsible for deaths, disappearances and torture.

The International Foundation for Civil Liberties is a non-profit organization established by the Russian-British oligarch Boris Berezovsky in November 2000. The foundation is headquartered in New York City and headed by Alexander Goldfarb. The stated mission of the foundation is "to provide financial, legal, informational and logistical resources to secure human rights and civil liberties in Russia."

The Russian-Chechen Friendship Society (RCFS) is a Finland-based non-governmental organization monitoring the human rights situation in Chechnya and other parts of the North Caucasus. The society produces daily press releases claiming serious human rights violations. At its former main office Nizhny Novgorod, where it produced the Rights Protection newspaper jointly with the Nizhny Novgorod Human Rights Society. The RFCFS received the 2004 Recognition Award by the International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights.

Since the start of the Second Chechen War in 1999, Russian federal authorities are alleged to have implemented a plan to use legal and extralegal methods to limit media access to the conflict region.

Abu al-Walid Islamist terrorist

Abu al-Walid, was a Saudi Arabian of the Ghamd tribe who fought as a "mujahid" volunteer in Central Asia, the Balkans, and the North Caucasus. He was killed in April 2004 in Chechnya by the Russian federal forces.

Dzhabrail Yamadayev Chechan warlord

Dzhabrail Yamadayev was a Chechen rebel field commander during the First Chechen War. He switched sides together with his brothers, Ruslan and Sulim in 1999 during the outbreak of the Second Chechen War and then became the commander of the Russian special forces unit Vostok. Yamadayev was assassinated by a bomb blast in March 2003.

2008 Kabul Serena Hotel attack

The 2008 Kabul Serena Hotel attack was an attack on the gym of the Kabul Serena Hotel, in Kabul, Afghanistan on January 14, 2008 for which the Taliban claimed responsibility.

Carsten Thomassen was a Norwegian journalist, political commentator and war correspondent for the Norwegian daily newspaper Dagbladet. He had earlier covered the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake from Thailand and Indonesia. He was killed in the 2008 Kabul Serena Hotel attack in Kabul, Afghanistan.

The 2010 Chechen Parliament attack took place on the morning of 19 October 2010, when three Chechen militants attacked the parliament complex in Grozny, the capital of the Chechen Republic, a federal subject of Russia. At least six people were killed, including two police officers, one parliament employee and all three suicide commandos.

Musa Muradov is an ethnic Chechen Russian journalist. In 2003, he was awarded the International Press Freedom Award of the Committee to Protect Journalists for his reporting on the Second Chechen War.


  1. "Vedtekter for Støttekomiteen for Tsjetsjenia" (in Norwegian). Retrieved 6 September 2009.
  2. "Styret i Støttekomiteen for Tsjetsjenia" (in Norwegian). Archived from the original on 11 October 2008. Retrieved 6 September 2009.
  3. Vigdis, Alver (26 October 2002). "- Jeg forstår terroristene. Høyre-mann leder støttekomité for Tsjetsjenia". Dagbladet (in Norwegian). p. 10.
  4. Maren, Sæbø (24 October 2003). "Taust om russisk terror". Dagbladet (in Norwegian).
  5. "UD avviser Godal-utspill" (in Norwegian). Norwegian News Agency. 4 November 2002.
  6. "Putin godt skjermet mot Tsjetsjenia-protester" (in Norwegian). Norwegian News Agency. 12 November 2002.
  7. "Anna Politkovskaja minnet på Fredssenteret" (in Norwegian). Norwegian News Agency. 7 October 2007.
  8. Halvor, Tjønn (12 June 2004). "Ville ha tsjetsjensk politiker utlevert". Aftenposten (in Norwegian). p. 6.
  9. Carsten, Thomassen (10 December 2004). "Norges ambassade kalt inn på teppet i Moskva". Dagbladet (in Norwegian). p. 25.