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The Finnish tabloid, Iltalehti, has gone after an acting minister in a way that is reminiscent of the Danish political TV series, Borgen. The newspaper’s Friday edition ran a story on the scandal involving a repair job at the home of the Finnish Minister for International Development, Heidi Hautala. The story was very confusing and a hotchpotch of wild claims and insinuations. Persons linked to the scandal were labelled everything from “right-hand man” of Russian oligarchs to supporters of Chechen separatists. On Tuesday, the tabloid falsely claimed that Ms Hautala had “arranged payments” for the renovation of her male partner’s villa. The (toilet) paper’s stories read almost exactly like the online hallucinations of the pro-Putin agent provocateur, Johan Bäckman, who has made it his life’s work to smear Heidi Hautala.
WaYNaKH Online has received a disquieting email from the relatives of Chechen and Ingush prisoners held in a penal colony in the village of Beregovoy in Russia’s Omsk oblast. In November 2010, the relatives appealed for help because of reports of torture and wide-spread ill-treatment at the penal colony. Apparently, there has been no change in the dismal prison conditions since the end of 2010, however.
A court in Ukraine has decided to extradite a Chechen man accused of plotting to assassinate Russian President Vladimir Putin. Adam Osmayev, who was arrested in March 2012, would be handed over to the Russian authorities within a month. Meanwhile, Mr Osmayev has released the following open letter:
Finnish police deported a Chechen asylum seeker to Russia on Thursday. He is yet another case where immigration authorities in EU countries have refused protection to people who have full reason to fear for their safety in their country of origin. The man was deported to the very country whose authorities tortured him and threatened his family members.
Across North Caucasus, society is divided over the role of women. Why are the freedoms of women in Chechnya, Ingushetia, and Dagestan so constrained? Is Islam to blame? Is it a consequence of war in the region or of poverty? These questions form the basis of a new series on openDemocracy Russia, in which women tell their stories: