She is one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Price 2005.
She says: “This is the will of God. He has granted me life so that I can help the least privileged victims of war. I have no right to betray them. They are waiting for me”.
Download: THE SITUATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS, 31/03/2005, 285 pdf-pages.
Fatima Gazieva – Russian Federation
She works for Ekho Voiny / Echo of War (named on Prague Watchdog, on Chechnya Weekly, on FIIA Report 2003, on this fidh report on chechnya) and for Soyuz Zhenshchin Severnogo Kavkaza (Union of Women of the Northern Caucasus, as part of the Women’s Information Network).
Fatima Gazieva was born 1960 in Kazakhstan. At the beginning of the 1990s, she returned to her historical motherland, Checheno-Ingushetia. Since 1995, Fatima has been taking part in the anti-war movement. Being an active member of the human rights organizations Soyuz Zhenshchin Severnogo Kavkaza (Union of Women of the Northern Caucasus) and Ekho Voiny (Echo of War), she strives to help the people of Chechnya who have become victims of the atrocities of the bloody Russian-Chechen wars. Her activities are getting more and more dangerous under the pressure of the Russian authorities.The war broke out in Chechnya in November 1994. Endless chains of roaring tanks moved along the roads, airplanes bombed innocent civilians in the streets. The tragedy of her people led Fatima Gazieva to the antiwar movement.
On 20 December 1995 on the main roads of Chechnya there was a life chain of people protesting against the war. Fatima was one of them.
Then on 8 March 1995 Russian and Chechen women started the Peace March. The organizers’ idea was that they should walk from Moscow to Grozny. When Fatima learned about this initiative, she went to the village of Sleptsovskaya (Ingushetia) to meet the participants of the March and to join them. Among the arrived peacekeepers, apart from renowned Russian and foreign public figures, she met the Chechen women Zainap Gashaeva and Maya Shovkhalova.
A column of five hundred marchers walked with posters from the village of Sleptsovskaya to the Chechen village of Sernovodsk. Federals did not allow them to go further, threatening to use weapons, in the face of which the women from all over Russia appeared to be helpless.
Nevertheless, this did not make the marchers lose heart. Among the participants Fatima found like-minded women.
Together with them and other active members of the March, they decided to create the organization ‘Soyuz Zhenshchin Severnogo Kavkaza’ (’Union of Women of the Northern Caucasus’) to coordinate the activities of non-governmental organizations all over the Caucasus in order to try to put an end to the existing conflicts and prevent the new ones, as well as to contribute to the establishment of the civil society in the Caucasian region. Shortly after that they created another organization ‘Ekho Voiny’ (’The Echo of War’).
Of course, Fatima’s activities could not remain unnoticed by those who violated human rights. On 3 September 2004 in the morning armed people wearing masks kidnapped Fatima and her husband. When they were brought to the military base of
the Federal troops Khankala (Chechnya), they realized that they fell into the hands of the special services of the Russian Federation. They were kept there for one day. Officers of the special forces interrogated and threatened them.
Fatima clearly realized the danger, as she had dealt with so many similar cases herself when people in the same situation simply disappeared forever. But miraculously she and her husband were released the next day.
Fatima though that it was the will of God, who granted her life, so that she could help the victims of war. She said to herself that she had no right to betray them. Since then Fatima Gazieva has been relentlessly fighting for the right of her people to survive. She is trying not to let the world forget about her motherland, where every day and night ordinary innocent citizens face the danger of being arrested, tortured, and threatened by the Russian special forces. (1000PeaceWomen).
14 September 2004: Mrs Fatima Gazieva, a co-founder of the NGO « Echo of War » was arrested by armed men and brought to the military base of the Russian federal Army in Hancala. She was released the day after, after having been questioned on her activities. (full text).
United Nations, ECOSOC: PROMOTION AND PROTECTION OF HUMAN RIGHTS, HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS, Report of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Hina Jilani, Addendum, Summary of cases transmitted to Governments and replies received, 16 March 2005, 219 pdf-pages.
International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights, all documents;