She is one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Price 2005.
She says: “I cannot conceive of a higher aim for myself than helping orphaned and disabled children who are the victims of the cruel war in the Republic of Chechnya”.
Toita Yunusova – Russian Federation
She works for Ekho Voiny / Echo of War (mentionned on Prague Watchdog).
Since 1995 Toita Yunusova has actively participated in the anti-war movement trying to stop the bloodshed in Chechnya. She is a peace activist and a member of the NGO Ekho Voiny (Echo of War). Working on humanitarian projects to help refugees in the Caucasus region and cooperating with Russian NGOs fighting for a peaceful solution to the Chechen problem, Toita has collected photo and video materials which she hopes will become evidence of war crimes and human rights violations in Chechnya.
Toita Yunusova was born in 1966 in a village high in the mountains of Checheno-Ingushetia. She is an farmer by trade. After graduating from the Vocational School of Farming in Sernovodsk, Toita worked as a brigadier in a vineyard in the Naur region and later as a nurse in the Ivushka kindergarten.
Since 1995, after the beginning of the Russian-Chechen war, she has actively participated in the anti-war movement, becoming a member of the NGO Ekho Voiny (Echo of War). At the beginning of March 1995, she learned of the Mother’s Compassion anti-war initiative in Moscow, which was aimed at involving Russian and Chechen women and mothers in the efforts to halt the bloodshed. Toita organized transportation for women from Ingushetia who came to Moscow to take part in anti-war activities.
She has risked her own life in order to show the world the truth about the war in Chechnya. She carried a video camera with her at all times, in order to document war episodes, cases of human rights violations, and war crimes.
She did what she could, spreading the truth about war atrocities. In the archives of the anti-war NGO Ekho Voiny, there are more than 200 videotapes and more than 2,000 photographs that document the horrors of war in Chechnya. Toita hopes that one day they will be used as evidence in trials against those who started the bloody war and those who are guilty of killing around 100,000 innocent Chechen people.
Toita has selflessly risked her own life many times. In November 1999, having escaped from the air bombings of Grozny, she came to the village of Alkhan-Yurt. Instead of finding a refuge, she found herself in the epicenter of the most atrocious attack. Russian troops launched an attack on the village with intensive bombing and artillery fire.
Within a few hours, half of the village was burnt down and lay in ruins. Dozens of civilians died. Having miraculously escaped death, Toita filmed the events with her video camera. Later the video was passed to the mass media, and the whole world could see the carpet bombing of a peaceful village in Chechnya. (1000PeaceWomen).
Chechnya Weekly, October 19, 2006;
Human Rights Violations in Chechnya;
Appeal of Chechen human rights organizations;
Chechen People’s Call on Clubplanet.com;
fidh: Chechnya, Terror and Impunity, A Planned System.
fidh: Tchétchénie, Terreur et impunité, Un système organisé.
Russia News Archives for June 2007.