Rutgers Model United Nations - IDIA
Rutgers Model United Nations 11 policy in Chechnya, was found murdered on 7 October 2006. Politkovskaya was a frequent critic of Russian President Putin, especially concerning his censorship of the free press and his policies in Chechnya. Politkovskaya worked for a small but internationally known liberal paper, Novaya Gazeta, out of Moscow. Politkovskaya’s book exposed an international audience to the atrocities occurring in Chechnya. Her death has been ruled suspicious, and international observers have called for an open investigation. Many in the press speculate the Russian government’s involvement either directly or indirectly with Politkovskaya’s death. Addressing his possible involvement in her murder, Russian President Putin stated, “I did not kill women and I never kill them,” while offering his condolences three days after Politkovskaya’s murder. 22 This outburst further illustrates President Putin’s disdain for the press, which he has attempted to suppress. The press is not the only entity that fears retribution in Chechnya, the Russian government makes obvious attempts to limit NGOs access to Chechnya. A number of aid workers from Human Rights Watch have disappeared while documenting the humanitarian crisis occurring in Chechnya. For example in March 2003, Russian forces kidnapped Imran Ezhiev and held him in detention for three days, all while threatening him with death and execution. 23 Aid workers are not the only ones disappearing in Chechnya either. According to Memorial, an NGO working toward the resolution of hostilities in Chechnya, anywhere from 3,000-5,000 Chechens have disappeared in the last three years. 24 This estimate only includes those people reported missing. An official Russian source estimates the number around 2,700 people. 25 Those figures are dropping in recent years. Hostilities force many Chechens to flee for their lives. In 2003, more than 150,000 Chechen refugees lived in a refugee camp at Ingushetia. 26 22 C.J. Chivers. A Journalists Revelations, In Life and Death. New York Times, 15 October 2006, A4 23 Human Rights Watch. http://www.hrw.org/backgrounder/eca/chechnya/unchr-chechnya-05.htm#P161_29160 24 Smith, 32. 25 Smith, 32. 26 German 130.
Rutgers Model United Nations 12 Kurdistan Currently, more than four million Kurds live in Iraqi Kurdistan. 27 After a failed US-backed attempt at removing Saddam Hussein after the First Gulf War, the Kurds enjoyed relative autonomy and de facto statehood, as they remained close allies of the United States and Great Britain. In addition, the United Nations offered Kurds protection by imposing sanctions on Iraq, crippling any possible military action against them. During that time, the Kurds developed the region with the limited resources to which they had access. From this measure, this region is now the most economically stable region in Iraq today, despite the ongoing civil war. Kurdish controlled oil fields have produced over nine billion barrels already. 28 US involvement in Iraq led to the removal of Saddam Hussein and the dissolution of his Ba’ath lead government. Subsequently, after the apprehension of Hussein, the new Iraqi government tried Hussein for crimes against humanity. These crimes included attacks against the Kurdish people during the 1970s and 1980s, including testing nerve gas on civilian populations. Despite a theatrical trail plagued with problems, courts convicted Hussein for these war crimes. In late 2006, the former President was sentenced to death and was hanged for his crimes. In 2005, Iraq conducted its first free and fair elections, monitored by observers from the United States and United Nations. Despite threats of violence from insurgents, 98.7 per cent of Kurds participated in the 2005 Iraqi Election. 29 The election was a monumental success, most memorable by the pictures of voters with purple ink marking their fingers signifying that they had participated. For the first time in Iraqi history, the Iraqi people elected the leaders of the state that would draft a constitution and establish a representative government. Under the guidance of the United States, the Iraqi people adopted a parliamentary system as to best represent the three largest factions within Iraqi society. 27 Frank Viviano, “Kurds in Control. “ National Geographic, Vol. 209 Issue 1, January 2006 28 Ibid. 29 Ibid.