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Human rights monitors: field notes

In conjunction with Human Rights Watch UK
Speakers: Khassan Baiev; Martin Chhotubhal Macwan; Maha Abu Ayyash
Chair: Professor Fred Halliday, Centre for the Study of Human Rights
October 2001

Khassan Baiev (Chechnya): A doctor and surgeon, Khassan organized a hospital in his village in Chechnya when war returned in late 1999. He treated both Chechens and Russians, civilians and soldiers, at one point performing more than 60 amputations in 48 hours. In January, a Chechen warlord threatened to execute him for treating Russian soldiers. Days later, his home was looted and burned by Russian forces. In February, many of his patients were executed by Russian forces, and Khassan had to flee when Russian forces labelled him a 'terrorist' doctor for treating Chechen commander Tamil Assayed. Khassan kept a careful diary of abuses in the war, and provided detailed information on war crimes in Chechnya to Human Rights Watch.

Martin Chhotubhal Macwan (India): Martin is the National Convenor of India's National Campaign for Dalit Human Rights and the head of Navsarjan Trust, an organization in India's western state of Gujarat. Navsarjan works with Dalits, or 'untouchables,' in over 2,000 villages, to abolish manual scavenging, to provide legal aid, and fight for implementation of land reform and minimum wage legislation. The National Campaign for Dalit Human Rights has enlisted grassroots organisations in 14 Indian states and 11 countries to advocate on behalf of the 160 million Dalits who continue to suffer under India's 'hidden apartheid,' living in segregated colonies, performing caste-based occupations, and suffering abuses or even death at the hands of the police and higher-caste groups protected by the state.

Maha Abu Ayyash (Jordan): Maha is an artist who runs an art centre in Amman. She represents the National Jordanian Campaign to Eliminate so-called 'Crimes of Honour'.

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