Beslan School Massacre: Anti-Putin campaign activists and journalists attacked in Beslan

16:33 Sep. 3, 2016

Anti-Putin campaign activists and journalists attacked in Beslan

Mothers of Beslan hostages. Photo courtesy - Elena Kostyuchenko, Facebook

Activists are mothers of victims of Beslan school massacre - Russia's deadliesl hostage crisis 

In the city of Beslan* (in Russia's volatile North Caucasus region, near to Chechnya), unidentified individuals attacked Ella Kesaeva and Svetlana Margieva - mothers of those who were killed in the deadliest school hostage crisis on September 1, 2004.

The women wore T-shirts reading Putin is Beslan's Executioner to commemorate the tragic event, Meduza reports.

Two journaliststs - Novaya Gazeta correspondent Elena Kostyuchenko and Takiye Dela correspondent Diana Khachatryan, who were reporting on the campaign - were also assaulted.

Kostyuchenko's colleague said that the attack was launched by a group of "unidentified individuals in civilian clothes, who were driven together in large numbers near the school in Beslan."

Read also ECHR holds case into Russian culpability of Beslan school massacre

According to her, the attackers took away a camera and phones from three women - Ella Kesaeva, Svetlana Margieva and Elena Kostyuchenko.

"Their cameras were taken away, as the women filmed 'people in civilian clothes' start surrounding them", Kostyuchenko's colleague said.

The attackers wore T-shirts with an inscription Antiterror. They surrounded the women who rallied in the gym of the school where hostages were killed in the massacre.

The attackers threw green paint at Elena Kostyuchenko and hit Diana Khachatryan on her head because she was trying to film what was going on. Police officers did not interfere at all.

Watch also Memorial service in Beslan mark anniversary of Russia's deadliest hostage crisis

On September 1, 2004, dozens of masked gunmen seized the school in Beslan, North Ossetia, and demanded an end to the war in neighbouring Chechnya. They held more than 1,000 people hostage for three days withholding food and water and killing many of the male hostages.

In a bloody climax on September 3, security forces started to storm the school. 333 people, rescuers among them, were killed in the ensuing firefight - 186 of them children. 


 Flowers placed at a cross to mark victims of the Beslan hostage crisis in the gymnasium of Beslan's School No. 1, southern Russia, Saturday, Sept. 1, 2007 (AP Photo).

On September 1, 2016, during the commemorative activities, Ella Kesaeva, Svetlana Margieva and another three women put on T-shirts with the inscription Putin is Beslan's Executioner. Four out of five activists lost their children who were killed in Beslan school massacre. 

The women were detained on charges of violating the order for holding meetings. Three activists were sentenced to 20-hour community service, another two were sentenced to a USD 300 fine.

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