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.
On 8 March 1995, Russian and Chechen women started the Peace March intending to walk from Moscow to Grozny. Learning about the March, Fatima went to the village of Sleptsovskaya (Ingushetia) to join in. A column of 500 marchers walked with posters to the Chechen village of Sernovodsk, where they were stopped by the Federals who threatened to use weapons, in the face of which the women appeared to be helpless. Nevertheless, they did not lose heart. The active members of the March created the NGOs Union of Women of the Northern Caucasus (SZSK) and Echo of War. Of course, Fatima's activities could not remain unnoticed by those who violated human rights. In 2004, Fatima and her husband were kidnapped by armed people wearing masks and brought to a military base of the Federal troops. They realized that they had fallen into the hands of the special services of the Russian Federation. Fatima and her husband were interrogated and threatened. That night on the military base seemed to be endless. Fatima recalled her happy childhood and peaceful Kazakh prairies. “What brought me to this unstable region? Why could I not have stayed where I was, baking cakes and raising my daughters? What else did I need?” These sad thoughts ran through her mind while she stared at the stone ceiling. “Many people in the same situation disappeared forever. I have dealt with so many similar cases myself.” When in the morning the door of her cell opened, Fatima was ready for the worst. But a miracle happened and, together with her husband, she was released. “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. And I will go back to baking cakes when the war is over,” Fatima said to herself smiling at the bright autumn sun.
Ekho Voiny (Echo of War) Soyuz Zhenshchin Severnogo Kavkaza (Union of Women of the Northern Caucasus)