Oslo Freedom Forum
“Akhmed Zakayev is the prime minister of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria. A former actor, he served as the chairman of the Chechen Union of Actors. A veteran of the First Chechen War, Zakayev was one of the signatories of the Chechen-Russian peace treaty signed in 1997, and served as Chechen deputy prime minister after the war. When Russia attempted to implicate him in the planning of the Moscow theater siege in 2002, a British court refused to extradite Zakayev—living with his family in exile in the U.K.—stating that his life would be at risk if he returned to Russia. He was granted political asylum in 2003. Zakayev leads an alternative political movement that rejects the violent Chechen Islamist insurgency and the Russian-backed Chechen government of Ramzan Kadyrov.
May 20, 2009″