MEMORIAL Human Rights Center
Migration Rights Network
by Svetlana A. Gannushkina
On the Situation of
August 2006 – October 2007
Based on the materials gathered by
the Migration Rights Network,
Civic Assistance Committee,
Internet Publication Caucasian Knot,
SOVA Information and
Chairwoman of the Civic Assistance Committee
L.Sh. Simakova, compiler of the Report
Other contributors to the Report included: Ye. Burtina,
The Migration Rights Network of Memorial Human
Rights Center has 56 offices providing free legal assistance to forced
migrants, including five offices located in
Circulated free of charge
I . Introduction.............................................................................................
II. Svetlana Gannushkina's speech at the seminar for administrative judges, Hohenheim, November 25, 2006. Chechen refugees and the EU qualification rules
III. Living conditions and
security situation of internally displaced persons and residents of the
IV. Situation of people from
V. Situation of people from
VI. Abductions of civilians in the
Appendix 1 Data from the poll of residents of TAPs in the city of
Appendix 4 The case of Asuyev’s police gang
Appendix 6 Eye-witness accounts by residents of the
victims of a mop-up operation
Appendix 7 Illegal detention and torture of Khasiyev and Ipayev at ORB-2
Appendix 9 Address by Lidiya Yusupova, lawyer with Memorial Human Rights Center
Appendix 10 Abduction of Sultan Barakhoyev from settlement Kartsa, the North Ossetia-Alania Republic
Appendix 12 Abductions (disappearances) of people in
Appendix 13 Address by members of the public of the Republic Ingushetia
List of Abbreviations
RI – the
RNO-A - the Republic of North Ossetia-Alania
RD - the
IDPs – persons displaced within the country (or internally displaced persons)
temporary accommodation centers for IDPs located in
temporary accommodation points for IDPs located in the
compact accommodation points for IDPs located in
NCOs – non-commercial organizations
NGOs – non-governmental organizations
MD – Ministry of Defense
FSB – Federal Security Service
UFSB – Federal Security Service Directorate
GRU – Main Intelligence Directorate
MVD – Ministry of the Interior
MChS - Emergency Situations Ministry
VV - Interior Ministry Forces
GUVD – Chief Directorate of the Interior Ministry
OVD – Interior Ministry Department
ROVD – District Department of the Interior Ministry
GOVD - Municipal Department of the Interior Ministry
VOVD – Temporary Department of the Interior Ministry
BOP GU - Chief Directorate for Combating Organized Crime
RUBOP – Regional Directorate for Combating Organized Crime
ORB – Investigations and Law-Enforcement Operations Bureau
OMON – special purpose police unit
SOBR – special rapid reaction unit
APC - armored personnel carrier
PPS – Patrol and Point Duty Service
PPSM – Police Patrol and Point Duty Service Regiment
DPS – Traffic Police Service
GIBDD - State Traffic Safety Inspectorate
IAGs – illegal armed groups
IVS – temporary detention center
SIZO – pretrial detention center
FMS – Federal Migration Service
UFMS – Federal Migration Service Directorate
MTF - commercial dairy farm
This report is the sixth on the situation of
residents of the
During this time, especially first six month
Be sure, these changes gladden residents and all those, who wish them happiness and peace.
The scene of
However, it is impossible to support oneself
for a long time by free enthusiasm, by voluntary-obligatory work, as it was in
the Soviet time. Unemployment is still a big problem in
As to the safety, against the background of obvious and essential decrease of the number of abductions of people and out-of-court execution, a new process is developing: manufacture of criminal cases, where the main evidence is sincere acknowledgement, known in the Stalin times as the "queen of evidence".
In the report we tried to describe the mechanism of manufacturing the criminal cases. The people who are coming back from abroad are at the most dangerous position especially those who are supposed to have considerably big sums money. The claimants to the European Court of Human Rights are also in danger.
for the rest, the situation hasn't radically changed since autumn 2006. That is
why our sixth report is opened by Svetlana Gannushkina's speech at the seminar
for administrative judges in Hokhonheim. The questions raised there were
suggested by judges themselves, that is why the answers may be of value for all
those, who are still interested in all, what is going on in
II. Svetlana Gannushkina's speech at the seminar for administrative judges, Hohenheim, November 25, 2006.
Chechen refugees and the EU qualification rules
Ladies and gentlemen,
1. I would like to thank the sponsors and
participants of this seminar for the given opportunity to speak here. In a few
words I will introduce our organization and its work. The two non-governmental
organizations, where I work, provide assistance to forced migrants, to refugees
from different countries, mainly from
The Network lawyers annually consult more than
20, 000 people and take part in a few thousands court sessions. This hard work
comes in huge volumes. However, considering the territory of our country and
the size of the problem, we realize that our help reaches only a small part of
those, who need it. For example, in
The situation of the IDPs from
The subject of my speech today is the situation
of residents of
situation of people from
I think it would be right to start with the second part. Since there are mostly lawyers here, I will focus on some legal aspects.
There is no definition of internally displaced
persons (IDPs) in the Russian legislation, as in many other national systems.
At the heart of the UN line of approach to the problem of IDPs is the thesis, that the state government (if a part of its population has been exposed to displacement) has the initial responsibility to provide them with legal safeguard and humanitarian. Though the opinion that it is an internal affair of a state to deal with its citizens was quite widespread, now the world community begins to realize its responsibility for the sufferers and discriminated people anywhere in the world.
Unfortunately, the situation in
What facilities does a Russian have? Let’s look
at my example. Like most of our citizens, I
don't have a bank account and don't have an opportunity to take a loan,
arriving at a new place. We exist on our salaries, pensions (retired pays) and
if we lose them, we are left penniless. The only thing that we have left after
Perestroika is the right to privatize state-owned apartments. I have a big flat
in the centre of
That's why, sizing the possibilities of
alternative ways for residents of Chechnya to be resettled, we should remember,
that we are not really speaking of that, but about a chance to resettle on
their own, using their savings and help of relatives. We are raising the
question whether the state carries out its duty to help them. The answer is
negative: it doesn't only fail to help them, but it also breaks the first
Principle. Those, who found shelter in other regions of
Let's focus on some main problems that face citizens, who wish to resettle in another region and who have shelter and a little money.
1) Rent. The rental housing market is rather small
everywhere through out the country. Most of our citizens don't have second
housing, that is why they usually lease a part of their own, i.e. a room in
their apartment. As a rule those who lease are old people or unemployed, very
often – alcoholics. Old people may be very content, having a Chechen family in
their home, because they receive care and respect together with the rent. But
usually they are afraid to conclude an official agreement and give their
tenants an opportunity to register in the flat, as they don't want to deal with
police and taxation authorities. It often happens, that when policemen learn
about Chechens living in their area, they threaten the renters different
punishment, convince them that there is a law or by-law, which interdicts
dealing with Chechens. Partly they tell the truth, there is a secret
instruction for the police to keep an eye on all Chechens in their area. If
something happens, policemen will bear responsibility for it, they should have
to provide no Chechens on the territory. When an explosion occurred in the
This situation makes Chechens register with their relatives or friends and live in a rented apartment and often change it. Moreover, they constantly pay policemen, so that the latter don't counteract their living. It is possible to solve the problem of registration judicially, only if the one, who gives housing for registration, shows much insistency. There was such experience, but very limited. Sometimes we register people in our own house, but it is obvious, that there can't be many of them. Policemen regularly visit our colleagues to check the tenants and whether they are trustworthy or not. This makes us set up a show, demonstrating all sleeping accommodations, gathering the tenants or their home belongings... Naturally, you must have internal motivation to do all this, and we can't expect it from ordinary people, who are constantly being turned against Chechens by mass media.
2) Registration. Some important changes were
made to the Rules of Registration of residence on December 22, 2004. It
happened rather amusingly. Vladimir Putin was in
How does it affect the IDPs from the CR? These changes exist for two years already, but its rooting took much time. Only now it finally begins to be executed. But there is much uncertainty in it. For example, how can a newcomer prove his recent coming, if he had traveled by car or even on foot? Is a cheap ticket from a neighboring region enough, or does a person has to go back and forth every three months. Now if a newcomer is stopped by a policeman, the latter can present a train or plain ticket, which proves, he has arrived no more than 90 days ago. On this basis he can’t be fined and if he faces a fair police officer, we will not be victimized.
Of course, such system is much better than the previous one, however it's impossible to solve some problems this way.
Anti-chechen police officer, especially the one, who had been to Chechnya, can actually rip up the ticket and take the IDP to the local police station, where the latter will face all the same things: trumped-up charges of hooliganism, at best, or of planted drugs and explosives, at worst. There may be beating, long detentions, threats and rescue of money. It often happens that after all this an administrative case is heard in court, charging of disorderly conduct. Police like to charge Chechens of Russian obscenities, indicating the time, when the accused was under arrest. This is done in order to justify the illegal detention.
There is still risk, that if a policeman knows where a Chechen lives for more than 90 days, he will come to that apartment. A protocol would be drawn up and the host would be asked to evict the unlawful tenant.
3) Work, education, medical service, pensions and other social
allowances. All this is only possible, if a person has
registration. The same thing happens with employers as with hosts: they are told
not to engage Chechens. They receive these "recommendations" from
police, or more often from the FSB (Federal Security Service). The latter never
admits its interference, but not many people are ready to neglect its
recommendations, and it's absolutely impossible to fight against it. We know
situations, when Chechen women were fired step by step from a sewing workshop,
a shopping store, an office where they were just cleaning the placement, as
they've failed to find the work by qualification. In May 2006 sixteen Chechen
drivers were fired from a car fleet, 2 of them were
The education in specialized secondary schools is available only for those who have permanent resident registration, temporary registration is not enough. This means it is not open for IDPs. Federal institutes of higher education accept students on terms of passing exams. This applies to all RF citizens. However, it more often occurs that they have to pay for the higher education, which becomes inaccessible for IDPs. Fortunately, after several court sessions schools are open for everyone. Anyhow, there are almost no complains on refusals in schools, but when they occur, the case can be often settled.
Full medical service is possible only if a person has temporary residence registration. In spite of the fact that medical service should be given in any settlement, the companies connect medical insurance with permanent registration. The IDPs can get temporary medical policy on terms of temporary residence registration, if there is no registration at all - only emergency medical treatment. We know of refusals even in this kind of medical aid. This can happen because free medical treatment becomes less inclusive.
The registration as pensioners is possible only if a person has temporary residence registration. But the initial legalization of the pension is possible (pension execution is done), if a person has permanent residence registration. Child allowances aren't also paid without permanent registration. This fact negatively affects the financial condition of large families, for which the allowance is rather considerable. The first time we faced this problem in 2006, when Law No. 122 came into force. The law replaced in-kind benefits with cash payments (monetizing benefits). According to this law, local authorities are due to pay all the allowances, that is why they refuse to pay temporary residents.
4) Documents. It's well known that
documents play an important role in people's life. Fransis Deng Principle No.20
demands the state to provide IDPs with all necessary documents: passports,
birth certificates, marriage certificates. Nevertheless passport services
require people to receive passport at those settlements where they are
permanently registered. i.e. in
In accordance with paragraph 16 of the
"Passport Regulations for RF citizens" which was adopted by the
decision of Russian government No. 828 on July 17, 1997 - "passport is
given to a citizen in 10 days, from the date of document admission by the law
enforcement agency". However, it's impossible to receive your passport in this period. I
had to wait for about a month, my husband - about three weeks. We were given
certificates of the admission of our documents, but we never needed it. For
Chechens it's different, it's hard to get along with it. If they got a chance
to submit their documents in
But of course the main problem is the hazard to
life, which anyone can face, returning to
The problem is much bigger for those, who had
no passport at all, because of their age, or lost their old Soviet one. A trip
Sometimes the IDPs, who went to
Malika Mintsayeva, one of the persons under our
care has a number of adult children and five under aged - two of her own and a
granddaughter. Until recently only Malika had a passport. The family lives in
Finally, we managed to arrange a meeting for
Malika and the head of FMS (Federal Migration Service) of
However, the decision hadn't been brought to life for more than six months. Our calls to the FMS Administration and the local passport department a little changed the situation - documents were taken, but this didn't lead to full success. At the end, on a Friday Malika told the Head of the department, that on Monday, she was going to see Putin and that she had an intention to tell him about the whole mess. Funny enough, this made an effect, Malika was stopped and during Saturday all seven passports were issued.
Passports is not the only problem in this
long-suffering family. 13-yearold Malika's daughter was arrested and taken to a
police station; she wasn't even allowed to call her mother. Once the detention
lasted for almost day and night, the girl was taken to the hospital for
homeless children, so that after a medical examination she would be sent back
You shouldn't think that IDPs face problems
Here I have some examples from rather peaceful
regions. Refusal in registration in
Chechen IDPs are being evicted from temporary accommodation centers in a judicial proceeding. Just 1-2 years ago courts adopted decisions in behalf of IDPs, holding to an opinion, that IDPs can't be evicted without providing them with other housing. Now the view of courts has changed: decisions on eviction are being adopted even concerning those, whose documents for some reason haven't been accepted for compensation.
During the liquidation of camps in Ingushetia
some of the IDPs who didn’t want to return to
Thus, Chechens have no other choice but to go
3. Compensations for lost housing and property.
Before I move on to the situation in
Resolution No. 404 of July 4, 2003 determines
the amount of compensations in
At the time of adoption, the Resolution No.404 included point No.10, which ordered the government to make changes to the Resolution No.510, concerning the amount of the compensations. People awaited these changes not for months, but for years. Instead of it, the government issued Resolution No.489, the 24 point of which abolished many of government's decisions, including point 10 of the Resolution No.404. No explanation was given.
Thus the opportunity to settle in other regions
is practically excluded not only for Chechens, but also for Russian IDPs from
During 1997-September 2006 36 792 families received the compensation under the Resolution No.510, at that just 278 families received it in 2006. During 2003-September 2006 45,447 families received compensation under Resolution No.404, at that 1750 families – in 2006. These numbers show that not more than a third of Chechen population counted one million and a half received the compensation. We also see that the amount of payments last year is insignificant. The budget doesn't plan raising the amount of compensations and most of the IDPs don't even receive, what they are supposed to.
Thus we can definitely say that there is no alternative in settling
Chechen residents out of the
4. Situation in the
We can't speak of minimum safety level provided
for residents in the
In newspapers and in our annual reports you can
read about some important events: June 4, 2005, the Borozdinovka village,
eleven residents were abducted, four houses were burnt down, in one of them an
old man was burnt away; April 15, 2005, during zachistka (mop-up operation) Murad Muradov, the chairman of the
non-governmental organization "Let's save the Generation" was
kidnapped; April 9, 2006, Sernovodsk, abduction of our employee Bulat Chilaev.
All these abductions have 3 common features: first, civilians were kidnapped,
law enforcement agencies of the
An unbelievable thing happened on June 9, 2006:
Satsita Mataeva, a resident of
Satsita Matayeva explained that on June 4 an unknown man called on her cell phone. He introduced himself as Sergey Aleksandrovich, officer of the Prosecutor's Office. He asked to tell her husband, that he has to come to the Prosecutor's Office the next day; he was suspected as a member of illegal armed groups.
The Shalinsky District Prosecutor's Office opened a criminal case No. 56049 under Article 208, Part 2 of the RF Criminal Code.
The Prosecutor's official also informed that a Khamzat Tushayev was recognized not to leave.
On June 8, Tushayev and his wife came to the
Government complex, the Prosecutor's Office is situated there, at
Taushev's wife remained outside. Warring that her husband is absent for so long, at 17:30 she asked the police officer at the security desk to call the Prosecutor's Office. The officer made a call and asked about Taushev. Prosecutor's officer said, that Khamzat Taushev hadn't come and hadn't registered.
The next day Taushev's wife turned to Memorial
Human Rights Center in
Almost 6 months have passed since the day of disappearance of Khamzat Taushev, but his location is unknown.
Satsita Matayeva claims that since her first report to Memorial HRC on June 9, 2006, the Grozny Prosecutor's Office has done no investigations in search for her husband. We sent a request to the Office, but the answer had only 3 lines, which had contained no sense grammatically or literally.
On top of all that it was signed by some Deputy Prosecutor with a Russian last name, what makes us doubt his sobriety, and leaves no doubt on his professionalism.
All this shows the level of lawlessness, routed
Nevertheless, I would like to focus on an
important aspect of the security problem. It concerns the situation of those
Chechen residents, who return to the CH from abroad. So far, when I was asked,
whether they have extra problems comparing to the rest of residents, I
answered, that there are no such examples, of which I know. Unfortunately,
today I should say "yes, they do". I will give some examples, but
first I will speak about the causes of these changes. The thing is that so far
main harassment agencies in
All these people know the rather small
I'll give three examples:
1. Thirty-year-old Rustam M, native of
Later it became known through unofficial
channels that Rustam was detained in Hosy-Yurt village (or Tsentoroy), native
2. Resident of the Prigorodnoye village, the
Grozny Rural District, Magomet Gabuyev, aged 24, returned to
Early morning on November 8, 2006, the house of Gabuev's relatives in Kalinovskaya village was surrounded. Neighbors heard the noise and ran to the house. They asked the officers not to open fire, they promised to take Magomet out of the house and hand him to the police. Magomet Gabuev made an attempt to run away. Aiming fire was open without notice. He was shot in his leg with a non-centered bullet, he received incompatible with life injuries and died at the scene of the event. His body was taken to the Vladikavkaz mortuary. The next day he was given to his relatives for burying. This means that there were no charges of terrorism, because bodies of militants are not given for burying.
3. Beslan Gadayev lived in
At the same time Gadayev's relatives, who lived
abroad, turned to me with a request to spot the location of his detention and
asked to find a lawyer for him. Zaur Zakriev, the lawyer, found his defendant
As it appears from the lawyer’s statement, his
defendant confessed in committing armed robbery against a law-enforcement
officer in 2004. Nevertheless,
August 30, 2006 Memorial HRC received an statement from the accused Beslan Gadayev. As it appears from the application illicit methods of inquiry were used towards him. In the application he described in details the torture, executed to him and facts that he fainted several times.
According to the lawyer, his defendant had
bodily injury that appeared because of violence held towards him. The accused
man was transferred to the medical unit of the Grozny SIZO-
In the statement Gadayev explained, that he was forced to sign all the service documents and give interviews to journalists after making him up under the threat of sexual abuse. At the same time it was noted in the record of interrogation that Gadayev suffered the bodily injuries, trying to get over the fence, at an attempt to escape.
At the same time, the state-given lawyer wasn't present, when Gadayev was signing the record. He just recommended him to sign the documents, speaking to the accused by phone.
Zaur Zakriev sent petitions to the Prosecutor's
Office of the
However, the interrogation officer refused to open a criminal case upon torture, held over Gadayev. According to the lawyer, the interrogation officer explained the refusal, saying that the reason was his unwillingness to deal with Gadayev, "who doesn't speak Russian well and needs an interpreter".
The given examples illustrate what can happen
to former residents of
6. Xenophobia and its forms.
There are no doubts that the xenophobia in
I would like to go for a quotation from the
last articles of Yury Levada, recently deceased, our famous sociologist. The
name of the work is "Does Law-Enforcement Work towards Overcoming or
Spreading Violence in Society?" The article became an introduction to a
co-research work "Law Enforcement Arbitrariness Index” of the Fund
"Public Verdict", regional partnership organizations and
"... violence of police and other law-enforcement agencies is just a part of violence in Russian society, which becomes a standard of life. Violence as a method of governing administration and a way of solving other problems compensates the imperfection of other legal, civil means to maintain order in society. - said Yury Levada.
The phenomenon of physical violence may be found in various societies. The question is in the level of acceptance and in rates of effectiveness of the violent actions. In countries with an established legal system, powerful mass media, formed public opinion and other features of an "open" society violent actions of government agencies may play a role of extraordinary, limited in its aims and scale supplement to "normal" means of social impact and concussion. It's known that such violence and brutality calls a wave of public discontent dangerous for the government itself.
Another situation is usually observed in the countries, that are used to
mass violence, that don't have an effective legal system and other attributes
of an "open" society. These include many Third World countries and a
number of post soviet states, including
It's obvious, that residents of
I've already mentioned the abduction case of Murad Muradov, Head of the "Save Generation" organization. In the end of February, 2006, his relatives received an offer from the Prosecutor's Office to take the body of Murad from the mortuary. It was said in the notification: "according to the acquired by the RF UFSB of the CR information, no incriminating evidence against Murad Muradov was found; he hadn't been a member of IAGs. There are no facts of his connection to crimes of terrorism."
However, on October 13 the NTV station
transmitted a 26-minute TV program, called "Human matter" under the
program "Chrezvychaynoye proisshestviye" [emergency]. The question
was "connections" of the Chechen underground (authors named them
"bandits") with international and Russian charitable organizations.
Almost all charitable organization, working in the
Here is what was said in this program about
Murad Muradov: "Head of the charitable organization "Save the
Generation" Murad Muradov was killed on April 15,
And so on: "According to law-enforcement agencies of the CR, Muradov financed terrorists under the cover of charitable organization and transferred wounded terrorists abroad. And the statement of human rights defenders, that Muradov was abducted and brought to the scene of the crime and killed there, was connected with their unwillingness to lose their image".
Every day we hear this blatant lie from TV, from newspapers. It makes Chechens very assailable for harassments of extreme groups.
Prime examples of harassments to Chechens as an ethnical group are: the Yandyki village, the Astrahan’ region, August 2005, after an ordinary scuffle the Cossack Council demanded all Chechens to leave Yandyki; Salsk, the Rostov region, June 2006, Cossacks also demanded all “anti-social” migrants evicted from the region.
the most featured incident happened in Kondopoga,
The next day members of the extremist “Movement against illegal immigration” (DPNI) arrived in Kondopoga with its leader Potkin (his fictitious name is Belov). Belov-Potkin delivered a fiery speech, encouraging Russian residents of Kondapoga to make a stand against Chechens and other “outside non-Russians” and show “Who’s the Boss”.
After the meeting people began to destroy Chechens’ property and burn their houses. The conflict escalated into a mass demand to expel all Chechens. I should notice that neither law-enforcement agencies, nor the Representative of the RF Administration of the human rights commissioner found any elements of a crime in the actions of Belov, because he exercised caution and didn’t call upon direct violence.
After all that happened in Kandapoga, the protests and demonstrations in support of Kondapoga’s residents ran through the country. Members of the DPNI and their confederates threatened, that “the same will happen everywhere!”.
I can just state with a sad heart, that there are no reasons, why we could object to them. Thank you for your time and patience.
III. Living conditions and security situation of
internally displaced persons and residents of the
The situation of residents of the Republic during the period of August 2006-October 2007 has greatly changed. Until the end of 2006 there was a tendency of murder and abduction decrease. Starting from January 2007 the number of abductions dramatically dropped. Some suppose that it was to do with Ramzan Kadyrov order to the Chiefs of subordinated to him force structures, not to allow any abductions. This decreased the tension, people could breathe freely. Nevertheless many people impart apprehensions, that this could be reversed.
intention to change the situation in the Republic dramatically was expressed by
Ramzan Kadyrov in an interview to the Interfax Information Services: “Peace in the
In the interview Ramzan Kadyrov spoke about his future plans. For example, it’s planned to build and restore more than 8 thousand apartment unlit the end of 2007. These apartments are assigned for “very poor families”.
February 15, 2007, Alu Alhanov, the president of the
spring housing has been more actively constructed in the city of
(“Russian Newspaper”, July 10, 2007.)
One of these opportunities is free of charge labour, of those who build up Chechen cities and towns. No contracts are signed with them, just parole promises. No one pays them salaries for 3 months. Here is what a bricklayer from Urus-Martanovsky region Borz-Ali Visitaev said to Memorial HRC member: “When I was applying for the job, I just made an arrangement, no contract was signed. When I asked about it, they told me, that I’ll receive it later. No one from our team (about 50 people from our district) has a contract. We made an arrangement for a month with a driver and a contract with a canteen. But we’ve been paid no salary and now owe money to the driver and cooks. We received no money and I’m in debt. I have 5 children, what will I bring home, if I must give back a half?”
A protest action of workers was held in June in the Chernorechie village, of the Zavodskoy District of Grozny.
In the end a representative of the Spetsstroy (the Russian Federal Agency for Special Construction) promised that the salary would be paid in 3 days. But on June 8 it wasn’t paid.
the morning the workers gathered again and got the road, leading to the center
By the evening of June 10 workers were finally paid their salaries, but just two times less then they were promised.
On June 12 just tree workers out of 139 came to work.
But the administration didn’t come to terms, and it refused to conclude contracts of employment and pay the rest of the salaries. All the strikers together with their team leaders were fired.
Memorial HRC sent a request to the CR Prosecutor’s Office, concerning the unpaid employees. The Prosecutor’s Office made enquiry on the actions of the building companies. The fact of delayed payment was confirmed. The director of the firm that was doing the constructing in the Chernorechie village “Steklomontage” was found guilty. He was fined 25 minimum monthly wages (that is about 100 dollars), other managers of the company were given admonitions.
In August six thousand workers got 100,000 rubles (2,857,000 euros), approximately 16,700 rubles (477 euro) a month (newspaper “Caucasian Knot”, August 8, 2007). However, in the beginning of September another worker delegation came to Memorial HRC Office, stating, that they hadn’t got their salaries for five months.
we should mention, that the workers in the building site are at constant risk
of injuries, as no one controls the abidance of safety measures. People work
without personal protective equipment on large apartment house. Thus, since the
beginning of constructions in the Chernorechye village 6 persons have received
different injuries. Medical insurance is not provided. Here is what Abaz, an
adjuster, who was injured in the building site in the
In that same February interview to the Interfax Information Services Kadyrov said, that the Chechen Government set itself a task to “crack the problems of social tension, of providing residents temporary accommodation points with their own housing.”…
According to officials, Ramzan Kadyrov instructed the government to dispose all temporary accommodation points and compact accommodation points on the territory of the Republic, providing its residents with their own housing and helping them to repair and improve it.
It’s impossible to fulfill the task, but it’s necessary to account for it. That’s why in 2007 most temporary accommodation points were closed, without any replacing housing.
Campaign to Shut Down TAPs
In July last year there were 26 TAPs in the Republic. 4 642 families lived there, that is 26,442 people, 4,526 of which were children of under 6 years old.
As of July 1, 2007, just 22 TAPs remained in the Republic and they were under liquidation. As of June 1, 2007, 25,473 people lived in TAPs, and 15,686 – in CAPs.
course for liquidation of the TAPs was laid by Ramzan Kadyrov in April 2006,
when he announced, that the TAPs are “nests of crime, drug abuse, and
prostitution” and they have to be closed. We spoke about the liquidation of
Office of Memorial HRC in
free TAP building on
the resettling the IDPs are required to sign a statement that they are
willingly returning to places of their permanent living. This statement
deprives them not only of housing, but also of food assistance. Migration
agencies consider their commitments, which were undertaken registering the IDPs
under the form No.7, they got leaving
HRC has received numerous claims since March 2007 from residents of the TAPs on
often use positive fraud. Here is what they’ve done with E. Hazirayeva, a
resident of a TAP on
March 19, 2007 the commission members of the district administration and the
ROVD officers arrived to the TAP on
of the TAP returned to
26-27, 2007, housing in KSM-1 village (Zavodskoy district of Grozny) were being
demolished. This place was called “
We sent a request to the Prosecutor’s Office of the Zavodskoy District, concerning the demolition of the KSM-1 village. The answer was signed by A. Bakhanoyev, acting Prosecutor of the district, it made us believe, that the matter may be settled successfully.
of whether the houses were built authorized or not, the
sixteen families were
granted apartments in the
- twenty-two families were granted land plots for individual constructing on the territory of the Zavodskoy District…”
However, in real the situation wasn’t as good, as it seemed. The land plots were granted, electricity and gas weren’t connected to them, but there was no extension and no roads to the plots. The house-boxes were given to the residents by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. In return the administration of the city had to make the foundation and provide material for covering the walls; otherwise it would be impossible to live there. Nothing was done. In the end the foundation was done by the residents themselves and no material for the wall covering was received from the city administration.
The majority of the apartments, which were granted to former residents of the KSM-1 village, were inhabited by other people.
Besides, several families received nothing – no apartments, no land plots. S.-H. Tsentoroev, the head of the Zavodskoy District administration, harshly threatened them with eviction. People were practically thrown out on the street.
On July 19, an article was placed on the CR Government web-site, the name of it is “Control Checks at TAPs”.
The main point of the article is that during the examination, it turned out, that many people, who occupy rooms and receive humanitarian assistance don’t practically live in the TAPs.
night raids the members of the commission didn’t find some of the TAP residents
in their rooms. The article says: “According to preliminary data about 20
families weren’t found at home that night. That is just in the Zavodskoy
They plan raids to become regular. A working group, supervised by M. Bakharchiev (Head of the Leninsky District), deals with the matter. According to our data, received from L. Koplanov, an officer of the UFMS, no migrant service officers take part in it.
On June 21 the residents from the TAP on Okruzhnaya Street were forced to leave. In the afternoon the district administration representatives, accompanied by law-enforcement officers arrived at the “complex”. Authority representatives from the Urus-martynovskogo District behaved so aggressively, that 3 women had a heart attack. An emergency was called. 3 families were forced to pack there thing and leave. Their rooms were sealed off. The Davletmurzanovs from Urus-Martyn found themselves in the street, without even a destroyed house, where they would be able to live. It began to rain in the evening. In order not to spend the night in the rain, their father took off the seal from their rooms and the family moved back in.
On June 21, 2007, TAP residents, on
According to Avlavdy Khasimikov, Deputy Head of the UFMS in the CR, 528 families (3,406 people) were taken off register in May.
same day eight families were taken by bus from the TAP in the building of a vocational-technical school in Argun. 5
of them were taken to Gudermes and settled in a hostel on
Other families from the Argun TAP were supposed to be settled in vocational-technical school hostel near by. The building is financed by the city. Those who live there, have no connections with the migration service. They have no nutrition provision and no furniture. Thus people, moved a couple of meters lose their legal status and get a worse social position, than they had before.
All administration Heads received a strict order to “get back all its residents and resettle them”.
Some residents got land plots for constructions in the outskirts, where no gas and electricity had been connected. And they will probably receive no help in constructing and buying all the necessary materials.
On July 25 inhabitants of the TAP at 47, Kirova Street, were tried to be exposed again. Mr. Bakharchiev, the Head of the Leninsky District, Deputy Chairman of the IDPs resettlement commission, Mr. Gekhaev, Minister of Housing, Mr. Muzakayev, Minister of Cultural Affairs informed the residents, that “Peaceful Caucasus” festival guests were planning to be placed in that building. TAP inhabitants were suggested move before 6 p.m. People were struck with panic.
The Leninsky District administration representatives, accompanied by a police officer, went round the rooms. They demanded the residents to pack their belonging and leave as soon as possible. During the circuit police officers from the department No. 1 of the Leninsky ROVD, badly beat one of the inhabitants – Alikhan Sadykov. He refused to give his passport and to go to the superintendent’s room.
They used brute force towards him. His wife and neighbors women stood up for him. The policemen started to beat these people with the submachine gun Kalashnikov club. They got Sadykov outside and forced him into the car. According to the eyewitnesses, he was all in blood. He was brought to the Leninsky District ROVD.
residents reported about the outrage in the TAP to the human rights activists.
Members of the Public Chamber, of Vesta, of Memorial HRC and the chairwoman of
the Migration Organizations Forum, Lidiya Grafova, who arrived in
On July 19 members
of Memorial HRC visited the TAP at 116,
IDPs state, that these movements make a lot of problems for them. According to
them, they are tired of wandering from place to place, of changing schools for
their children, of changing their jobs. TAP inhabitants insist on providing
them with permanent accommodation, not temporary. The TAP residents from 116,
Among those who made a request to Memorial Human Rights Center four families need special assistance, because each one of them has disabled persons. However the district administration didn’t provide any assistance to them, but the entrance doors were taken off their apartments, in order to make them leave.
At the same time the administration members, talking to Human rights activists made it clear, that they have no right to solve all the upcoming questions, during the IDP resettlement, as they are just the executives. All problems, concerning accommodation or non-resettlement should be considered in upper instances.
Our members had a consultation with the TAP residents. It showed the catastrophic situation of some families, which had nowhere to go (Appendix 1).
There was also a request to deliver into charge of the migration service the supervision of the lawfulness of the register taking off and the observance of human rights, so that no IDP could be evicted from his accommodation.
Families, which became much bigger during the conflict and can’t any longer live together, make another problem. In peaceful time they would build a new house or buy one for a young family, but for many years already they’ve been deprived of this opportunity. Now they have to get along with a small compensation for a large family or restore housing, where it’s impossible to live all together.
Families that rented accommodation or lived in hostels, waiting to receive apartments on-site his\her work. It turns out now, that the state has no responsibilities before them.
During military activities the situation on these IDPs had no difference with the others. Now their eviction is inadmissible. As the local authorities don’t have any responsibilities because of no registration, this responsibility should be taken by the federal government, specifically the FMS of Russia, as the body, that deals with the IDP problems.
families from the TAPs who have been fortunate enough to get an apartment in
On May 1 the grand opening of the township “Vozrozhdeniye” [Revival] was held. The township is situated in the Staropromyslovsky District of Grozny. It consists of 85 houses for poor and large families from the TAPs. The event was widely covered in the local press.
construction of the village was begun in the
Nevertheless, a few dozen people got their housing documents, it was only necessary to make internal finishes, install doors and windows, as well as to connect to the mains (water, electricity and gas).
Citizens who have these housing documents, issued in the late 1980s or early 1990s, attempted to settle this issue through the courts and the Prosecutor's Office, but were refused everywhere.
There is a conflict situation: residents relocated from the TAPs cannot move into the disputed apartments.
same problem arises with those who receive flats from a so-called
"rejected Stock". Despite the fact that they have the necessary paper
work on hand, they often have to go through a long trial, to defend the right
to the housing. At that the other party in the process is the house owner, who
acquired it from Russian residents who fled from
Apartments were sold for a song and without proper documentation, so many of the owners, who left Grozny, considered themselves entitled to be compensated under the RF Government Regulation No. 510 of April 30, 1997 for the apartments they had sold. The flats, which implicate such compensation, are included to the public housing stock, the so-called "rejected Stock." According to the officials, more than 5,800 apartments are registered in it.
The current owner of a "rejected" apartment loses his rights to it. He appeals to the court. The court determines the fact of fraud, but decrees a refusal to initiate a criminal case under the statute of limitations. The decree is not issued until the investigation is complete, but it can take months or even years.
Thus because of the inaction of the investigation agencies the owner can be evicted from his accommodation because it is listed "rejected" and can be given to the TAP residents. If this happens, a housing dispute arises. These housing disputes are tried in courts between the owners and people with the social rent contract on hand. If there is no prosecutorial order, that proves the fact of fraud, decisions are made in favor of the new tenants.
So as a result of this solution to the problem of resettlement of TAP residents, another group of victims was emerged - owners of the apartments evicted from the acquired accommodation. They are outraged that the authorities give preference to the TAP residents and prejudice the rights of those, who have equipped their homes during the war by their own forces. The massive seizure of "rejected" apartments creates an acute conflict situation around the resettlement of TAP residents and leads to the increase of social tensions.
It is clear that all the problems of resettlement of the TAP residents arise because of the extreme haste during the TAP liquidation.
According to the results of the checks on the territory of the Republic six temporary accommodation points for displaced persons were vacated. Over four thousand people were taken off the Migration Service register.
the same time, apartment allocations to TAP residents, using the public housing
stock, were terminated on June 20 by the order of Grozny Muslim, the mayor of
RF Government Resolution ¹ 163 is still in power, providing nutrition and accommodation for IDPs in the TAPs. Consequently, the TAPs must remain, so that the citizens, who do not have their homes and are registered under the form ¹ 7, could live there until the final decision on their resettlement is made.
fact, in spite of the rapid reconstruction and the revival of
The biggest social problem in the Republic is unemployment. Until recently the number of unemployed was 318 thousand people – about 70% of the economically active population.
In the mean time, a large number of people are employed in the reconstruction, which reduces the problem. However, as stated above, salaries are delayed or not paid at all to many workers. This is a principled position of the Government high officials.
Discussing with representatives of the Civil assistance Committee the program of school assistance in the mountainous areas, one of the officials suggested not to lay builders and repairmen salary in the proposed budget. "We are building everything free of charge", he said.
At the same time, Abdula Magomedov, CR Minister of Economic Development and Trade, in an interview with a journalist of "Vesti Respubliky" said that it is scheduled to create 10 thousand jobs in 2007.
The Minister also noted that the project "Development of agricultural machinery-building industry" is being performed, its main aim is to ensure the growth of agricultural production. The plans also include accelerated development of animal breeding, promoting individual farming and the provision of young professionals in rural areas with affordable accommodation.
According to the OAO "Rosselhozbank" in the framework of this project the bank has allocated loans in 161.2 million rubles. As of April 1 this year 915 applicants called for a grant to the CR Department of Agriculture. The credits are amounted to 9.5 million rubles. Thus, the residents are ready to use every opportunity to survive.
The health care system in the Republic is a difficult situation, although the Ministry does everything possible to improve it.
As part of a national project Zdorovie [Health], 273 items of modern diagnostic equipment are purchased. But many hospitals, where equipment must be shipped, are totally or partially destroyed or need reconstruction or just major repairs.
The lack of modern, well-equipped medical facilities and trained personnel does not allow organizing high-tech medical care, and patients have to apply to hospitals outside the Republic. The Civil assistance Committee, in cooperation with the "Caritas" of France, using funds of the European Commission, exercises an assistance program for ill residents of Chechnya: assist in the organization of their treatment in Moscow and other cities of Russia, as well as the payment for trips, accommodation and medical examinations. More than 6000 patients received medical help during three years of work of the program.
Currently, the CR Government developed an investment project to build a medical diagnostic center in the Republic, which will provide appropriate medical services locally.
In the Republic there is a severe shortage of medical professionals. Overall, there are only enough doctors to fill 46.8% of positions, and in rural areas – only 35%.
year an agreement has been reached between the Ministry of Health of
In addition, 30 places are allocated for postgraduates.
A national project is being implemented in the educational sphere: schools received 134 model kits of training equipment worth 46.5 million rubles, as well as 35 interactive whiteboards of 3.2 million rubles. But it is not enough; there is a lack of equipment for physics and chemistry classrooms.
school buildings are destroyed or need major repairs. According to Abdula
Magomedov, the CR Minister of Economic Affairs – there is a need of building 194
schools to reach the average level in
Schools in the mountain villages are in bad condition – destroyed buildings, no heating in some of them, no equipment and visual aids. It should be noted that the situation has changed for the better over the summer - many schools in the mountain villages were reconstructed, a new school is built in the Gansolchu village.
Civil assistance Committee has drafted a project in order to assist 19 schools
located in the mountainous areas. The French embassy allocated money for the
project. In August 2007, the repair works on the project began: the
construction of the school playground in Gansolchu village, floor repairing,
and wiring in the schools. Books for school libraries, school equipment and
musical instruments for the Vedensky Children's
there are two RF Government Regulations concerning compensation for lost in
Regulation No. 404 of July 4, 2003 determines the compensation to the residents
under the Regulation ¹ 510 for families, who fled
As of October 22, 2007 by the Regulation No. 510 for period, starting in 1997, to present day, 37,857 families received the compensation amounting to 4.02 billion rubles (11,500,000 euros). In the table below the distribution of compensations to families is shown for each year:
Number of families, which received the compensation
As for the payment of compensations under the Regulation ¹ 40446939 families received compensation amounting to 16.4 billion RR (468,500,000 euros), according to the FMS on October 22, 2007.
In the mean time, according to Mokhmad Ayubov, the Deputy Head of the Secretariat for compensating, the commission received more than 250,000 applications for full compensation for lost housing. The engineering survey group will inspect the state of destruction, and probably more than half of them won’t be accepted.
Compensations for the partially destroyed dwellings are not provided, the mechanism, the period of the reconstruction and the source of funding are not determined.
In connection with numerous breaches, the payments have been repeatedly suspended. The last time payments were made in November 2006.
Numerous cases of fraud discovered in receiving compensations do not entail the initiation of criminal cases because of statute of limitations, the affected citizens stay with nothing.
The Republic authorities promised to resume payments in the shortest possible time, but this has not happened. According to information from the Office of the President and the Government of the Republic, compensations are unlikely to be paid this year – there are no resources in the republican budget.
The situation of mountain village residents
the IDPs, officially registered under the form No. 7, there is a large group of
“unaccounted migrants” in
most cases violence on the part of military was the cause of it. According to
the survey researches each fourth family lost one person during the military
operations, almost each man was beaten up. The biggest amount of people left
after 2002. Apparently violence against residents of mountain villages reached
an incredible level that year. The transfer from the mountains didn’t attract
the attention of community and mass media, as this transfer took place only
From the 11th till 13th December, 2006 the members of Civil Assistance Committee enquired about the situation of the mountain village residents in Chechnya, who migrated to the plain.
enquiry showed that in different villages the authorities are treat the
refugees differently. In the villages of Oysakhra and Noybera the authorities
registered most refugees, so they were given official documents, which could be
presented to the entitled agencies during legal checks, refugees were also
given bread. In the
We can judge the attitude of local authorities to the refugees by the situation with registration. The official registration is the most important problem for all Russian citizens, as it is connected with main social rights and guaranties.
most satisfactory situation with the official registration appears to be in the
The present administration of Ilashan-Yurt refuses to allocate land plots to refugees, where they’ve built their houses. They received these land plots for a fixed sum of money from the previous administration of the village, or bought from the local community. In both cases the documentation on the land plots was not formalized. All nine families, living in those houses don’t have any documentation on the housing, they can neither register in this accommodation, nor sell it, and they fear evection. The head of the Ilashan-Yurta’s administration is the person close to Ramzan Kadyrov. Anyhow he is longing to fulfill Kadyrov’s order to make refugees go back to the mountains.
Judging by the results of the inquiry, a considerable number of the IDPs has some problems with the registration, which are caused by the longing of authorities to make refugees return to their previous places of residence.
About a half of the respondents in 8 villages got a chance to build small houses using sun-dried bricks, but as they don’t have any registration, they can’t consider themselves the owners of the houses. The others rent accommodation or live with the relatives and friends.
Only every thirtieth person among the employable refugees has a permanent job. The others exist only by means of temporary jobs. About half of refugees have less than 500 rubles (15 euros) per person a month.
As a positive feature we can mark that the IDPs don’t have any big problems with the medical aid availability. In obstetrical points they are admitted free of charge; in the Gudermes hospital persons without registration are admitted for reasonable price.
Secondary-level education is also available for everybody. In spite of the fact that all local schools are full and lessons are going three-shift, there was no refusal in accepting children.
Some of young people from mountain villages were not able to finish school, as there were no lessons at schools during the military activities, many buildings were destroyed. As there are no evening schools in most villages, young people didn’t have an opportunity to finish their education.
In spite of the fact that there are no private accommodation and no permanent means of living, refugees from the mountain villages refuse to return in most cases. The main reason is fear. They are afraid of going trough violence on the part military, of getting under gunfire or tripping a mine.
It is terrible to live in mountains now, even though military activities have ended. Some mountain villages are still under air strikes. Harsh passport checks regularly occur in villages.
In the evening of December 1, as the result of an airborne bombardment of the high-mountain the village of Sharo-Argun by the federal force aircraft two natives (Gytamirovi brothers) were wounded. A young woman Zulpa Akhitiva was blast injured. One house was practically destroyed; windows and frames were broken in other houses.
two or three moths we live on the tinder box, - said the resident of the
village of Serjen-Yurt, to the “
General Barayev explained the use of aircraft and artillery in the south of the Republic by counteraction against militants, who’re trying to equip their bases in mountain-woody districts.
the night of December 19, 2006 Vishan Ashanukayev and Salman Mintayev, the inhabitants of
Achhoy-Martanovsky district, were killed, Lema
Arsanukayev was injured. It happened in
military commandant's officer of the
The militaries are guilty of death of two persons, but they have not received a punishment. Investigation on the death of people was not held – no medicolegal investigation, no splinters of a rocket from a place of incident were taken.
In March there was another tragedy. In the Shataysky District militaries shot women in a wood at daylight, and it is already impossible to consider it as a result of a mistake.
the morning on March 24,
8.30 three women went to the nearest wood for wild leek. Women were dressed in
trousers, they had scarves on their heads, Haldat was wearing a light sweater,
her jacket was tied on the waist. They had walked nearly
When shooting stopped, militaries approached to the wounded women. At first Zalpa was lying with closed eyes, but then she frightened, that they might beat them to death, and spoke to the militaries. She asked them why they had been shooting them. Militaries answered, that failed to make out who had been walking, and thought, that they were militants. Zalpa was afraid, that they might be killed, so that there would be no witnesses left, therefore she warned them, that their relatives had been already called for help. The senior sergeant of the group answered: "What for did you call them? Now we’ll start to kill each one of you”. Zalpa asked them not to shoot the relatives coming to help, as they had no weapons.
Then soldiers under Zalpa’s request bandaged the wounded, put them on a canvas and carried downwards to the village. The relatives of the victims and the head of the administration of the village were already going up. The conflict between them and the militaries almost flashed, but first of all the relatives had to rescue the women. They were carried to hospital. On the way Khaldat died. Doctors were doing the operation for several hours, trying to save her, but unsuccessfully.
On the body of the killed Khaldat Mutakova six through wounds were discovered, a bullet with displaced center of gravity got stuck in clothes. The orphan teenage daughter was left alone. Kaldat was a teacher of primary school.
The women were shot by a reconnaissance group of the military commandant's office, the Shatoysky district, led by lieutenant colonel Korgunom. He was arrested. The lieutenant colonel and his three soldiers were accused of reckless killing.
Nudry Nukhaziev, Chechen ombudsmen stated: «the Korguna group deliberately opened fire at the women who collected a wild leek. Everything occured not at night but at day light, and militaries clearly saw, that there were women in front of them, not militants. There can’t be a mistake".
The same opinion was stated by the member of the CR Ministry of Internal Affairs: "Militaries perfectly know, that at this time of the year part of the republic’s local residents are engaged in gathering wild leek in a mountains, and militaries could have at least found out, who was in front of them before opening fire".
It is obvious, that militaries can’t get used to peaceful life, they still consider it to be lawful to open fire in a forest at any person, who seemed to them suspicious without any notice.
the same time, it is necessary to note, that the administration of
spring 2007 Ramzan Kadyrov regularly visited Vvedensky, Shatoevsky,
Sharoyevsky, Itum-Kalinsky, Nozhay-Jurtovsky districts, convened Government
conferences, transfered the staff. In March he raised the question of creating the conditions for
returning inhabitants of mountain areas to their native villages. The
administration of Republic negotiates with a management of the FSB about
returning the inhabitants to the near-border villages. Earlier residence there
had been recognized undesirable. So, the agreement on resettling the
During the summer period in mountain areas the road, bridge, office building construction developed, schools were under repair or rebuilt. During the August trip to the mountain areas of the Chechen Republic Elena Burtina, the head of a Civil assistance Committee, noted:
“When I was in the Nozhay-Jurtovsky District in May, asphalt came ended right after the blockhouse at the district entrance. Not less then half of the road is now asphalted to the Gansolchu village, and road works proceed. There is a new school building in the Gansolchu village already, finishing works are going on. It is lively in village: there are a lot of people at the school and around it. Besides guest workers 30 local residents are working at the construction site. The obstetric point is under repair. On a platform near the river a greater mosque is constructed. There was a store on that place earlier. The minaret is not finished yet, but the mosque runs already: we saw, men gathered there for the Friday pray.
Near the mosque the small building of rural administration was built.
In Gansolchu the works on construction of the bridge were also started, that will certainly promote returning of inhabitants to the part of the village, behind the river. That side is empty now, but three families are planning to return there in the nearest future. Under Kadyrov's order help to the inhabitants of the village is provided by building materials. 20 families have already received it. Another forty families are waiting for their turn. Hardly more 50 families (out of 200) returned here after the war. "
The situation of the Borozdinovskaja village in the Nadezhda camp
That day the village was grasped by a group of the armed people which arrived on armor and cars. Militaries burnt down four houses, killed an old man at the age of 70 and stole 11 young men, the destiny of which is unknown.
Later it was found out, that a "special operation" was accomplished by the militaries of the battalion Vostok [East]. A Record about it with the names of all 11 stolen persons was made in the register book in the Shelkovsky District police station the next day after the "cleaning".
However Sulim Jamadayev, the commander of the battalion Vostok for long a time denied, that the "special operation” was done by their division. There was no proper investigation.
protest the residents of the Borodzinovskaya village which had not submitted to
the abduction of relatives and fellow villagers, on June 16th left the village
and became a camp in the suburbs of the city of
incident was widely covered in the press; the CR authoritiest assumed emergency
measures. Alu Alhanov the President of the
inhabitants were paid smart-money, but investigation did not move further, and
the residents of Borodzinovskaya again became a camp near the
The previous year, at the day of the Borozdinovskaya tragedy anniversary, inhabitants of the camp made an attempt to transfer tents to the Dagestan territory. Police officers prevented it. Deputy Minister of MVD arrived at the camp and promised the refugees to resolve their problems within several days. Promises aren’t still acquitted, the situation of Borodzinovskaya residents hasn’t changed.
The second anniversary of tragedy was commemorated this year. On June 27, 2007 the Borodzinovskaja residents held a meeting and a march of protest where almost 300 persons took part. The meeting began at 12 o'clock in territory of the camp Nadezhda. After the meeting the participants headed to the central park of Kizlyar. Inhabitants of the village flatly refused to go back to their houses and demanded to inform them on the destiny of 11 missing villagers. They also demanded to allocate the land plots and to pay the compensation for the lost housing and property.
On July 5 Ahmed-Nabi Magdigadzhiev, the Secretary of the Dagestan Security Council met the initiative group of the camp Nadezhda refugees. At this meeting the Secretary of the Security Council said, that the question on allocation of land plots to refugees is considered in the Dagestan Government.
As it became known later, under the initiative of Muhu Aliev, the Dagestan President, a working group on the problem of accommodation for refugees’ families was created to provide them with housing in the villages of the Kizljarsky district in the Republic. In September of this year the decision was made: land plots for construction of houses were given in several villages - Averjanovka, Juznoe, Kosjakino, Kizlarskij. But 37 families remained in the camp waiting for them. It was a very important decision; the problem of the Borodzinovskaja residents at last began to be solved; now they have a place where to live. 6 square miters, 10,000 bricks and welfare assistance at the rate of 50,000 rubles (1,428 euros) were allocated for construction of a house per family. Bricks are gradually brought, but there is no cement, needed for construction. Ex Borodzinovskaya residents are forced to spend winter in - the same dwellings were in the camp. Elena Burtina and Lyudmila Handel, members of the Civil Assistance Committee visited the Borodzinovskaja residents on their new place of residence in October of this year and transferred them welfare assistance from the organization. 10,000 rubles (286 euros) per family.
Regarding the other requirement of Borodzinovskaya residents – information about the destiny of 11 abducted - Magdikhatdyiev said on a meeting on July 5th: "Concerning the destiny of 11 missing villagers, I should say, that the fact of the “cleaning” by the battalion Vostok, which is subjected to the GRU, is determined. And we can only ask the present federal authorities about the information on the results of the check".
In autumn 2006 42 Borozdinovskaya inhabitants claimed to the Ministry of Defense of Russia for a sum of 126 million rubles a compensation for the held “cleaning”. Judicial hearings passed in the Presnensky court of Moscow. The court examined each of the 42 Borodzinovskaya residents’ claims separately.
On January 25th, 2007 the court rejected the first claim, in which an inhabitant of the village of Uzeyru Abuliyev asked 3 million rubles compensation. The court considered, that by the claimant had not proved, that actions of the Ministry of Defense made him suffer morally, and it could be estimated in 3 million rubles, and documentary acknowledgement of harm to health was not presented.
The prospects of the Borozdinivskaya inhabitants’ claim satisfaction to the RF Ministry of Defence are insignificant. Further claimants plan to appeal to the European Court of human rights.
Illegal detentions and torture of civilians
In spite of the sudden reduction of a number of abductions during this year, the security problem continues to be of current importance for people of Chechnya. The fear of armed men dressed in khaki, who come in need of search to the houses of the inhabitants, grimed to the souls of people, there is no hope to avoid it. Let me give an example.
Examples of violence concerning civilians on the part the representatives of the law-enforcement agencies – illegal detentions and torture with the aim to knock out statements – continue even now.
On July 10, 2007 the representatives of the unstated law-enforcement department (admittedly the MVD of CR) illegally detained and subjected to torture Minkail Akbulatov in the village of Shatoy. Minkail Akbulatov – a professional bricklayer, married, has a child.
In the afternoon on July 10, afternoons, unknown persons came to the building site, where he was working, introduced themselves as law-enforcement officers, but they didn’t produce their documents. They said to Akbulatov: “We have some business to you, follow us”. He was placed into the car, they bended his head to his laps so tht he shouldn’t see the route and a cap was fitted on his head lest he should see.
By some indications Minkail realized, that he had been driven to the village Zakan-Yurt, the Achkhoy-Martanovsky District. There he was taken to some place and he was recommended to tell all he knew about militants. The questioners spoke only in Chechen. Akbulatov answered, that he didn’t know anything. “A month ago the militants came and spent a night at your place in the village of Day.”... Akbulatov explained that he actually worked at the building site of a private house in the village of Day, Shatorsky district. However, 2 months had passed already since had finished working there and he didn’t go there anymore. “We will struggle you with current, you will tell us everything”.
The detained was undressed, his arms and legs were tied together, he was laid on the bed and his body was winded with the wires. Then they started switching on the current. After each switch they gave him a 5-minute break and asked again: “And now, don’t you have anything to tell us?” At that they mentioned an emir Yusup Satoev, they threatened him with killing, they clicked the shutter near his temple. And then they continued switching the current on and off.
Between the intervals of being beaten with the current, the deferred was beaten. Then the bag was put on his head and they started to throttle him. He was demanded to agree to secretly cooperation and to give them all the information about the militants. But his answer was always the same: “I can’t work with you – I know nothing about the militants”
Soon Akbulatov realized that if the torture continue he will die. Maybe, it was obvious even for the executioners. The torture were stopped, a black polyethylene bag was put on his head, and he was placed into the car and driven back to Shatoi. On the way back they forced Akbulatov to secretly cooperate with them.
The car arrived at Shatoi in 20 hours. At the end of the road Akbulatov was forced to sign some document with the bag on his head. Then he was pushed out of the car.
Akbulatov went to the regional hospital at once, where the doctors registered the signs of torture and extracted anesthetic medicine. The following day, relatives took him for treatment to hospital of Grozny. In spite of the offerings of doctors to stay, he refused hospitalization.
The members of Memorial saw Akbulatov after the release, his physical state was very difficult – he could hardly get round on his own.
Minkail Akbulatov and his relatives are afraid of making a report to the Prosecutor’s Office on the illegal actions of the law-enforcement officers.
On July 18, 2007 at the police station of the village of the Gerzel Gudermessky district Suliman S. Yushayev, an inhabitant of the village of Melchu Khe was detained.
That day Yushayev was driving in his lorry to Hasavyurt, the Dagestan Reoublic to buy some bricks for sale (he traded with construction materials). At the Gerzelsky station he was stopped for breaking traffic regulations, and he was sent to the Koshkildy OVD for identification.
The next day there was a search at the Yushyaevs’. Suliman didn’t take part in the search. As it was noticed later, Yushayev wasn’t brought there because he was badly mauled. According of Ushayev’s relatives and his advocate he was subjected to cruel torture. He was subjected to current, beatings. As a result, his back was covered with large hematomas. Suliman wasn’t able to open his mouth and speak, he became 50% deaf, and his head was awfully swelled. He wasn’t able to get round on his own.
During the cross-examination Ushayev had to give the statements, which he had had a telephone call with Ediyev, another inhabitant of the village Melchu Khe, who was subjected to an arrest warrant as a participant of an illegal armed group (IAG). Ushayev was served with charges on helping and abetting the IAGs.
July, 20 Ushayev had to be brought to court in Gudermes to choose the preventive measures. The court has been postponed, as the accused hadn’t been delivered. The probable reason to that was his unsatisfactory physical state. The arrested person was at the Gudermes ROVD. His fellow villagers characterize Ushayev as a calm person and a law-abiding citizen.
Ushayev’s mother addressed Memorial to help her in determining and punishing the persons, who tortured her son.
The prosecution of the Chechen refugees who emigrated from Russia
The Chechens who emigrated from Russia are exposed to mortal danger even during a short visit home. The arrival of a person who had been away for a long period of time is taken on a notice by law-enforcement agencies at once. He interests them like as a militant, who was hiding in the woods or as a rich man, living abroad, for whom they can receive ransom. A real threat of abduction, torture and even murders hangs above everyone who returns from emigration.
Three examples of it: the detentions of Rustam M., Beslan Gadayev and the execution of Magomed Gabuyev – are mentioned in the second section of this report. Memorial HRC documented two other similar cases, which had taken place not so long ago.
The officers of the force structure arrived at the village on two cars UAZ and VAZ – 2100. They rushed into the house, without any explanations they seized Muslim Akhmatov and began to deduce him into the street. Muslim’s mother, Hava, tried to stop them, but she was also hard beaten and fell. The militaries kicked the lying woman several times. Muslim also tried resist to the abductors.
The neighbors gathered together, hearing the noise. One of them, Magomed Kakhirov, a security guard of the Prime Minister of the CR Baisultanov administration, wished to interfere into the situation, but he was stopped by the precautionary shots. Akhmatov had his hands wrapped round, had his mouth sealed up and he had been placed into the car. He managed to liberate his hands and tried to escape. One of the abductors shot at Akhmatov from submachine gun and wounded him in the stomach. The bullet has passed his body through and damaged some internal organs. He was dragged to the car again and was driven to Gudermes.
The inhabitants of the village, who followed the abductors, were able to determine that the cars arrived at the territory of the Gudermes FSB. Soon the emergency was called. They brought Akhmatov to the city hospital. In hospital Akhmatov was subject to an operation and was placed to the resuscitation department under the protection. This protection was carried out by the officers of the Gudermes ROVD. The policemen told the Akhmatov’s relatives that they were placed there for security of the wounded.
That very day an investigatory group arrived at Ilashan-Yurt and interrogated the witnesses of the incident. On the given facts the regional Prosecutor’s initialed a criminal case.
In the beginning of the second military campaign Muslim left Chechnya for England, where he lived up to recently. Muslim came back home to marry. In the beginning of August of this year he married the daughter of a retired general of MVD and was already ready to go back to the GB.
According to fellow villagers, Muslim didn’t take any participation in military actions. Those, who know this family well consider, that the only possible motive for Muslim’s abduction was the ransom.
On July 22, 2007, under the obscure circumstances Umar Alievich Buchaev ,one of the native inhabitants of this village, disappeared. That day at about 7 p.m. Buchaev left the house of his parents and went directly to his aunt’s place in the same village. However he didn’t reach his aunt’s house and he didn’t returned home that night. The subsequent searches of Umar, organized by his parents gave no results. It turned out to be impossible to find witnesses disappearance.
On July 8, 2007 Umar Buchaev visited his parents. Last five years he had been living in Norway. Relatives consider him to be abducted. As of September 30 his location is unknown.
The danger of prosecution from the part of law-enforcement agencies and special services are exposed to the refugees, living abroad. We shall tell you about 2 cases.
Since December 4, 2006 Murad Gasayev, 1974, the inhabitant of Nazran’ who lives in Spain legally, is held in custody in that country. Gasayev has been detained by the authorities of Spain on the inquiry of the Prosecutor’s Office to surrender him.
Murad Gasayev left with family for Spain in May, 2005 on the insistence of his parents. Their fears for his safety were caused by his religiousness, he observed all ceremonies and regularly visited mosque, and this causes suspicions in law enforcement agencies. After an attack of militants on Ingushetia all young men were under suspicion, if they were strictly adhering religious canons. Murad – a peaceful and respectable family man, he worked in the Ingush Republican Public Fund “Technology” from 2002 to 2005.
In February, 2006, Gasayev’s parents learned from the newspaper, that their son is in search as a militant. It was found out, that during the interrogation, one of arrested persons, being under torture, slandered Gasayev as a participant of the attack on Ingushetia. The investigation was held in Vladikavkaz and was conducted by the Krivorotov’s group, well- known for its brutality. Later the person who had slandered Gasayev refused his previous testimony in the court.
In Spain Murad Gasayev was given a lawyer who helps him to achieve the refusal of ex-tradition to Russia.
Gasayev’s mother is afraid, that after the ex-tradition he will be subjected to torture and will slander himself. She has applied to Memorial HRC about legal aid for her son.
A terrible fate befell a Chechen refugee who had fled to Azerbaijan.
On November 17, 2006, it became known that 31-year-old refugee from Chechnya Ruslan Eliyev (born 1975) went missing in unclear circumstances in Azerbaijan’s capital, Baku.
The Council of Non-Governmental Organizations passed on the information that Eliyev for several years before his disappearance had lived in Baku as a refugee and was registered with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). His wife and his three small children stayed together with him in Azerbaijan.
His relatives said that in the afternoon of November 9, Ruslan called them and said he was going to be home soon; however, he disappeared without a trace.
In the early January 2007, the Chechen Refugee Council in Azerbaijan appealed to Mr. António Guterres, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, and to the President of Azerbaijan Ilkham Aliyev, asking them to launch an inquiry into the abduction of the mandate refugee in the territory of Azerbaijan and keep the public informed of the progress of the investigation. However, no response has been received to this appeal.
In late March, several mutilated bodies were discovered in the woods near the village of Samashki in Chechnya. The bodies had been thrown down from Russian helicopters. They were stuffed into bags. Some local residents had seen how those bags had been dropped down over the woods. The body of Ruslan Eliyev was identified among the bodies of victims that had been discovered.
The bodies found in the Samashki forest showed signs of terrible torture inflicted on those people before they were killed. Ruslan Eliyev’s body had the nails torn out and the eyes poked out. There were terrible burns across his entire body; the fingers were broken and the ears and the nose were cut off.
Harassment and killings have not stopped and there is no guarantee against a new wave of reprisals. Some real effort should be taken to make sure that the crimes committed in the past are investigated and solved. Only then can one hope for Chechnya making a transition from a society governed by force to a society ruled by law.
Investigations into the crimes committed by officers from law-enforcement agencies
The crimes perpetrated by officers from security agencies have not been investigated thus far and their perpetrators have continued to serve with their security agencies.
An illustrative case is that of the killing of resident of the town of Argun Abdulbek Abzuyev. In 2005, this man was abducted, very badly beaten and then strangled by troops from Kadyrov’s security service, officers of the Anti-Terror Center.
The prosecutor’s office opened a criminal case; suspects have been identified. One of them, Sultan Buluyev, currently serves with the A.Kadyrov Police Patrol and Point Duty Service Regiment, while the other two suspects, Anzor Batayev and Arbi Mamayev, are servicemen of the Yug [South] VV MVD [Interior Ministry Forces] Battalion. For twelve months now, investigators from the prosecutor’s office can’t take appropriate investigative actions relating to these persons.
Meanwhile, the mother of the killed person, Saman Abzuyeva, who witnessed the abduction and sought investigation of the crime, has been subjected to demonstrative threats and attacks. The abductors of her son have repeatedly threatened the 76-year-old woman and tried to drive her away to some place. On January 9, 2007, she was attacked when she was walking to the market place. A car pulled up beside her and several young men, whom she knows by name, since they live in her neighborhood, got out of it. They knocked her off her feet and gave her several blows on the body and on the head.
Doctors stated that Abzuyeva had been caused great nervous distress, high arterial blood pressure, heart trouble and major hematomas on the inner side of thighs. Now the elderly woman is afraid to go out and even when at home she does not feel safe.
No investigation has been carried out into the terrible incident of shooting a large group of unarmed young men, which took place in July 2006. As a result of a provocation, the organizers of which are still unknown, officers from security agencies shot dead 13 Chechen young men and teenagers. This bloodshed was presented to journalists as a major special operation to eliminate militants.
In fact, approximately 20 young men and teenagers from several villages of the Khasavyurt District of Dagestan were lured by two recruiters and brought together into a group supposedly for a trip to the seaside. In the afternoon of July 12, they were gathered together, but led in a different direction – from Dagestan towards the border with Chechnya. At the border, they were forced to change clothes into khaki uniforms and cartridges were stuffed into their pockets. On the night of July 12-13, 2006, when it was crossing the administrative border, the group was fired on from an ambush by officers from security agencies. Thirteen persons were killed. The young men offered no armed resistance. Two boys, the eldest in the group, were 26 and 27 years old; the others were aged between 13 and 19. Two days later, the dead bodies of the killed persons were returned to relatives for burial.
Five boys were wounded and survived by a miracle. They were detained, prosecuted and sentenced to prison terms of between eight and twelve months for participation in an illegal armed group, of which they were members for just 40 minutes.
From August 16 to 18, 2006, Member of the Human Rights Council at the RF President Svetlana Gannushkina together with lawyer of the Migration Rights Network Rasiyat Yasiyeva made trips to several villages of the Khasavyurt District of Dagestan. In those villages they visited 17 families which lost their sons in the July tragedy.
It was found out that no officals had visited relatives of the killed persons; investigators had not examined them; and no criminal case of any any sort had been opened into the murder of the young people (for more details see Appendix 2).
The investigation of the criminal case into the abduction of our staffer Bulat Chilayev in Sernovodsk has yielded no results. He was abducted together with his friend, Aslan Israilov, by the military on April 9, 2006, at an entry to the Rostov-Baku Highway. The efforts to establish the identities of the abductors have yielded no results. Petitions to leaders of the MVD and FSB of Chechnya, commanders of the Combined Force in Chechnya and directly to Ramzan Kadyrov have yielded no results.
Bulat’s father, Sultan Chilayev, a lawyer by training, carried out his own investigation: he examined witnesses and established the license numbers of the vehicles on which the abductors drove off. He also managed to find out that a commissioned officer’s identification tag had been discovered at the crime scene and learn the name of the person to whom it belonged. It was a serviceman of Zapad [West] battalion Ilias Bukulov.
The prosecutor’s office could not interrogate Bukulov, since he was said to be very busy with his official duties. In September 2006, he died in action and no testimony could be taken from him.
There is still no information about the fate of Bulat and Aslan. Apparently, they were murdered right after the abduction. Bulat was survived by wife and a small daughter.
In July this year, Bulat’s 50-year-old father died. Just a year ago, he was a healthy strong man. The abduction and the murder of his son had crippled him.
For two years now, the military prosecutor’s office has been investigating the above mentioned case on zachistka (a mop-up operation) in the village of Borozdinovskaya on June 4, 2005. The military columnist for the newspaper Novaya Gazeta Vyacheslav Izmailov clarified the peculiar features of court proceedings in the case:
“The Grozny Garrison Military Court at the suggestion of the prosecutor’s office divided the incident into two separate crime incidents: the first incident – an unlawful mop-up operation and the second incident – the death and the disappearance of people, without linking the two incidents together.”
As a result of the investigation into the first incident, ñompany commander of the Vostok Batallion Mukhadi Aziyev was given a two-year suspended sentence for abuse of authority. In spite of his conviction, he continues to serve in the same position.
And the second incident, the killing of one villager and the disappearance of 11 residents of Borozdinovskaya, as Izmailov writes, “has been attributed to imaginary militants, who supposedly entered the village already after the Vostok Batallion’s troops left it”.
For two years, various law-enforcement agencies and military departments have been claiming to be searching for the 11 abducted persons. According to the response given in mid-May 2007 to the Committee agaist Torture by Diakov, Assistant Military Prosecutor of the Combined Force, “… the FSB of Russia Directorate for the Chechen Republic, the Task Force of the Military Counterintelligence Department of the FSB of Russia in the North Caucasus Region of the RF, the Temporary Task Group of Agencies and Departments of the RF MVD in the CR and the Shelkovskaya ROVD have been directed towards the search efforts for the disappeared”.
Over the recent months, certain changes have taken place in the operations of the CR Prosecutor’s Office, which was noted in a Bulletin by Memorial HRC:
“… Cases that usually remain uninvestigated are those involving the crimes committed by federal security agencies. On the other hand, it is precisely now that… the prosecutor’s office has made progress in investigating a number of crimes committed in the recent years by officers from the CR security agencies.”
On December 26, 2006, sentences were passed on eighteen former officers of the Anti-Terror Center, the Second Police Patrol and Point Duty Service Regiment (PPSM-2), and other police units controlled by Ramzan Kadyrov (Chapanov, Abuzidov, Burkhanov, Edishev, Kashtarov, Soltakhanov, and others). In 2004 – 2006, they formed a stable gang and robbed local residents when on duty.
In mid-March 2007, the prosecutor’s office opened a criminal case into the beating by field investigators from ORB-2 of a resident the village of Goiskoye, Ramzan Khasiyev.
On May 24, 2007, the republican prosecutor’s office made public the details of the freshly completed investigation that targeted former Police Lieutenant Ruslan Asuyev. In 2005, he held the position of deputy company commander at the contract security control regiment at the MVD of Chechnya. Ruslan Asuyev is suspected in organizing a criminal group, which brought together former militants who were included in the amnesty, police officers and ordinary citizens. The group was responsible for murders of civilians, abductions for ransom, and aggravated robberies (assaults).
In January 2007, two members of Asuyev’s gang, Islam Agayev and Aslan Dzhamulayev, were already sentenced in this case to long imprisonment terms. Agayev was sentenced to 13 years’ imprisonment and Dzhamulayev – to 12.5 years.”
Details of the Asuyev case have been published in all national newspapers and posted on Web-sites in the Internet. Appendix 3 gives a brief description of this case.
As for court cases launched against commissioned officers of the Russian Armed Forces, there are just two of them: the Budanov case and the Ulman case.
Also targeted in the Ulman case together with Ulman himself are Lieutenant Aleksandr Kalagansky, warrant officer Vladimir Voyevodin, and Major Aleksey Perelevsky. They are accused of killing six peaceful citizens of Chechnya.
In April 2007, after the procsecution presented its case, three of the charged persons, except for Aleksey Perelevsky, disappeared without a trace.
On June 14, sentences were passed on those three defendants in their absence, in a rare case for the Russian court practice. Aleksey Perelevsky was sentenced to 9 years in maximum security penal colony and Eduard Ulman – to 14 years in maximum security penal colony. Lieutenant Aleksandr Kalagansky got 11 eleven years and warrant officer Vladimir Voyevodin was sentenced to 12 years. The convicted persons were put on the federal wanted list (for more details of the Budanov case see article by Svetlana Gannushkina in Appendix 4).
The trial of former MVD commissioned officer Sergey Lapin continues. In 2005, he was already sentenced by the Oktyabrsky District Court of the city of Grozny to 11 years in prison for infliction of great bodily harm to 30-year-old resident of Grozny Zelimkhan Murdalov and for abuse of authority and forgery by an official in relation to the disappearance of the victim. That case was investigated only thanks to the efforts of Anna Politkovskaya, whom Lapin threatened with punishment. However, the verdict was overturned by the ruling of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation and a retrial of the case was ordered.
Lapin is held in custody and the crime accomplices, his former commanders Lieutenant Colonel Valery Minin and Major Aleksandr Prilepin, went on the run and were put on the federal wanted list.
Servicemen of the Russian Interior Ministry Forces Sergey Arakcheyev and Yevgeny Khudyakov, who are accused of killing three peaceful citizens of Chechnya, have been twice cleared by the jury. The Military Board of the RF Supreme Court twice overturned the verdict and ordered the court to retry the case.
On February 1, 2007, on application by Deputies (members) of the State Duma Dmitry Rogozin, Aleksey Mitrofanov and Sergey Baburin, the Military Board of the RF Supreme Court overturned the ruling of the North Caucasus District Military Court to arrest Arakcheyev and Khudyakov. They were released on their own recognizance.
While the Russian system of justice is very reluctant to investigate crimes committed by the military againt civilians, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) deliveres more and more judgments on complaints by residents of Chechnya. During five months of 2007, from May to September, five new judgments were made, in which the ECHR had found Russia guilty of violating The European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. The complaints by residents of Chechnya that had been examined dealt with abductions of people by public officers, disappearances of detained persons, torture, and extrajudicial killings. A total of 14 judgments were released by the ECHR, as of September 2007, on the complaints by residents of the CR and in all of the judgments the Russian authorities had been found guilty of violating the European Convention and in particular its Article 2 (right to life), Article 5 (right to liberty and security), and Article 13 (right to an effective remedy before a national court).
However, the Russian authorities have taken a rather lopsided approach to implementing rulings of the European Court.
The applicants are paid fully and in a timely manner the ordered sums of money damages. Criminal cases are reinvestigated. However, these investigations are carried out pro forma and drag on for unreasonable periods of time. Despite the obvious involvement of specific public officers in crimes, not a single one of them has been criminally prosecuted. The fate of not a single ‘disappeared’ person about whom rulings of the ECHR were issued, has been established. This is not to mention that no efforts have been taken to introduce any changes into the statutory regulations which govern the actions of security departments within the zones of internal conflicts (laws on combating terrorism and the Armed Forces manuals). In fact, the need to introduce such changes directly follows from some of the rulings of the ECHR.
Reprisals against and extrajudicial killings of civilians suspected of contacts with militants
It has been impossible so far “to close the books on the tragic streak in the history of the Chechen people, once and for all”, as Ramzan Kadyrov intends. Using their habitual methods of violence, the republican government agencies themselves prompt the youth to join the militants.
Talking to residents of Grozny during her July trip, the Director of Demos Center Tatiana Lokshina learned about a wide-spread technique of recruiting young men used by officers from secret services.
Young people are seized right from fixed-route minibus taxis; they are badly beaten and threatened with torture to force them to supply information on militants and sign an obligation to cooperate. Lokshina cites an account by a resident of Grozny telling about what has happened to her son. In June this year, her elder son together with his male friend were pulled out of a minibus by some people with automatic rifles, dressed in civvies, and not a single person in the overcrowded bus dared to stand up for them. The boys were dragged out onto the road, kicked and hit with rifle butts and then were forced into the attackers’ vehicle. They were driven to some headquarters (to all appearances, it was the Grozny OBOP (Department for Combating Organized Crime)). There they were beaten within an inch of their lives. An ‘infernal machine’ was brought to torture them by electric shocks and under threats the boys were forced to sign an obligation to cooperate and inform on their friends. Her son does not go outside since then.
Lokshina remarks: “For some time, they simply go into hiding, stay overnight with friends or relatives and then they realize that there is no way-out: either you “go to the woods” or become a rat or you might get imprisoned for some 15 to 20 years – some friends are already serving their terms. Many opt for the ‘woods’. And had they been left alone, they would have lived peaceful lives at their homes.”
Member of Parliament Magomed Khambiyev said at a parliamentary meeting that, according to the information that has not been properly verified, from January to April this year, about three hundred young men joined the militants. Some of them were as young as 15 to 16 years old.
According to the information available to Memorial HRC, on May 19, 2007, the CR Interior Minister Ruslan Alkhanov and the CR Vice-Premier Adam Delimkhanov met relatives of the persons who were on the wanted list in the assembly hall of the CR Interior Ministry’s building in the city of Grozny.
No practical or fruitful discussion took place. It was Adam Delimkhanov who mostly did the talking. His entire speech was no more than just threats.
He said that no quarter would be given to any one of those who had gone to the mountains [to join the militants]. Should they be caught by security agencies, “they would have their heads cut off”. No quarter would be given to their families, either. Delimkhanov promised and Alkhanov reiterated that masked security officers would burst at night time into those houses of people who had joined the militants which supply them with food and clothes. Punished would also be the neighbors who were definitely aware of the plans of those who left their homes.
These terrible threats, voiced by top leaders of the Republic, usher in a new wave of lawlessness. The CR Interior Minister has in effect legalized the criminal practices of extrajudicial killings.
Memorial has obtained the information that on July 20 this year, officers from local security agencies carried out the extrajudicial killing of a resident of the village of Yalkhoi-Mokhk, let's call her Laura, in the notorious village of Tsentoroi.
On July 19, three militants came to Laura’s house. They demanded that she open the food kiosk she owned and bought some food products from her. On that same night, a shoot-out with militants took place in the vicinity of the village of Yalkhoi-Mokhk. According to some reports, three members of the armed resistance were killed. In the afternoon of July 19, Laura was interrogated at the district office of FSB. She was accused of supplying militants with food; however, she was not detained on that day.
In the morning of July 20, Laura was summoned for interrogation to the Kurchaloi District ROVD. Laura’s senior brother drove her there himself. After the interrogation, the woman was taken from the ROVD building to the village of Tsentoroi. Her relatives were not informed of that. On that same day, her relatives were requested to take home the dead body of Laura. The woman’s body showed signs of torture and fractures. Her head was smashed in with bullets from automatic weapons. When the woman’s dead body was handed over to her family members, officers from security agencies warned them that they would kill Laura’s four brothers, if any official funeral was held. They were warned against telling anybody about this incident.
The military presence has been stepped up in the mountainous areas. Carrying out of the threats of reprisals against relatives of the militants has been started. Below is an extract from Yelena Burtina’s August account of her trip to Chechnya: “About two months ago, the house of a woman whose son had shortly before left home to join the militants was burned down in the village of Gansolchu. This woman’s husband fought on the Russian side in the first war and was killed. This fact did not stop the military from driving his widow and children out of their house at night and setting the house on fire. Construction workers from a school construction site put out the fire; however, all property and the monetary compensation the woman had received shortly before were destroyed in fire. The woman left for some place together with her children. And that son of hers who joined the militants has obviously got a new strong impetus to pursue armed struggle.”
In this way, the Chechen authorities, having halted the practice of abducting people, are opening a new channel for unlawful punitive violence against civilians.
The course towards building a peaceful life that has been proclaimed by Ramzan Kadyrov continues to be based on violence.
IV. Situation of people from Chechnya in the Republic of Ingushetia
In 1999, when the second military campaign was started, Ingushetia, the smallest of the Caucasian republics, accepted up to 300,000 of Chechen refugees. Of them 30,000 persons lived in tent camps; 32,000 persons resided in rented rooms; and the rest lived with their relatives or friends. Those people were ready to face any hardships, just to get security guarantees. Ingushetia was an island of salvation for them. Unfortunately, this is not so today. Over the past three years, the level of lawlessness and violence against civilians in Ingushetia came close to the level of lawlessness in Chechnya and in 2007 even surpassed it.
Starting from autumn 2005, CAPs came under threat of closure. The Chief Sanitary Officer of the RI issued a resolution on shutting down the operations of CAPs because of their failure to meet sanitary standards. It should be noted that the unsuitability of that housing for living and its substandard sanitary conditions were known in advance – when people were being moved into the CAPs. However, this circumstance was not taken into consideration back then.
The process of shutting down CAPs was slowed down; nevertheless, during the past two years most of the CAPs were closed.
In December 2006, there were just 32 CAPs for IDPs from Chechnya officially operating in the territory of the Republic, while in 2005 there were 86 of them.
As of February 28, 2007, there were 17,492 IDPs from Chechnya officially registered in Ingushetia – the figures are cited according the database run by the Danish Refugee Council (DRC). Of them 4,687 persons were housed in CAPs and 12,805 persons were in private accommodation.
According to the information of the RI UFMS, as of the beginning of February 2007, there were 8,662 IDPs remaining in the territory of Ingushetia. Of them 4,078 persons resided in CAPs and 4,584 persons lived in private accommodation .
Return of IDPs to the Chechen Republic
In summer 2006, Ingushetia was often visited by administration heads of districts and towns of Chechnya, who tried to persuade people to return home. According to one of those officials, each of them was instructed by Kadyrov to ensure the return to Chechnya of all IDPs from the district under the person’s in question jurisdiction. They were threatened that otherwise they could “lose their seats”.
At an agitation rally held by Tamazi Gaurgayev, administration head of the Oktyabrsky District of the city of Grozny, on August 2, 2006, at LogoVAZ CAP, Gaurgayev at a certain moment lost patience and said literally the following:
“Humanitarian assistance from UFMS both in Ingushetia and in Chechnya will be discontinued to those who do not return to Chechnya before the end of autumn 2006 and land plots that are registered in their names in Chechnya will be taken away from them.”
The IDPs, who were alarmed by such statements, thought it would be better to return to Chechnya. They reported later that upon their return they found that nobody needed them there. TAPs in Chechnya clearly did not provide enough accomodation; their superintendents themselves were frank about it. The newly arrived were immediately warned that they could stay at TAPs for no longer than a month, after which period thay would have to seek accommodation themselves elsewhere. The question of who would pay for such housing was not even discussed and nobody even mentioned the compensation that had been promised. Officials did not respond to requests or met them with rudeness. Of those who left only 21 families managed to return to Ingushetia and have themselves put back on the lists of the FMS of Ingushetia.
Of great help to the returning people were the prefabricated panel houses provided by UNHCR, which were installed near their houses for the period until their construction or re-building was completed.
In September 2006, UNHCR workers interviewed members of 163 families from the list submitted by the Government of the Chechen Republic. The bulk of the list was made up of families living in CAPs in Ingushetia, who were willing to return and needed temporary accommodation to resettle.
Of the 163 families that were interviewed, 90 have been found ready for the return and needing temporary accommodation. On September 21, 2006, UNHCR acting through its executive partners, the non-governmental organization Vesta and the Caucasian Refugee Council (CRC), started distribution of prefabricated panel houses (box tents) to 90 families. Families of up to seven persons are eligible for one prefabricated panel house, while families that have more than seven members may get two such houses.
The volume of humanitarian assistance to IDPs was greatly reduced during the past year. Assistance of the Danish Refugee Council is provided to those who are under 20 or over 50 years old and also to large families and disabled persons.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) distribiutes humanitarian assistance to large families (five children and more), families with Category One or Two Disabled persons and families of pensioners (people aged over 65). In addition to food assistance, ICRC also provides personal-care products and distributes bedclothes and blankets and clothes and footwear for school students.
The authorities have continuously denied the International Rescue Committee (IRC) official registration. In fact, it was the IRC that provided sanitation services in the camps in Ingushetia and after its operations were halted, garbage started to pile up immediately. Cesspools of shower rooms and laundry rooms in some CAPs are not emptied any more and these CAPs came under threat of closure.
Provision of assistance granted through the channels of the RI UFMS continues to remain the most severe problem as far as the distribution of humanitarian assistance is concerned. It is distributed with many months’ delays – between 7 and 10 months. FMS officers themselves explain these delays by the fact that during the summer and autumn period they were busy providing humanitarian assistance to people returning to the Chechen Republic; therefore they did not have enough funds for those IDPs who stayed in Ingushetia. Starting from November 2006, clearance of the arrears was started.
The health care situation greatly worsened during the past year. Just a year ago, patients at CAPs were received by mobile medical teams of doctors from international organizations. Today, after their operations in Ingushetia were halted, IDPs are more often than not deprived of basic medical assistance.
At larger centers for IDPs there is a chance that at least one person with medical background could be found, who could provide assistance in case of emergency. However, residents of remote CAPs, where no ‘paramedic’ could be found, are hard put to get medical assistance. If someone from among the residents of such camps urgently needs a doctor during night time he or she would have noone and nowhere to turn. They are, in their own words, “living and hoping for the God’s help… ”. IDPs residing in larger CAPs have the opportunity of call in an ambulance and usually they don’t get refusals in such situations.
Approximately 800 children of IDPs in Ingushetia have been successfully integrated into the republican system of general education, in many ways thanks to the support from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). UNICEF has distributed to local schools 460 sets of school furniture and provided school uniforms and winter footwear to children from the poorer families of IDPs.
Generally, local shools enroll all children of school age without any particular problems. The only problem is that in some population centers shools are located far away from CAPs and children have to travel long distances to get there. The cost of transportation between homes and shools is 10 rubles (0.28 euros) per one school student per day, which is often beyond their means for large families; therefore, children often skip classes.
Safety in CAPs
The situation with security in CAPs has greatly worsened since the beginning of 2007. During this period, security agencies dramatically intensified their activities. Usually they involved numerous incidents of wanton violence, illegal detentions and other gross violations of civil rights.
Officers from security agencies have shown particular interest towards residents of UMS Mekhstroi CAP, located in the stanitsa of Ordzhonikidzevskya (Sleptsovskaya). Since the beginning of the year, the camp has seen several harsh operations which could not be seen as an ordinary passport check.
The first such operation was conducted on the night of January 10–11, 2007. At around three in the morning, officers from an unknown security agency arrived to UMS Mekhstroi camp, located at the stanitsa. Some of them wore camouflage uniforms; others were in civvies. Some of them hid their faces behind masks; however, most of them were unmasked. The officers did not introduce themselves; however witnesses claim that between themselves they spoke in three languages: Russian, Chechen and Ingush.
The document checks and room searches continued until
On January 27, at around 1.30 p.m., armed people dressed in camouflage uniforms and wearing masks again appeared on the premises of UMS Mekhstroi camp. After sealing off the entire settlement, they ordered everyone at gunpoint not to leave their rooms and not to look out. Officers from security agencies arrested Malika Chabiyeva and drove her away in an unknown direction.
According to Malika’s sister, Aza Chabiyeva, 10 minutes into the operation, the door to her room was half-opened and Malika handed in her keys and said: “They are taking me with them”. To the question “Why?” she said, “I don’t know; it must be some mistake.” Malika’s five-year-old daughter was handed over to Aza.
Immediately after Malika was driven away, Aza went to the Sunzha District Prosecutor’s Office to file a statement about the arrest of her sister.
One of the officers at the prosecutor’s office discouraged her from filing such statement, saying that there was no need to do it. In Aza’s presence, he spoke to someone over the telephone and told her after hanging up that Malika Chabiyeva had been detained by officers from the UFSB (Federal Security Service Directorate) for Ingushetia. According to him, she was undergoing a routine check and would be released in some time.
The reassured woman went home; however, on her way there she learned that another sister of hers, Asya, was also arrested, together with her employer, a woman who owned a café where she worked, named Roza Seinaroyeva. The two women were driven to the FSB building.
Asya Chabiyeva was questioned about Malika’s contacts, about her job and activities, about where she was in 1996-1997, and whether Asya knew her female friends. The most important thing they wanted to know, however, was whether Asya Chabiyeva knew a woman named Elbika. Asya was shown a photograph on a PC monitor and Asya recognized a woman she had seen several times when that woman was coming to Malika Chabiyeva’s place together with her daughter, asking Malika to take the child to a kindergarten. That woman rented accommodation somewhere in the stanitsa of Ordzhonikidzevskya. The Chabiyev sisters, both Malika and Asya, knew that Elbika was hiding from the Russian authorities because her husband was a member of the Chechen resistance.
It emerged soon afterwards that Malika had been taken from Ingushetia to
the FSB SIZO for the Krasnodar Krai (Territory). As early as on January
This disinformation was due to the fact that Elbika sent to the FSB a videorecording in which she confessed to having carried out the explosion after two other innocent women were detained in this case.
When examining the video recording, FSB officers spotted in the background a figure of a woman who they thought looked like Malika Chabiyeva.
Asya and Aza, who came to Krasnodar, did not recognize their sister in the woman on the tape; they asked to release her and got a strange response: she would be released only in exchange for Elbika.
On March 21, 2007, the Chabiyev sisters approached the head of the Migration Rights Network Svetlana Gannushkina and asked her to help Malika during her visit to Ingushetia, where she met relatives of abducted persons.
To defend Malika Chabiyeva’s rights our Krasnodar-based lawyer was invited, who called the investigator and informed him that he was joining the case and wanted to see the detention protocol and the order to institute criminal proceedings.
This proved to be enough and on March 28, Malika was released. The investigator reproached the sisters for “having acted in the wrong way: contacted a lawyer, who is of no need at all to an innocent person”.
Malika returned home; no apologies were offered to her for the two-month’ illegal detention in custody. Her relatives decided against challenging the illegal arrest.
In relation to the release of Malika Chabiyeva, Memorial HRC issued a press release in which it drew attention to the disinformation that had been dessimenated by representatives of security agencies following her arrest.
The press release said that on January 29, Komsomolskaya Pravda citing Nazir Yevloyev, head of the press office of the MVD of Ingushetia, accused Malika Chabiyeva of having carried out the April 23, 1997 terror act in the waiting room of the railway station Armavir-2.
That same report by Komsomolskaya Pravda gave the following information, citing the press office of the Chief Directorate (GU) of the MVD (Interior Ministry) in the Southern Federal District: “during the past year, 583 persons were identified in the territory of the region who had committed crimes of a terrorist nature”.
A question is asked in the press release: How many of those 583 persons have actually nothing to do with terrorism, just like Malika Chabiyeva?
Below is yet another example of illegal detentions at CAPs.
On March 11, 2007, at
UAZ jeeps and an URAL truck, carrying Russian military troops, arrived at the small house where the mother and son Khildikharoyev lived. They sealed off the house.
Zainap asked the officers from security agencies about the goal of their visit. They told her they came to conduct a check, since they had the information that two persons they were looking for could be found on the premises of MTF-1.
Then they entered Ali’s room and asked him to show his documents. After checking his passport, they asked him about the goal of his visit there, since Ali was registered at one of Grozny’s TAPs. He said he had come at his mother’s invitation to meet a potential bride.
One of the troops walked into another room, without noticing Zainap, Ali’s mother, following him. He came to a bed and put something under the mattress. After that the room was entered by a police officer from local police precinct, Beshtoyev. He rebuked the serviceman for entering the room in the absence of hosts. When the serviceman left, Zainap told Beshtoyev that he had put something under the mattress. They came near the bed and found an F-1 grenade there.
Beshtoyev said he was not able to do anything, since those were “Russians and they were not under his command”.
Then, an unwarranted search was conducted, during which a neighbor, who was invited as an attesting witness, was shown the grenade that had been ‘discovered’. Ali Khildikharoyev was arrested and taken to the GOVD of the town of Karabulak. Apparently thanks to the fact that the local police precinct officer knew where the grenade had come from, Ali’s detention did not result in any serious consequences: three days later he was released.
Starting from January 2007, the level of violence in Ingushetia was higher than in Chechnya, where the number of abductions and the number of special operations dramatically dropped this year.
In response to this terror act, during February and March officers from security agencies from Chechnya, Ingushetia and North Ossetia carried out 9 special operations in the territory of Ingushetia. Nine persons were killed as a result of those operations. The operations were carried out with great brutality and were in effect extrajudicial killings. To illustrate, we will give the details of four of the operation, three of which were carried out in a sequence during the first week of February. They all ended in the death of the people whose arrest was sought.
On February 3, 2007, from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., a special operation to arrest Timur Abdul-Salmanovich Khaniyev (born 1981) was conducted in the town of Malgobek. A high-rise apartment building was sealed off. Its dwellers were not evacuated when the fire was opened; they started to rush out of the building themselves. As a result of massive gunfire from automatic weapons, grenade launchers and APCs, the building caught fire. It was only by the merest chance that the building did not burn down. The dead bodies of the two persons who got killed were completely charred. It was reported later that one of the killed persons was Timur Khaniyev. The efforts to establish the identity of the second person did not give any results. According to some reports, it could be a woman. Timur Khaniyev had had a positive reputation among his neighbors and people had been gathering in his apartment to pray and study the Koran in a group (for more details see Appendix 5).
On February 7, 2007, two residents of Ingushetia, Adam (Ibragim) Izmailovich Gardanov (born 1985) and Magomed Bashirovich Chakhkiyev (born 1973), were killed by officers from secret services during a special operation in the city of Nazran, at Chechenskaya Street.
At 3.30 p.m., a VAZ 99 car, in which Gardanov and Chakhkiyev were traveling, pulled up in front of the GIBDD (State Traffic Safety Inspectorate) building. Suddenly, the car was blocked on two sides by a white Gazel van and a VAZ-2109 car. Over 10 armed people in camouflage uniforms and civvies jumped out of the cars. They ran up to the car and opened fire without warning. Another two or three troops ran up and also opened fire. The occupants of the car were killed. They had offered no armed resistance. Final shots were fired at the killed persons.
Many of those who found themselves witnesses to the special operation, including officers from law-enforcement agencies of Ingushetia, claim that the people in the car could have been captured alive. Ibragim Gardanov (Adam in the passport) was reputed to have been treating patients by alternative methods – using Muslim prayers. Officers from security agencies had taken notice of Adam’s activites during a passport check, when they saw that many people came to see him at his office. The second killed man, Magomed Chakhkiyev, had had his wife treated by Gardanov. On February 7, Chakhkiyev was driving Gardanov to his home for a regular medical treatment session.
On February 4, 2007, at
When Merzhoyev was out in an open field and broke into a walk, one of the officers from security agencies got down on one knee and took an aimed shot in his direction. Zelimkhan fell to the ground. A few minutes later an explosion was heard near him. By all appearances, he blew himself up with a grenade he had hidden on him.
The house was searched but no illegal items were found in the search. The body of the killed man was given back to relatives after the investigative actions were carried out. It means that he had been absent from the wanted list and had not been involved in any crimes.
Zelimkhan Merzhoyev worked as a programmer at the Education Department of the Malgobek District. On February 1, officers from the Malgobek ROVD took Zelimkhan from his office to the police District Department’s building, where he was interrogated, fingerprinted and released. The interrogation was carried out pro forma and no specific charges were presented against Merzhoyev. The fact that the young person committed what was in effect a suicide can be explained only by the horror instilled in the citizens by the possibility of been prosecuted, tortured and inevitably sentenced to long imprisonment terms for the crimes they have never committed.
On March 15, 2007, Khusein Uvaisovich Mutaliyev (born 1980) was fatally wounded during a special operation in that same town of Malgobek.
They burst into the house and started a search. The troops did not introduce themselves or show any documents; they were rude and were insulting members of the Mutaliyev family. After they searched the house and found nothing, they grabbed Khusein Mutaliyev and took him into the yard.
They started beating Mutaliyev; he broke free and tried to escape. Fire to kill was opened on him from automatic weapons. Khusein fell to the ground but was still alive. The wounded man was rudely forced into a car, after which all the vehicles drove off in the direction of North Ossetia.
On that same day, Khusein Mutaliyev’s brother, Khasan, turned with a written statement to a representative office of Memorial HRC with a request to provide assistance in establishing the whereabouts of his abducted brother.
the afternoon, the following report was posted on the Web-site of INTERFAX news
agency: “during a special operation, officers from law-enforcement agencies of
Ingushetia and North Ossetia eliminated an active member of an IAG, Khusein Mutaliyev,
in Malgobek, Ingushetia, a source in the law-enforcement agencies of Ingushetia
told the Interfax-Yug news agency Thursday. On Thursday afternoon, in Malgobek,
when the arrest was carried out of Khusein Mutaliyev (born 1980), who was on
the federal wanted list for abductions of people (Article 126 of the Criminal
Code of the Russian Federation), he offered armed resistance and tried to
explode a grenade, at which moment he
sustained a gunshot wound. The explosion was avoided”. According to the source,
the wounded militant was taken to a local hospital, where he died of the wounds
he had sustained.
The agency’s interlocutor also reported that Khusein Mutaliyev was an ideological leader of illegal armed groups promoting Wahhabism and also an active member of the armed gang led by field commander Khasmagomed Bogatyrev. He was also suspected of involvement in the incursion into Ingushetia in June
On the following day, March 16, the Mutaliyev family was officially informed about Khusein’s death and his body was released to it from the morgue of the city of Vladikavkaz. The wounded Khusein Mutaliyev had not been taken to a hospital in Ingushetia, as claimed in the report by Interfax.
At the Malgobek ROVD relatives were informed that Khusein Mutaliyev was absent from the wanted list and there was no information about his links with militants.
Earlier, on September 21, 2006, Khusein Mutaliyev was already detained by officers from law-enforcement agencies of Ingushetia. For three days he was kept at the Malgobek GOVD, where he was beaten to make him incriminate himself. From Malgobek he was transferred to the Nazran ROVD and kept there for another seven days, after which he was released.
On September 21, several other residents of Malgobek were arrested together with Mutaliyev; they were also released later. One of them, Islam Oligov (born 1984), on November 27, 2006, was killed in the yard of his house by officers from federal security agencies.
On February 5, 2007, Khusein Mutaliyev turned to Memorial HRC with a statement, in which he gave the details of his illegal detention and the beatings he had been subjected. He also described the more recent incidents of harassment by the police. After the attempt on the life of the Mufti of Ingushetia, police officers came to his home and called him in for interrogation in relation to his alibi.
Khusein Mutaliyev together with his friends intended to write an open letter stating that they were ready to answer any questions from the authorities; however, provided that their constitutional rights were observed in the relevant procedures. They were prevented from doing that.
Usually, on the following day after a special operation, before any investigative actions are carried out, a report appears in the media about yet another active member of an IAG been eliminated. By feeding false information to the media officers from law-enforcement agencies in this way legitimize the extrajudicial killings of innocent people who were “designated” as criminals. Law-enforcement agencies indirectly admit that such people are innocent by releasing the bodies of the killed persons to relatives for burial.
Article 14.1 of the Federal Law (FZ) “On Burial and Funeral Services” prohibits the release to relatives for burial and making public the sites of their burial in relation to the bodies of persons “whose criminal prosecution for involvement in terrorist activities was terminated due to their death as a result of actions preventing…these terrorist activities”.
In the established practice, this provision is interpreted broadly: bodies are not released to relatives of all those who have been criminally prosecuted for “involvement in terrorist activities”.
The Malgobek Prosecutor’s Office opened a criminal case under Article 286 (abuse of authority) into the death of Khusein Mutaliyev. The case was later passed on to the Prosecutor’s Office in the Southern Federal District.
In June 2007, the murder of Ruslan Aushev during a targeted special operation caused a great stir in the Republic.
On June 17, 2007, at around
The troops sealed off houses No.28 and No.30 at Ausheva Street. First, a search was carried out in house No.30, owned by Isropil Aushev; the garret and household outbuildings were throroghly searched. In a similar manner a search was conducted of the neighboring house No.28, belonging to Khavazh Aushev. They were looking for Ruslan Aushev; however, he was not to be found anywhere.
Suddenly one of the troops in the cordon fired a grenade from a from a grenade launcher at the garret of house No.30. A brisk fire ensued and for 20 minutes the garret was fired on from all sides. A dead body was found in the garret. It was Ruslan Aushev. He had tried to hide in the garret at his neighbors’. He had his hands torn off and there were multiple fragment wounds and lacerated wounds on the body.
The special operation was conducted with an extreme brutality and the use of unlawful violence and torture. Isropil, Magomed, Khusen and Khasan Aushev were badly kicked and hit with pipe pieces, after their hands were tied by wires.
The houses were looted; money and documents were stolen; and windows were smashed. An APC smashed in the gate of house No.30; the house building was damaged and Khasan Aushev’s car was crashed.
Ruslan’s half-cousin, Magomed Aushev, was taken to Vladikavkaz, tortured with electric shocks and beaten; his execution by firing squad was simulated. They tried to force him into confessing to hiding his brother and to the crimes he did not commit. He could not bear the torture any longer and signed some papers, giving his consent to cooperate with the FSB, after which he was released. After his release, Magomed Aushev wrote a statement he sent to law-enforcement agencies and to Memorial HRC, in which he detailed the abduction, the tortures and other humiliations, as well as the attempt to recruit him as an FSB agent, giving the FSB officer’s mobile phone number.
June 25, at
Three months later, Magomed Aushev was abducted for the second time. It happened on September 18, when he together with his half-cousin, who was also named Magomed Aushev, was taking a taxi ride from Grozny to his home. On the outskirts of the city, in the area of the settlement of Chernorechie, three vehicles blocked their way. People in camouflage uniforms jumped out of the vehicles. They hit the taxi driver, beat up the Aushevs and forced them into their vehicle. As it was found out later in the day by their relatives, at around 4 p.m., the vehicles of the abductors crossed the administrative border between Chechnya and Ingushetia through Kavkaz-1 checkpoint.
The MVD of Chechnya claimed that its officers were not involved in the abduction: no special operations had been conducted in the area of the settlement of Chernorechie at that time.
On that same day, fellow-villagers of the Aushevs, residents of the village of Surkhakhi, gathered together and decided to hold a protest rally in the city of Nazran on September 19. The rally was started at 3 p.m., approximately 400 persons attended.
The protesters blocked the Chechenskaya Street near the office of the Danish Council and blocked a railway crossing with blocks of concrete, blocking the traffic of vehicles and trains. They held posters reading “Give our Sons Back to Us” and “Stop the Abductions and the Killings”.
The protesters were twice approached by the Interior Minister Musa Medov, who tried without success to persuade them to disband. The republican prosecutor Yury Turygin and Deputies (members) of the RI Parliament also arrived to meet the protesters. The people at the rally were very determined; they said they would stand to the end – until they were informed about the fate of the abducted men. They brought along flasks with water and prayer rugs, intending to spend the night there.
The people who gathered at the rally presented their demands on local television: return the Aushevs; investigate other abductions and murders of residents of Ingushetia; and find and punish the real perpetrators.
Attempts were taken to disperse the gathering using OMON troops. The protesters showered them with stones and forced the police officers back to their vehicles. When midnight came, there were still 250 people at the site of the rally.
The abducted brothers were discovered at the Shatoi District ROVD. In the morning of September 20, the Aushevs returned home.
Bellow is what the father of one of the abducted men, Makshar Aushev, told a correspondent of Novaya Gazeta: “They have gone through hell and Magomed has gone through it twice. Every step was taken to retaliate for Magomed’s statement. It was a pure retaliation: to wipe out the men and cover all traces. All their belongings – passports and clothes – were immediately burned. They were beaten and tortured with electric shocks; however, no demands were presented, no interrogations were carried out and no attempts were made to have testimonies beaten out of them – they were just tortured. For 48 hours, they were deprived of food and water.” To all appearances, they were not going to release them alive. According to Makshar Aushev, on the night of the 20th, the abductors suddenly received the orders to release the Aushevs: “an officer from Moscow called them”. They were put into a car and for a long time driven to some place. It turned out they were taken to the village of Shatoi, where they were dropped off near the district police precinct.
Later, Makshirip Aushev conveyed to Novaya Gazeta the information about the progress of the investigation he learned from a source at the Prosecutor’s Office of the Zavodskoy District of the city of Grozny:
“People who were involved in the abduction of the boys in Chechnya are known. It has been established that those were officers of the GRU for Chechnya and of the RF UFSB for Ingushetia. Their surnames, names and patronymics are known. Officers from the prosecutor’s office say that up to 15 persons were involved in the abduction. They have been suspended from duties and arrest warrants have been issued for them. However, as I was told the other day at the prosecutor’s office of Chechnya, during searches in the houses of these people they were not found there. Their whereabouts are not known thus far. One of these days the prosecutor’s office plans to carry out an investigative experiment at the site where the boys were held – in the building of the Urus-Martan UFSB.”
Makshirip Aushev said that to his knowledge the group of the abductors was led by Abdul Mutsayev, officer from the UFSB of Russia fro Chechnya; however, his whereabouts were unknown.
However, the Prosecutor’s Office of the Zavodskoy District of the city of Grozny denied the reports the abductors had been identified. It said that preliminary investigations were underway.
The determination of residents of Ingushetia, who had been driven to extreme measures by the situation where officers from security agencies who commit crimes go unpunished, played a major role in the release of the Aushevs. Human rights activists circulated the information in the media and sent urgent queries to the Prosecutor General’s Office and to Prosecutors of Ingushetia and Chechnya.
The Aushev brothers were saved thanks to the joint efforts; however the Aushevs are afraid of new harassment. They wrote statements requesting protection and sent them to international organizations, the RF President, the FSB Director, the Prosecutor General, the Human Rights Ombudsman, and Russian human rights defenders.
In the statement they wrote: “It would seem that our sufferings are over, although we have detailed just a fraction of the ordeal we endured at that terrible hell. However, we are haunted by the vow made by one of our torturers, who said: “I swear on the Koran: you will not live long if you leak a word about what has happened to you”.”
All the authorities have to do to fulfill their duties is to see the investigation through the investigation through and punish the guilty persons. This would ensure that the lives would be saved of the Aushev brothers and other people who are at risk of falling into the hands of those torturers.
The last special operation we would like to describe was an outrageous extrajudicial killing of innocent people. In that operation, the ‘incriminating’ evidence was shamelessly fabricated right before the eyes of a mother whose children has just been killed.
On September 27, 2007, after
On that same day, the RI MVD’s press office released the information that during a special operation in the village of Sagopshi: “…two militants offered armed resistance and were eliminated. One of the killed persons, Sait-Magomed Galayev (born 1983; call sign ‘Abdul-Malik’), had been the so-called “emir” of the militants in the Malgobek District of Ingushetia.”
On September 28, Memorial HRC workers in the village of Sagopshi met relatives of the killed men. The mother of the killed men, Fasimat Galayeva, gave her account of what had happened. Since the family observes the Muslim fast of Ramadan, they woke up and had breakfast before the sun rose and then went back to their rooms. Said-Magomed slept in his room together with his wife Madina; another two brothers, Ruslan and Tagir, slept in a room that the farthest from the entrance; while the mother and a younger son, Said-Akhmed, aged 11, slept in a room near the entrance door.
Fasimat, who was woken up by the sound of shots being fired, saw how Ruslan stumbled into her room and fell near the bed. Her daughter-in-law, who was held by the troops, was screaming in another room. The females, Said-Akhmed and Tagir were taken to the street. The troops threw three grenades into each of the two rooms and only after that they forced Tagir to pull out his killed brothers into the street. The women and the child were seated near the dead bodies.
According to Madina, they were approached by a “Russian serviceman,” who asked her for a black plastic bag. Madina answered that he had no such bag. He left the yard and soon afterwards returned with an empty plastic bag of blue color. He then sat near a shed and started to unload cartridges from the clip of his automatic rifle into the bag. Later, this bag with cartridges was cited in the search protocol as the object discovered in Galayev’s house.
The search protocol also stated that two automatic rifles and other weapons had been discovered in the house. According to the Galayevs, they had no weapons in their house. They do not know when and under what circumstances the weapons were found, since the search was carried out in their absence.
Tagir, Fasimat Galayeva and her daughter-in-law Madina were taken to the Malgobek ROVD. Only Said-Akhmed was left in the yard. For several hours, he sat near near the dead bodies of his brothers, until they were taken away by the troops. The search in the house continued for several hours and procedural rules were not observed.
The detained persons were interrogated individually. The interrogation was conducted by an investigator with the prosecutor’s office, Adam Sultanovich Tsechoyev. At the interrogation, Fasimat shouted at him: “Where is the government? Why did they kill my children when they had no guilt at all?” The investigator replied smiling: “What government? They offered armed resistance”.
Tagir was questioned about how the weapons appeared in the houseand where his brothers and he were on the night of September 7-8, at the time of the attack on military unit 3733, located on the outskirts of Malgobek.
In the meantime, up to 100 relatives and neighbors of the Galayevs gathered outside the building of the Malgobek ROVD. They demanded immediate realease of the arrested persons and did not disband until their demands were met. At 7.00 p.m., Fasimat was released from the ROVD; at 10.00 p.m. they released Tagir and another 30 minutes later – Madina.
On September 28, the bodies of the brothers were released to the Galayevs; they were buried on that same day. The Galayevs intend to turn to law-enforcement agencies with a statement about the unlawful actions of officers from security agencies; they have invited a lawyer.
According to the Galayevs’ fellow-villagers, the killed brothers had never been involved in any illegal activities; they had not been secretive and professed traditional Islam; they had worked part-time as construction workers at private construction sites.
July-October 2007: Rapid deterioration of the situation
In June and July, the Republic was shaken by a series of high-profile murders: deputy head of the administration of the Sunzha District, a prominent religious leader, and the commander of the republican OMON were killed. A series of killings of Russian families was started.
On July 21, Adviser to the President of the Republic Vakha Vedzizhev was fatally wounded in a shooting attack in the town of Karabulak. He died on the way to hospital.
On July 27, at 10 p.m., unknown people fired from automatic weapons and grenade launchers on the building of the Administration of the President of Ingushetia and on the building of the FSB Directorate in the town of Magas. As a result of the attack, one serviceman was killed and two persons were wounded.
The village of Ali-Yurt, located near the town of Magas, was declared a zone of counterterrorism operation. The operation turned into a brutal punitive campaign against civilians.
On July 28, at
Following this punitive operation, 27 civilians, including women, children under 15 and elderly people sought medical assistance. Tanzila Esmurziyeva, who was seven-months pregnant, was hospitalized in a grave condition. Appendix 6 cites eye-witness accounts of victims of the punitive operation.
At around 8 p.m., three detained persons, Ruslan Ganizhev, Akhmed Ganizhev and Khavash Gagiyev, were thrown out, with plastic bags on their heads, onto the road between the village of Surkhakhi and the village of Yandyrka. The detained persons said that at the UFSB they were individually interrogated in the building’s basement. During the interrogation, the officers beat them on the legs, in the kidney area and on the head; they were asking about militants and trying to persuade them to cooperate.
On that same day, all three were hospitalized. Doctors diagnosed Ruslan Ganizhev with brain concussion, fractured ribs, prolapse of the kidney, multiple bruises and abrasions. The other four persons who had been detained were also released later.
Most of the injured were taken to the central clinical hospital of the city of Nazran; two persons were hospitalized at hospitals in the city of Moscow. On discharge from the hospital, many patients were not issued medical documents. In the medical reports doctors made a record that the patient in question left the health care center without permission and did not request a certificate to be issued.
Some of the patients were issued medical documents; however on the evening of the following day, doctors visited them at their homes and implored them to hand back the certificates, explaining that they were threatened with dismissals and harassment by the FSB.
On August 1, at around 11 p.m., one of the injured persons, whose son was in a grave condition treated at the the Central Distcrict Hospital of the city of Nazran, was visited by three unknown men in plain clothes. They threatened him with punishment should he continue complaining against the actions of the military.
On August 1, 30 injured residents of the village of Ali-Yurt approached the prosecutor’s office and human rights organizations with statements, in which they demanded to bring to justice the servicemen guilty of beatings. The republican prosecutor’s office was forced to open a criminal case on the beatings. Currently, this criminal case has been passed on to the military prosecutor’s office.
Shortly after the punitive operation was carried in the village of Ali-Yurt, additional troops were deployed in Ingushetia. The total strength of the Interior Ministry Forces contingent was brought to 2,500 troops. The deployment of additional troops did not solve the problem – attacks on officers of security agencies continued.
On August 30, 2007, at around 4 p.m., Islam Yusupovich Belokiyev (born 1988), a resident of the village of Dolakovo, was killed at the automotive parts market in the city of Nazran.
A number of news agencies immediately reported citing official sources that he was a militant and was killed during a special operation. According to the law-enforcement agencies, Islam Belokiyev was a member of the illegal armed group led by Adam Nalgiyev, who was killed during a special operation in June 2006. Nalgiyev had been involved in the acts of sabotage and terror and the attacks on FSB officers in Ingushetia and in July this year pasted leaflets in Nazran with threats against officers of the MVD of Ingushetia.
According to the eye-witnesses interviewed by Memorial HRC workers at the scene, during the past two years, the young man together with his parents worked in the market, selling automotive oils. For that purpose the family rented a metal container at the market place. Islam usually went home after 3 p.m.
On that day, August 30, he closed the container and walked towards the exit from the market place. Occupants of a VAZ-21010 car of metallic color, parked under a willow on the outer side of the market fence, called out to him. He turned in their direction, after which shots were fired. There were lots of people around, who saw how Islam Belokiyev stood still for some time and then slowly collapsed to the ground.
People rushed to the scene; however the people who fired at him – a man of Slavic appearance, dressed in sports jacket and jeans, was standing out among them – encircled Islam, who was still alive, and did not allow anyone to approach him. Soon after that, a Gazel van arrived at the scene.
Officers from a federal special unit, who ran out of it, formed a second cordon cirle. Unlike the first cordon, they were appropriately equipped: armored jacket, masks and Spetsnaz (Special Forces) SPHERA helmets. Some time later, servicemen on an APC arrived at the market.
The young man was still alive for at least forty minutes. The witnesses noticed that he moved his head from time to time. However, officers from Russian security agencies, numbering approximately 70 to 80 persons, did not provide medical assistance to him. They did not allow local police officers on the scene, either.
The numerous witnesses of the incident claim that officers of the special unit planted a pistol and a grenade fuse on the wounded man. After putting the pistol into Islam Belokiyev’s hand, they fired several shots from it in the air.
After searching the wounded man, the troops took the keys from the container and went to open it. They demanded that people stand back, since as they said the container could contain explosives.
The owner of the container rented by the Belokiyevs said that there could be no explosives there. He took the keys and opened it himself. Together with a local police officer and the military he himself came inside. Having ascertained that there was nothing in the container, the troops left.
Some time later, officers from the Ingush prosecutor’s office and doctors were allowed on the scene. However, Islam Belokiyev was already dead. His dead body was taken to the municipal morgue and subsequently released to relatives.
On September 2, 2007, at about 6 p.m., a local resident, Apti Dolakov (born 1986), was killed in the town of Karabulak.
News agencies reported citing official sources that a bandit had been eleiminated during a special operation. Musa Medov, Interior Minister of the Republic of Ingushetia, said that during a special operation to detain the persons involved in recent crimes one of them, Apti Dolakov, was eliminated and another one was detained. The Minister alleged that Apti Dolakov had had a grenade on him and had offered armed resistance and claimed that Iliz Dolgiyev, who was called Dolakov’s accomplice, was giving evidence.
Memorial HRC conducted its own investigation and interviewed the numerous witnesses of this incident.
According to eye-witnesses, Apti Dolakov together with his friends was leaving an Internet café located near a high school at Generala Oskanova Street, when two Gazel minbuses pulled up near them. One minibus was white and another was dark-blue; they had tinted windows and no license plates. Armed people wearing masks (up to 30 men) ran out of them. One or two of them were dressed in plain clothes.
The young men saw the weapons directed at them and ran through the yards of the nearest high-rise apartment buildings in the direction of Dzhabagiyeva Street. Shots were fired. Witnesses claim that the unknown men fired aimed shots from automatic weapons at the escaping boys from a kneeling position.
The day was Sunday and it was only by good fortune that no one of the many women and children who were in the yards was injured.
Apti Dolakov ran through the yards to Dzhabagiyeva Street, crossed it and ran into the yard of kindergarten “Ryabinka”, where forced migrants from the Prigorodny District of the RNO-A live. Here his pursuers caught up with him.
According to people living on the premises of the kindergarten, there were two of them: one was wearing a camouflage uniform and a mask; the other had plain clothes on and his face was unmasked. One of them shouted to a woman who was watching them, “Close the window”. Immediately after that the sound of shots was heard.
Apti Dolakov fell to the ground face down. The man in civvies ran up to him, pulled his T-shirt over his face and fired several shots from his pistol, including a final shot to the head. He then put some object into Apti Dolakov’s hand. According to local police officers, who later carried out the investigative actions, this ‘object’ proved to be a grenade without a safety pin.
GOVD officers and troops from the republican OMON, which is headquartered on the outskirts of the town of Karabulak, heard the sound of shots being fired and arrived at the kindergarten. They demanded that the unknown men introduce themselves and tried to approach Apti Dolakov’s body. Threats were made in response. Aiming the weapons at the Ingush police officers and OMON troops, the unknown men called: “Keep back, you faggots, or we will shoot!”
The stand-off did not last long: the blocked unknown men radioed for reinforcement and some man in plain clothes ordered someone over the radio (apparently to someone in the Gazel van) to hide a certain bag. The exact wording of the phrase was: “Hide the bag or we would have problems when local field investigators arrive now.” An officer from local security agencies, who heard it all, believes the man referred to a bag with weapons that was intented to be planted on the killed person.
A crowd of angry citizens gathered outside the kindergarten, who demanded tro hand over the murderers to them for punishment. It was only thanks to the determined actions of the Ingush police officers that the crowd was kept back with great difficulty.
Despite the fact that officers from federal security agencies arrived at the murder scene by URAL trucks and UAZ jeeps, and later, by APCs, local police officers disarmed and took to the GOVD building the persons who directly responsible for the death of Apti Dolakov.
According to officers from the Karabulak GOVD, the detained persons refused to introduce themselves or explain the motives of their actions. However, during a bodily search, identity cards of FSB officers were found in their underwear. One of the detained persons (he was also dressed in civvies and was an ethnic Chechen) had the documents on him which showed that he was supposedly “Senior Lieutenant Mador Sergeyevich Morzanashvili”.
Cards with Ingush surnames were found on four Russian participants in the murder. The identity card of an officer of secret services found on an ethnic Ingush revealed an Azerbaijanian surname. Documents of other twelve persons who were detained showed Slavic surnames; however, those were also probably assumed names.
Two persons who were in the Gazel van managed to escape. Inside the van that they abandoned the Ingush police officers found Ilez Dolgiyev, who was handcuffed and had a plastic bag on his head. According to him, when he saw armed people firing after an escaping young man, he tried to hide but was captured.
Soon afterwards, high-ranking officers from the UFSB for Ingushetia arrived at the OVD of the town of Karabulak. They demanded that the detained persons be released and any investigations into their actions discontinued. But most importantly, they ordered to give back the empty cartridge cases and the pistol with which Apti Dolakov was shot dead.
According to the Ingush police officers, it was this pistol and the person who used it that worried a high-ranking FSB officer most of all, although a whole stockpile of other weapons was seized from the killers as well: Stechkin pistols, automatic rifles and machine guns. As a result, no examination of this pistol could be carried out to check whether it had been used in other high-profile crimes.
Despite protests from police officers and rank-and-file police of Karabulak, by the night of that same day, the murderers had been released at the orders from the Interior Minister of Ingushetia. Ilez Dolgiyev was detained and investigation is underway.
On October 9, 2007, at around 10 p.m., a local resident, Albert Magomedovich Gorbakov (born 1985), was killed by police officers in the town of Malgobek not far from his own house.
At around 9 p.m., he drove his VAZ-21009 car to look for his sheep. One
hour later, his mother heard shots being fired some 200-
According to the information of the RI Prosecutor’s Office, Gorbakov was killed when he offered resistance to police officers who stopped his car to check documents. The three persons who were in the car opened fire on police officers and tried to escape. Albert Gorbakov was killed by the return fire; two other men escaped from the scene.
According to the information obtained from other sources, Gorbakov and other occupants of his car offered no armed resistance but were shot at after they got out of the vehicle.
Albert Gorbakov was a fifth-year student studying law at the Ingush State University (IGU).
While FSB officers were carrying out extrajudicial killings of innocent people, passing them off as militants, the real bandits intensified the armed terror. In September, during two days alone, on the 6th and the 7th, two border guards were shot dead in Ingushetia and a bomb attack was made on a police patrol, killing four field investigators.
A tragic event happened on November
However, the boy’s father, Ramzan Amriyev, and his neighbors give a different story. In the morning of November 9, Spetsnaz troops sealed off their house and ordered everyone to leave it. Ramzan came to the door to do so; however, the door was broken in and fire was opened at the walls from automatic rifles. Ramzan’s younger son was killed and his wife was wounded in the leg by the indiscriminate fire.
The head of the Chemulga Administration Aslan Amriyev was threaned by execution by firing squad when attempts were made to try to persuade him to corroborate the official story. Aslan Amriyev argued that it made no sense, since neighbors had themselves witnessed the incident.
The Amriyevs were taken into the street barefoot; 22 persons were standing there barefoot – only 8 of them were adults.
The Amriyevs’ house, according to neighbors, was rammed three times by an APC. Noone was allowed on the crime scene until the prosecutor arrived. A few hours after the incident, FSB officers alleged that an automatic rifle had been discovered in the Amriyevs’ house.
Villagers are preparing for a rally in the city of Nazran, scheduled for November 24, and demand a response from President Zyazikov.
The President made a statement on the incident only after three days had passed, when the murder of the child was reported by the Russian and foreign media. He said that he was taking the investigation of the incident under his personal control and that financial assistance would be provided to Rakhim Amriyev’s family.
Killings of Russian-speaking citizens of Ingushetia
July to October
On the night of July 16, 2007, school teacher Lyudmila Vladimirovna Terekhina (born 1952) and her two children, Vadim (born 1988) and Marina (born 1983), were killed in their own house in the stanitsa of Ordzhonikidzevskya.
Late at night, on July 16, three or fours armed persons broke into Terekhina’s house. According to Lyudmila Terekhina’s brother, Sergey Vladimirovich Artyukhov, the criminals entered the room where he and her sister were sleeping. They asked in Russian: “Where do you keep money?”
Without waiting for a reply one of the unknown men fired a shot at Lyudmila Terekhina. The sound of the shot was muffled – probably a pistol with a silencer was used. Then the unknown persons shot dead Vadim Terekhin and Marina Terekhina, after which they left the house and disappeared in an unknown direction. They did not kill Sergey Artyukhov, who is disabled from childhood and has impaired sight.
Another terror act was carried out during the funeral of the victims: eleven persons were wounded in an explosion at a cemetery.
On August 30, 2007, members of the family of a Russian language teacher of a local school, Vera Borisovna Draganchuk, were nurdered in the town of Karabulak. Unknown criminals shot dead her husband, Anatoly, and her two sons, 24-year-old Mikhail and 20-year-old Denis.
The killers broke into the house at around midnight. Apparently they climbed over the fence. The criminals entered a room where family members were watching television without being noticed and fired at them using a Makarov pistol with a silencer. The dead bodies of Anatoly Draganchuk and Mikhail were found in the house. Denis, who had been wounded, lay in the yard. He died in a vehicle on his way to the hospital.
Upon hearing the shots being fired, Vera Draganchuk got out of the window and hid herself. Apparently she had tried to pull Mikhail, her elder son, into the yard, too; however, did not have time for that and the criminals shot him dead.
At the time of the incident, Vera Draganchuk’s mother-in-law and her brother, Boris Tonkogubov, were in a makeshift hut in the yard. The killers did not harm them.
Anatoly Draganchuk worked as a driver at a laundry. Mikhail, who was a mentally retarded disabled person, was helping him. Denis was a second year student of economics at the Ingush State University. The killed man’s daughter, Tatiana, a paramedic at a municipal hospital, was at the time of the criminal attack on her family, was outside the Republic.
in the city of Nazranopened fire from an automatic weapon on Mudarova when she was driving off for lunch. The doctor died on the spot of the wounds she had received.
Mudarova’s family was multi-ethnic: she herself was married to a Chechen and both her daughters married ethnic Ingushes.
On October 15, 2007, at around 2 p.m., Nikolay Kortikov, his pregnant daughter-in-law Zoya Kortikova, and their neighbor Tatiana Nemova, were murdered in the town of Karabulak. Nikolay’s wife Tatiana Kortikova sustained wounds.
According to a witness, the Kortikovs, together with their neighbor, went out into the street and were waiting for their son who was to arrive by bus. At this moment, a VAZ car pulled up near them, from which fire from automatic rifles was opened.
On November 4, 2007, at around 10 p.m., in the village of Yandare, the Nazran District, unidentified armed persons in masks entered the premises of a brick factory and shot dead four workers: a citizen of Belarus, V.B. Ponamarev (born 1961); a resident of Kabardino-Balkaria, V.N. Oskin (born 1947); and residents of the Stavropol Krai (Teritory), S.A. Butusov (born 1964) and A.D. Troshchak (born 1957). Three workers died on the spot. A.D. Troshchak sustained a gunshot wound in the right arm.
On the following day, November 5,
2007, two ethnic Armenians who were permanent residents of Ingushetia were
killed. At around
In all the above incidents the identities of the attackers have not been established.
These developments prompted a number of citizens to turn to the President and the Government of Ingushetia with an appeal (See Appendix 13).
A series of attacks on etnnic Russians in Ingushetia had taken place before – in January–March 2006. Explosive devices and jars with Molotov cocktail were thrown into the yards of houses and members of one family were shot dead at night in their own house.
According to the President of Ingushetia Murat Zyazikov, who has announced the program for the return of ethnic Russian residents to Ingushetia, the Government of the Republic is to allocate 12 mln. rubles for this program during 2007. It is planned that before 2010, conditions will have been created for the return to the republic of over 200 Russian-speaking families. Construction works are underway for the erection of a big orthodox Christian church.
However, the authorities are not able to ensure safety of Russians families, as well as of the rest of the Republic’s population.
Local residents are very concerned about the developments; they make arrangements for guarding the houses of their Russian neighbors, trying to protect them themselves.
It must be admitted, however, that the level of violence in Ingushetia both by illegal groups and security agencies has now surpassed the level of violence in Chechnya. In such situation, internally displaced persons from Chechnya no longer have an alternative to returning home.
The reasons are widely discussused now as to why Ingushetia, which until recently was one of the safest republics, has turned into a place where public tensions are the highest, attacks are carried out relentlessly on public officers, including the President, crimes are committed against the Russian population, and brutal punitive operations are conducted.
There is a widespread conviction among the local residents that the killings have been organized by secret services to destabilize the situation in Ingushetia and implant there the punitive mechanisms that have been tried and tested in Chechnya. Some think that there is an active underground organization aiming to take revenge against Russians for killings of Ingushes, destabilize the situation in the Republic and derail the program for the return of ethnic Russians..
However, we think that the process of destabilization can not be explained unambiguously.
Stability in the Ingushetia led by Ruslan Aushev, for quite a long time was based on his moral authority, approachability and ability to combine – in addressing the problems that arose – traditional mechanisms and the power vested in him and not challenged by anybody in the Republic.
Thank to it Ingushetia was able to accept hundreds of thousands of refugees from Chechnya. Aushev personally made orders in early November 1999, to let them into Ingushetia, overcoming the resistance shown by the federal center, when he said an almost biblical phrase: “Let them in – they are my people.” The population of Ingushetia almost doubled; however, all conflicts between the local population and refugees were dampened before they emerged.
The current government in Ingushetia does not enjoy that popularity among the population or act with that authority and consistency. In 2002, when he became President of Ingushetia with support from Moscow, Murat Zyazikov found himself in a dubious position. He had to implement all instructions from the federal center and at the same time prove to his people that he was not alien to the traditions and the notion of the Vainakh brotherhood [Translator' s Note: Vainakh tribes are considered to be the ancestors of Chechen and Ingush people. The word “Vainakh” means “our people”]. During the campaign to move out the refugee camps and, later, to shut down compact setllements, the Ingush authorities acted in a very conflicting manner: they tried to accurately implement the instructions to remove IDPs, at the same time constantly giving assurances that they would not allow a single person to be returned home against their will.
Later, the authorities failed to contain the spread of arbitrary practices of Russian secret services to Ingushetia; they failed to protect their citizens against abductions, trumped-up criminal cases, and extraction of confessions under torture.
We have already cited the examples of helplesseness of the authorities in Ingushetia in our previous reports. For instance, on June 17, 2004, officers from law-enforcement agencies of the RI failed to prevent the smuggling to the CR of a resident of the town of Karabulak, Adam Medov, who was discovered during a check at a roadblock in the trunk of a car, the occupants of which presented identity cards of FSB officers. As a result, Adam Medov went missing. The FSB said that the IDs that had been shown were fake. The wife and children of Adam Medov and their close relatives had to seek shelter in Germany after they a wave of harassment and threats was directed at them.
Ingushetia does not have its own SIZO. Ingushes who are detained by law-enforcement agencies are taken for investigation to the city of Vladikavkaz, the capital of North Ossetia, with which Ingushetia does not enjoy the best of relations because of the Ossetian-Ingush conflict. Lawyers who are ethnic Ingushes have difficulties working at the Vladikavkaz SIZO and it is very hard to find an Ossetian lawyer; therefore persons under investigation are in effect deprived of full defense.
Seting aside the economic reasons and the escalating corruption, one can state that overall tensions and discontent of the population were gradually growing in Ingushetia. This process culminated in the raids on Nazran and Karabulak carried out by militants on the night of June 21–22, 2004.
The insurgents looted weapons depots and shot officers from law-enforcement agencies. The attempt to lay the blame for the attacks on the militant grous active in Chechnya failed: there were quite many residents of Ingushetia among the participants in the raid.
In the aftermath of the raid, arrests and mop-up operations were carried out, including at the places where IDPs reside. The authorities should be given their due – there were few incidents of physical violence against IDPs. However, the campaign to squeeze IDPs out of Ingushetia has intensied.
Fear was deeply implanted in the people’s minds after the 2004 incursion and the reprisals that followed, by no means always targeting the real perpetrators, and the habitual settling of scores between families that was started.
This fear is intensified by the Ossetian-Ingush conflict that has not been setlled completely. Despite the fact that the Russian authorities did a lot in the past two years to return Ingush IDPs to the Prigorodny District of North Ossetia and provide them with housing, tensions have not been relieved. Six Ingushes were abducted in Ossetia and disappeared without a trace in 2007 alone .
One can assume that now isolated armed groups pursuing different goals and directed by different forces have emerged in the territory of Ingushetia in the context of general instability. The more brutal the so-called “combating of terrorism” becomes, the greater is the resistance and the more brutal and immoral forms it develops.
One can hardly imagine that the federal authorities deliberately seek destablization, putting into positions of power their protégés and trying through them to closely control the processes that are taking place there. At the same time, however, there is no doubt about the fact the policies pursued by the federal center in the North Caucasus have failed.
V. Situation of people from Chechnya in Russia’s regions
Nationalism is on the rise in Russia. The Movement against Illegal Immigration (DPNI) and several similar organizations hold rallies and marches in Moscow and in other cities and towns. In full view of the numerous police they publicly call to beat the “non-Russians”, including Chechens. The authorities do not bring the extremists to account and dismiss statements by non-governmental organizations demanding to put a stop to campaigns by the nationalists. The level of violence is growing day by day; murders because of ethnic hatred are becoming the routine topics in the news. Judicial authorities cover up those few who nevertheless come on trial, trying to remove the nationalistic motives of violence from the elements of the offences.
Several hundred Chechen IDPs, who fled the hostilities of the first and the second wave, live in the territory of Russia. A great part of them reside in the southern regions of Russia – in the Stavropol Krai (Territory), in the Volgograd Region and the Rostov Region, as well as in the Moscow region. Their situation has little changed from the previous years.
Chechens still find themselves in “special attention zone” as far as their interactions with law-enforcement agencies are concerned. The latter see them as potential criminals. When registration is made, Chechens are fingerprinted and have their full face and profile “mugshots” taken. They can be detained without any grounds by the police for alleged administrative violations and can be punished by arrest. Those detained are subjected to humiliation and threats by police officers. Complaints against such treatment have been reported in the Moscow Region, Kazan and other cities and towns of Russia. Rural communities often simply refuse to accept Chechens.
The animosity shown by the local population towards Chechens increasingly often leads to serious conflicts between them. Such ethnic conflicts have taken place in the town of Kondopoga in Karelia, in Stavropol, and in Moscow. They were widely covered in the media. The conlicts were fanned by the active involvement of nationalist organizations.
The fear and enmity towards Chechens, which exist in everyday life, are manifest in their treatment by officials, too. All immigrants from Chechnya, including ethnic Russians, are faced with prejudiced attitudes towards themselves. The people who lost housing and property as a result of the war receive virtually no social support and assistance to resettle in a new place. The compensation paid by the state to residents of Chechnya who left it never to return, is so small that it is impossible to buy housing and get a roof over one’s head with it.
Situation of forced migrants
Forced migrant status represents practically the only guarantee of state support to IDPs in resettling, since it is impossible to buy housing with compensation. In 1991-2006, approximately 150,000 people from Chechnya were granted this status. The overwhelming majority of them were ethnic Russians who fled the Republic before and during the first military campaign. Chechens were granted this status very rarely – more often than not in the situations where court rulings were issued to this effect when support was provided by lawyers and human rights defenders.
However, even those who have this status have almost no hope left to get assistance from the state: in recent years, we have seen an active process of forced migrants been struck off the registers without provision of housing to them. Migration services look for every excuse to withdraw migrant status. Missing the date for renewal of status, receipt of the compensation for lost housing and property, and registration at the housing of relatives – all these circumstances serve as a ground to withdraw status. Earlier, the issues related to extension of forced migrant status could be settled in court; however, in recent years, the courts have been refusing extension of status if compensation was received, despite the fact that even upon its payment migrants still are not resettled and do not have their own housing.
As seen from the Summary Table below, provided by the FMS of Russia, during the past five years, the number of forced migrants on the books of the Federal Migration Service has been rapidly dwindling – along with the funding for and the number of families that received assistance in purschasing housing in the reporting year.
Struck off the registers
Number of forced migrants at the year’s end
Of the 47,868 families of forced migrants on the registers at the end of 2006, 34,300 families were on the lists of those in need of housing. During 2006, 21,500 families were struck off the registers; of them only 307 families were resettled. This is a record low figure of the resetlled since the resetlement program was launched. This situation is due to the fact that starting from 2006, provision of actual housing was replaced with housing certificates, granted under the federal targeted program “Housing”. This certificate gives the right to purchase of housing.
The transition to the new system was not prepared and in most regions the program became operational only at the end of 2006. Besides, this program brought together in one category several different groups of vulnerable people: forced migrants and citizens leaving the Far North of Russia, Chernobyl veterans and servicemen.
The number of housing certificates allocated for forced migrants is negligibly small. For instance, in Udmurtia, 135 housing certificates were issued under the program for 2007: of them 75 were granted to Chernobyl veterans; 58 – to servicemen; one – to migrants from extreme north and just one – to forced migrants. For the Chelyabinsk Region, four housing certificates have been allocated for forced migrants. In the entire North Ossetia, where there are 5,000 forced migrants on the waiting list, one housing certificate was issued in 2006; in 2007, two housing certificates are to be granted.
Besides, those few families that have received housing certificates are not able to purchase housing with the allocated money. The price of one square meter of housing provided for in a certificate is at least two times lower than the actual price. For instance, the price of one square meter of housing in the Penza Region as stated in a housing certificate amounts to 12,800 rubles, while the actual price is between 24 and 29 thousand rubles. In this way, the funding provided by the Government of the Russian Federation against housing certificate will allow only a fraction of forced migrants – those having own savings and high earning – to solve the problem of resettlement.
Most families that fled Chechnya and left behind all the property they had acquired over the years, do not have this opportunity.
An illustrative example is the story of Aliftina Ivanovna Doronina, who works as a volunteer with the Adaptation and Education Center for Refugee Children at Civic Assistance Committee. Aliftina Doronina has forced migrant status, which she received with great pain and effort.
Aliftina Doronina lived her entire life in the city of Grozny; for forty years she worked as a school teacher and for her labor she was granted a good apartment. In 1999, she was abducted by bandits, who hoped to get a ransom for her. She spent forty days in captivity. There was no one to pay a ransom for her. By some miracle, Aliftina Doronina managed to escape. She arrived in Moscow using another person’s pasport. The FMS officials refused to receive because she had no passport, while the police suspected her of being a terrorist.
She wrote a letter to the FSB, describing her desperate situation and asking for assistance to be provided to her as to a victim of terrorism. With great difficulty, Aliftina Doronina received a passport and subsequently, a forced migrant card.
She was able to receive compensation, the amount of which is 125,000 rubles, only in 2004, after going through a long court battle and with the support of our lawyer. It is impossible to by housing in the Moscow region with this money. After the receipt of the compensation, Aliftina Doronina lost the right to her own apartment in Grozny.
She was on the waiting list of forced migrants to receive temporary hosing; however, recently the program for provision of temporary housing was discontinued. Aliftina Doronina has no other opportunity to get a roof over her head, since the municipal government officials refuse to put her on the list of those needing housing because she lacks registration at the place of residence in Moscow. The same reason was cited when she was refused poor person status.
Efforts to address the problem of resettling the internally displaced persons have come to a standstill. The state is reluctant to bear the material responsibility for its actions that resulted in hundreds of thousands of people losing their homes. The federal targeted program “Housing” has not only failed to solve the problem of resettlement of forced migrants, but drastically worsened their situation. It’s easy to calculate that if housing certificates are issued at the rate of 300 families per year, as was the case in 2006, it would take 100 years for the remaining 30,000 families to receive them.
Situation in temporary accommodation centers
Originally, just 666 IDPs from Chechnya were resettled in temporary accommodation centers (TACs) across the entire territory of Russia. Today, their number is several times lower, since all IDPs who did not have forced migrant status, have been evicted from these centers.
At the start of 2005, there were 286 persons living at Serebryaniki TAC in the Tver Region; in 2006 there were 68 dwellers, while, as of the beginning of 2007, there were just 13 persons left. The dwellers were told they had to either receive compensation for lost housing and property in the amount of 125,000 rubles or leave Serebryaniki TAC. This same condition was put into the basis of the relevant rulings issued by courts.
Most of the evicted Chechen families went to their homeland, refusing to receive compensation, since it is impossible to buy housing in the Tver Region with 125,000 rubles. Besides, life there is difficut for Chechens: the local population is extremely hostile towards them because it sees them as enemies and terrorists.
However, there are some Chechen families that choose to stay in the Tver Region. For instance, such are the families of Saida Charksiyev and Maremm Khatayeva.
The administration filed eviction complaints against them, too. The court sustained those complaints. Charksiyev’s family, consisting of eight members, was evicted and currently lives in a private apartment, waiting for compensation. Khatayeva’s family, consisting of four members, was allowed to live in the TAC for the period pending the receipt of compensation for housing.
Some residents of Serebryaniki TAC died because of the stress situation
related to their eviction. In
In August 2006, Å.À. Razorenova suddenly died in the TAC of a heart attack. She had tried to receive compensation for the death of her husband in Chechnya. In April 2004, the court satisfied her claim and a writ of execution was issued. However, the court order was not enforced, despite repeated reminders sent to the Russian Finance Minisrty and the RF Prosecutor General’s Office.
In October 2005, Razorenova filed a complaint with the Basmanny Court of the City of Moscow against the unlawful failure to act. This complaint was passed on to the Tver Court; however it was not considered until March 2006 it was not considered amd the order was not enforced. Razorenova could not bear the two-year-long court battle – her health failed.
Currently, the administration of Serebryaniki TAC has halted the eviction process – apparently because the Center’s staff already is greater than the number of dwellers. This might lead to the closure of the Center, in which situation its workers would be left without jobs.
The Tambov Region has two temporary accommodation centers (TACs). The Tambov TAC houses 148 IDPs from Chechnya; the Gavrilovsky TAC has 39 such persons.
Residents who don’t have forced migrant status are evicted in court. The courts sustain eviction complaints filed by the administrations of the centers. With support from our lawyer court’s decisions are obtained to suspend the execution of the court eviction orders to give people time to either leave for Chechnya or get accommodation in a private apartment.
Even those who have status are denied renewal of registration by TAC administrations if they have filed a claim for compensation for lost housing and property under Resolution No.404, i.e. when they are to receive it in Chechnya but hoped to stay in a TAC for the period pending the receipt of compensation.
Below is the story of Murtazova’s family, which for three years has been fighting for the right to get registered.
Forced migrants from the
Shali District of Chechnya, Raisa Atsiyevna Murtazova and her three sons, have
lived at the Tambov TAC since September 2000. They arrived there based on the
referral from the FMS after three family members were killed simultaneously in
Murtazova and her children were granted forced migrant status in 2001.
Staring since 2004, the senior officals of the UFMS for the Tambov Region and the TAC administration have been regularly denying Raisa Murtazova’s family renewal of registration at the place of stay and issuing her eviction notices. The authorities have been explaining their actions by the fact that in March 2004 she filed a claim for compensation under Resolution 404.
In 2005 and 2006, Murtazova filed with the court complaints against the TAC administration’s refusal of registration. The court sustained her complaints and ordered the UFMS and the TAC administration to renew registration for Raisa Murtazova and her children. The Center’s administration each time delayed the execution of the court order.
In 2006, Raisa Murtazova filed a letter of waiver in respect of compensation under Resolution No.404, to eliminate this ground for refusal of registration. However, it did not help – her family was still denied registration.
In 2007, Raisa Murtazova again took her matter to court. On May 17, 2007, the Oktyabrsky District Court sustained her complaint; however, its order was enforced only in late June. Given the fact that registration is issued only for the term of three months, Raisa Murtazova will have again and again to turn to court if she is refused renewal of registration.
At a TAC in the town of Krasnoarmeisk, the Saratov Region, the problem of registration is even more acute for its dwellers. This center houses 120 persons; of whom 80 people are migrants from Chechnya. They are registratered at the place of stay for a period between one and three months. Since the term of registration is so short, the TAC dwellers are refused child allowances, pensions and employment.
Registration with the Interior Ministry Offices
The problem of getting registered continues to remain the main problem for Chechens residing in Russia. Secret instructions to restrict registering of Chechens are standing in all regions. Since there are no legal grounds for refusals, staff of local passport offices employ various techniques to deny Chechens registration.
Most often they claim that the guest has to prove their kinship with the room’s owner to get registered. There is no such provision in the Registration Regulations; this claim is unlawful; however immigrants from Chechnya are constantly faced with this requirement.
In the city of Moscow, S-M. R. Shaptukayev, who came from Chechnya and was recovering from a complicated operation, was once again denied registration at his friends’ place. Officials cited the absence of kinship with the hosts. For over six months, Civic Assistance Committee exchanged correspondence with the Directorate of the Housing Policy Department and the FMS before Shaptukayev finally got an approval for registration.
Another example is the story of Valentina Nikanorovna Akhtakhanova, who left Grozny and lives at her sister’s place in Moscow. She wanted to get registration for a period of three years. Officers at the Migration Service Directorate for the City of Moscow demanded that she present her birth certificate to prove such kinship.
Even when hosts who ate owners of the rented housing give their consent, immigrants from Chechnya can not obtain registration at the place of stay without prior approval of local district office of the FSB and military registration office. In many cases, when registration is made, Chechens are fingerprinted and have their full face and profile “mugshots” taken – that is they are viewed as potential criminals.
In the city of Kazan, Chechens are forced to re-register every year, have their fingers printed, visit four offices, and write an explanatory letter about the reasons for their living in Tatarstan.
The Mukhadiyev brothers, who live in the town of Elektrogorsk, the Moscow Region, for three years, had to overcome every six months when they had to renew registration a stubborn resistance from officers of law-enforcement agencies. The hosts, at whose place they were registered, were repeatedly subjected to pressure and threats from police officers for registering Chechens at their home. In August this year, Timur Baratov, at whose place the Mukhadiyev brothers were registered, was threatened at a local passport office that subsidy will be discontinued to him to pay the cost of public utility services. To prepare documents for registration the Mukhadiyevs were referred to the head of the criminal investigations office. This visit ended in their illegal detention at the office of the head and in a 5 days’ administrative arrest. Details of this story are given below.
Restrictions of rights because of the absence of registration
The absence of registration creates numerous problems for migrants from Chechnya and denies them vital rights: the right to free medical assistance and the rights to allowances and pensions. Without registration it is difficult to get a job or get children enrolled in a kindergarten.
Full health services can be received only when a person has registration at the place of residence. IDPs may get a temporary medical insurance policy only when they have registration at the place of stay; in the absence of such registration they are entitled only to emergency medical treatment.
In May 2007, we registered a situation where doctors refused to issue a certificate of sickness because the person did not have registration. A person who has long been under our care, mother of many children Malika Khamidovna Mintsayeva, on May 5 this year, was admitted to hospital. She was taken there by an ambulance. On discharge from the hospital, doctors refused to issue a certificate of sickness to Malika because her registration term had expired on April 28. They cited certain regulations. In fact, the regulations read that sickness certificate is issued on presentation of an identification document and do not say anything about registration. A passport is still valid even in the absence of a registration record. After two queries were faxed to the hospital by Civic Assistance Committee, áîëüíè÷íûé ëèñò Mintsayeva was issued a certificate of sickness.
In the city of Moscow, children who have no registration can get registered at a clinic when Civic Assistance Committee files a petition with the Healthcare Department.
Access to education is also impeded in the absence of registration. After several court trials, it became possible for all children to get enrolled in a school. At least, complaints have ceased against denial of school enrollment.
However, enrollment in specialised secondary schools requires permanent registration at the place of residence; therefore many IDPs do not have the opportunity to get this type of education.
Occasionally it becomes possible – thanks to a petition from Civic Assistance Committee – for young people without permanent registration to be admitted to entrance examinations. Last summer, Diana Mankiyeva, whose family fled the war in Chechnya in 1995, could file documents for enrollment in a medical school only after the Committee approached the school’s principal.
At the same time, in Moscow, pre-school institutions continue to deny enrollment to children of unregistered parents, alrhough as early as in December 2000, the municipal court found the relevant provision in the registration rules to be in conflict with the law.
Such situations are more often than not resolved favorably – but only after Civic Assistance Committee files a petition with the Moscow Education Department. For instance, children from the large families of E.K. Shidayeva, Z.T. Gaisumova, and T.A. Elmurzayeva were enrolled in kindergartens in the areas of their actual residence in spite of the absence of registration.
Without a permanent registration child allowances are not paid, even if the applicant has registration at the place of stay. It is particularly damaging for the financial situation of large families, since for them allowances are a significant contribution to the family budget.
This problem first emerged in 2006, when Law No.122 on transition from non-monetary benefits to monetary payments entered into force. This law shouldered the responsibility for payment of all allowances on local authorities, which have to disburse these funds from their own coffers; therefore local authorities refuse to provide them to temporary residents.
An IDP from Chechnya, P.D. Paizulayeva, mother of three small children, lives in the city of Tver. She has not received allowances for them from 2000 to 2006, since she had no registration. When she applied for the allowance to offices of the Department for Social Protection in the Moskovsky and Tsentralny Districts of the city of Tver, their officials demanded from her a document certifying that she lived together wither children. Paizulayeva tried to get this fact established by a court, howerer her application was dismissed. Only the Secretariat of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation by its ruling issued in January 2006 confirmed the validity of the request she had filed with the court and recommended that she turned to a higher court with a repeat complaint. However, despite supervisory appeals, the Tver Regional Court Presidium and the Board and Judges of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation upheld the original court decision.
In Moscow, in some situations payments of child allowances to large families can be secured when they have temporary residence registration. It becomes possible only if the registration was valid at the time of entry into force of the relevant law of the Moscow Government.
However, the situation of large Chechen families is very difficult here. An illustrative example is the story of Elmurzayeva’s family.
The family left Chechnya in 1999, when the second war started. Toit Akhmetovna Elmurzayeva together with her five children temporarily lives in Moscow; her husband, a graduate of the MVD Academy, was assigned to serve at the Chechen Republic. The family’s income is made up of the salary of Toit Elmurzayeva’s husband; the disability pension paid to her elder son, Rustam; and child allowances. This gives a total of approximately 20,000 rubles (588 euros); over half of this money goes to pay the rent. According to official data, as of the mid-2007, the cost of living per person amounted to 5,772 rubles (165 euros) in the city of Moscow. Surviving on the remaining 10 thousand means for Elmurzayeva’s family of eight living a hand-to-mouth existence.
In the late 2005, the Department for Social Protection agreed in response to the request from Civic Assistance Committee to issue social security cards of a resident of Moscow to three members of the Elmurzayev family who are minors and to senior son Rustam, a university student and a Category Two Disabled person. These cards grant the right to free transportation within the city. However, in August 2006, this card was taken away from Rustam at his local social security office because he had no registration at the place of residence. After the Committee sent a quiery to the Department for Social Protection, it agreed, by way of exception, to issue a social security card of a resident of Moscow to Rustam, since he is a disabled person and has the right to additional social protection measures.
The mother of four children Imani Zakayeva, whose husband Ramzan Zakayev was deported to Kazakhstan back in 2003, has not succeeded in securing payements of allowances for her children. The family has been living in Moscow since 1999; however, precisely at the time of entry into force of the Moscow Government’s law, Imani had her registration expired and had a gap in the registration period. She had to register at her friends’ place, since the owner of the apartment her family lived in went abroad and did not leave a letter of authority for her.
The material situation of Chechen families in the provinces is literally beggarly – their amounts of money available tothem are several times lower than the cost of living. Below is an illustrative example. In the Volgograd Region, the official cost of living is 2,500 rubles (73.5 euros) per person per month. At an appointment with a lawyer with the Migration Rights Network in the city of Volgograd, an immigrant from Chechnya when filling out a form about his family’s financial situation indicated the level of income per family member as 500 rubles (14.7 euros). And the man places himself in the category of poor, rather than extremely poor, pointing out that there are people whose life is even harder.
Registration as pensioners is only possible when the person has registration at the place of stay, while the procedure for granting a pension can only passed at the place of residence when the person has permanent residence registration.
Zina Magomedovna Dugzayeva is a disabled person; she suffers from a serious form of bronchial asthma. She is registered at the place of residence in the Chechen Republic and temporarily lives in Moscow. Eighteen months ago, she could not get a disability pension – officials told her she had to go Chechnya to undergo the pension procedure at the place of her residence. It was only after Civic Assistance Committee filed a petition that, by way of exception, Dugzayeva was granted a pension at the place of stay, in Moscow.
No complaints were filed by immigrants from Chechnya during the past year against discrimination in employment or unlawful dismissals.
In most regions of Russia the problem is different – there are no jobs there. Chechen women with children who find themselves there have to earn their living by peddling and this trade has its own cruel laws. Below is a very recent story of the large Chechen family of Magomedova, who lives in the Dagestani town of Kizlyar.
There are six children of school age in Sabirat Magomedova’s family. Her husband went missing in 2002. The family rents a small half-ruined house of two rooms. The rent is 1,000 rubles (30 euros) a month. This is big money for the Magomedovs. To sustain her family, Sabirat together with her elder daughters, sells sunflower seeds, bananas and strawberry near a market place. Early in the morning, they buy these products from wholesale dealers and in the afternoon they sell them at retail prices. They pay certain “kickbacks” to the police so they could sell things and not be driven away.
When spring came and early fruits appeared in large supply, more peddlers strated selling products at the sidewalk and there was not enough room for them. Competition emerged for stationary locations and conflicts started to happen.
On June 9, Sabirat had a quarrel with women who were peddling at neighboring locations, who were local women, over a place to sell things and was brutally beaten. Sabirat was hospitalized, in a state of insensibility. Fortuntately, her condition was not life-threatening; however, there were bruises and cuts on her face and her body and she could hardly talk.
Sabirat turned to the office of the Migration Rights Network in Kizlyar for counseling on whether it was advisable to file a statement with the police against the women who beat her up. The lawyer, who knew the local ways, advised her against doing that not to make the situation of her family even worser. The police usually take bribes from guilty persons, divert the charges from them and make the victims responsible, demanding money from them. Chechens, who don’t have money and are aliens for the local population, can not hope for the protection of the law.
Granting of passports
Getting a domestic passport of an RF citizen continues to be a serious problem for immigrants from Chechnya. As mentioned above, local offices of the FMS of Russia refuse to issue passports to Chechens, telling them to go to Chechnya to have their documents issued to them.
Replacement of passports at the place of stay was permitted during the tweleve month of the passport reform – from May 2003 to August 2004. Six months ago, Àäministrtive Regulations of the FMS of Russia were adopted, approved by the FR MVD’s Order of December 28, 2006 No.1105, according to which passports shall be issued, including to replace passports that were lost (stolen), not only at the place of residence, but also at the place of stay or at the place of application by a citizen (paragraph 13). Under these regulations, at the place of permanent residence registration, passport shall be issued within ten days of receipt of application. At other places, the FMS has two months to complete this procedure. However, so far, these regulations are not at all observed at all times, particularly as far as Chechens are concerned.
The tradition of treating all natives of Chechnya as alien migrants, rather than citizens of Russia, has been deeply rooted in people’s minds in their everyday life. It often applies not only to Chechens, but to ethnic Russians, as well.
Below are two amusing incidents that have taken place in different offices of the migration service of the city of Saratov. They show that certain officials still can not get it that Chechnya is also a part of Russia and migrants from Chechnya are Russian citizens.
An RF citizen, I.A. Kuravleva, who lived in the Chechen Republic since 1956, had to have a new passport issued to replace the one she had lost. Migration service officers suggested that she undergo the procedure for confirmation of her Russian nationality and bring them a document certifying that she was not a national of other country – Chechnya. On the advice of a lawyer with the Migration Rights Network, Kuravleva sent to the head of the migration service office an application with a request to clarify to her the location of the country named “Chechnya” so that she could get a document there certifying that she was not a national of that country. A passport was issued to her on the following day.
A similar situation happened to a forced migrant from Chechnya, RF citizen O.A. Bugryashova, who needed to have her passport replaced and was told by migration service officers to get citizenship first.
Illegal detentions and harassment
Immigrants from Chechnya face various forms of harassment by law-enforcement agencies in all regions of Russia. Very seldom the investigation of such incidents in a fair manner can be secured.
In the Tver Region, in 2005, an immigrant from Chechnya, businessman Bislan Badalov, turned to the police after his car was blown up. At the time of the explosion, he was in the car, but, luckily, he was thrown out of the car by a blast wave and survived the attack.
The investigators failed to establish the persons responsible for this crime. Since the law-enforcement agencies were idle, Badalov with a help from his friends launched his own inquiry. He managed to find the group that had masterminded the attack and to agree on holding talks. However, the other party succeeded in presenting their meeting as unlawful acts of violence by Badalov. As a result, in April 2007, Badalov and his friends were accused of robbery, abductions of people and racketeering. In this way the victim was turned into a defendant; he was tried and sentenced to 14 years in prison. The Supreme Court overturned the verdict and ordered a retrial, citing gross violations of the procedural requirements by the court of first instance. However, when the case was retried, the same violations were present. Badalov was found guilty and got 13.5 years in prison. When the Supreme Court considered the second cassation appeal, it upheld the verdict. Currently, a complaint is being prepared to be filed with the European Court of Human Rights.
On August 29, 2007, the Mukhadiyev brothers, whom we have already mentioned above, came to the criminal investigations office of the town of Pavlovsky Posad, the Moscow Region, to have their application for registration signed – the procedure not provided for by any law.
At the Pavlovsky Posad OVD, the Mukhadiyevs were received by the deputy head of the criminal investigations office Colonel Pavel Viktorovich Grunin. As soon as the colonel learned that the Mukhadiyev brothers were natives of the town of Argun, he started shouting, using swear words, and threatening that he would “eliminate” them all by cutting their throats. It turned out that Colonel Grunin had been dispatched to Chechnya seven times and fought in the Argun area.
Then Colonel Grunin called in field investigators, promising to show them something interesting, and ordered Bislan and Akhmed to take off their trousers. The colonel thought they wore no underpants. He fought in Chechnya and thought of himself as of an expert on Wahhabis – and they, as he knew, did not wear underpants. However, he was in for a disappointment: the Mukhadiyev brothers had their underpants on.
Officers of the criminal investigations office carried out a thorough inspection of the bodies of the Mukhadiyev brothers; they were looking for gunshot wounds to prove that they were militants. Stitches were discovered on Akhmed’s body, left after he had his kidney removed and a burn from battery acid was found on the body of Bislan. The inspection was accompanied by swear words uttered by the colonel and threats to hand over the Mukhadiyevs to FSB.
The brothers had their fingers printed and the officers started to write a protocol, describing their appearances and clothes. In the process, Colonel Grunin was asking his subordinates about the unslolved crimes they had in their office. Akhmed realized that they were being detained and secretly told Bislan to immediately call Svetlana Gannushkina. When he noticed that Bislan was making a phone call, Grunin took his telephone away from him.
Gannushkina was at a seminar in Turkey when she received the call; she reported the detention of the Mukhadiyevs to Civic Assistance Committee. Its staff managed to get in touch with the head of the criminal investigations office of the town of Pavlovsky Posad Andrey Ivanovich Slivin, whose deputy Colonel Grunin was. Slivin said that the Mukhadiyev brothers were being handed over to the FSB. To the question why he retorted: “I won’t tell you!”, after which he hang up.
Lawyer Abu Gaitayev was immediately invited, who went off to to Pavlovsky Posad. He arrived on the following day (August 30) and spoke with Colonel Grunin. During the conversation with the lawyer, who was an ethnic Chechen, the Colonel shouted in the same manner and threatened the Mukhadiyev brothers and lawyer himself.
On August 31, the Mukhadiyevs were taken to a magistrate. They were to appear before a judge at Precinct No.178, at the place of the incident; however, the judge was on vacation and the lawyer was informed that his clients will appear before a judge at Precinct No.179. Lawyer Gaitayev for several hours waited in vain before the closed doors.
In the meantime, the Mukhadiyevs were secretly taken to Precinct No.178. The precinct was opened and Magistrate Karasev was taken there from Precinct No.179 for a court hearing.
Magistrate Karasev listened to the police officers’ account and punished the Mukhadiyev brothers with 5 days’ administrative arrest “for defiance of a lawful order by police officer” (Article 19.3, Part 1, of the Administrative Offences Code of the Russian Federation).
The documents suggested that each of the brothers “upon enetering the office of P.V. Grunin demanded, speaking in rude and swear words, to have him registered in Pavlovsky Posad; did not react to requests to leave the office; interfered with the execution of official duties by P.V. Grunin; and was detained for these offences”.
Witnesses in the court were those same officers who the day before were shown by Grunin the Mukhadiyevs’ underpants and scars.
Abu Gaitayev filed an appeal, not hoping very much for success.
However, on October 24, judge of the Pavlovsky Posad Municipal Court A.V. Gubarev heard the appeal by the Mukhadiyevs against the verdict of Magistrate Karasev and sustained it. The formal ground for overturning the magistarte's verdict was the mistake made by Karasev, who informed the witnesses about criminal responsibility for perjury instead of informing them in the context of judicial administrative proceedings of responsibility for perjury under Article 17.9 of the Administrative Offences Code of the Russian Federation. However, the most important thing for Judge Gubarev was that he developed “unremovable doubts about the guilt of the Mukhadiyevs” and, those doubts, according to Part 3 of Article 49 of the RF Constitution, “shall be interpreted in favor of the defendant”.
This year, the FSB launched a high-profile case, in which Chechens were targeted as suspects. The FSB circulated a report to the media that on the eve of the Victory Day a major terror act was prevented in Moscow. However, the validity of the charges brought against the detained persons is very doubtful.
On May 8,
Umar Batukayev is a fifth-year student studying law at the Moscow Academy of Economics and Law. On May 8, at around 8 p.m., Umar was driving his own car to meet his friends. He noticed that he was being closely followed by a car. He pulled over, went out of the car and asked about the reasons for him being followed. The people, who followed Umar, showed identity documents of FSB officers and arrested him. No illegal items were found in Batukayev’s car.
On the night of May 8-
Both suspects, Umar Batukayev and Ruslan Musayev, were put in the Lefortovo FSB SIZO. On May 9, on application from FSB, the Lefortovo Court chose confinement as a measure of restraint for them. Batukayev’s mother spotted him by a chance before a court hearing and was horrified: he hardly could move without help and hung on the arms of masked people who escorted him. Musayev’s condition, who was hepatitis patient, was even worse: an ambulance was called in for him twice during the period of the trial.
According to the boy’s defense lawyer, the court issued arrest warrants for the suspects without presenting charges, which indicates that the investigators’ case is very weak: they have no other charges except for the boys’ contacts with Lors Khamiyev.
As the mother of detained Umar Batukayev told Svetlana Gannushkina, she had taken her family away from Chechnya even before the war was started to have no involvement in the conflict. At the time of his arrest, Umar was preparing for the defence of his degree thesis.
On May 31 this year, during her visit to Chechnya Svetlana Gannushkina met in Grozny the uncle of Umar Batukayev, who is a Professor at the Chechen State University (ChGU). His family has always been loyal to the Russian government and dealt with science, not politics.
At a meeting with Svetlana Gannushkina, Deputies (members) of the Parliament of Chechnya also said that the Batukayevs were a completely peaceful family that was respected by everyone. The Deputies sent a letter to the Russian authorities with a request to protect the young man. The letter said that the Batukayev family worked for the good of Chechnya and Russia and was in no way involved in armed attacks or in separatist movement.
In mid-November 2007, Fatima Batukayeva again contacted Gannushkina and told her that the period of investigation was extended for her son and Ruslan Musayev. They were cleared of part of the charges; however, the investigators shifted to the version that alleged they had been preparing an attempt on Ramzan Kadyrov’s life. One can guess that this version was chosen by the investigators to have Batukayev and Musayev deprived of support from the Chechen leaders.
One can only state Chechens in the territory of Russia continue to be the habitual target for officers from law-enforcement agencies and are constantly under threat of illegal harassment.
VI. Abductions of civilians in the North Caucasus
The situation with abductions of people in Chechnya, Ingushetia, Dagestan, and North Ossetia has greatly changed since the beginning of 2007. Against the background of a dramatic (by several times) drop in the number of abductions in the Chechen Republic, the republics neighboring it showed a significant growth in nymber of abductions.
Abductions of people in the Chechen Republic
The problem of abductions of people in Chechnya in 2007 is not as acute as it was in the previous years; however it has not been solved completely. The dramatic drop in the number of abductions has, according to some assumptions, has todo with the fact that Ramzan Kadyrov gave strict orders to the heads of security agencies under his command to put a stop to abductions of people. In the recent years, when the so-called ‘Chechenization’ of the conflict took place, in many instances it was officers from republican security agencies who carried out the abductions.
It should be noted that in the past two years, the number of abductions has been gradually dwindling. In addition, some little progress has been made in investigations of cases on torture è abductions.
In 2005, the number of abductions dropped by 28% from 2004; in 2006, it was down by another 42%. In 2007, the number of abductions, recorded by Memorial HRC was, as of the end of August, down by a factor of six as compared to same period last year. The Table below, compiled using the information available to Memorial HRC, gives figures for abductions for the past five years.
Number of abducted persons
Released or ransomed
“Discovered” in detention facilities
2007 (as of the end of August)
As of the end of August 2006, Memorial HRC recorded 147 incidents of abduction of people; of them 73 persons were subsequently released or ransomed by relatives; 54 individuals went missing; 9 persons were found dead; and 11 persons were under investigation.
As of the end of August 2007, as seen from this Table, 25 incidents of abduction of people were reported; of them 17 persons were subsequently released or ransomed by relatives; 5 persons went missing; 1 individual was found dead; and 2 persons are under investigation.
So, according to the information available to Memorial HRC, in 2007, the number of abductions has dropped by a factor of six.
The number of persons killed in 2007 has halved over the previous year.
During the first seven months of 2006, according to the information available to Memorial HRC, 84 persons were killed, including 23 civilians; 22 officers from security agencies; 29 members of armed Chechen groups; and 10 persons who were not identified.
In 2007, as of the end of July, 43 persons were killed, including 11 civilians; 19 officers from security agencies; and 13 members of armed Chechen groups.
In winter and spring 2007, officers from ORB-2, Investigations and Law-Enforcement Operations Bureau No. 2 at the Chief Directorate (GU) of the RF MVD (Interior Ministry) in Southern Federal District, were mostly reported as being involved in the abductions. This bureau for a long time remained one of few agencies not subordinated – directly or indirectly – to the leadership of Chechnya. Persons under investigation were taken to an IVS (temporary detention center), illegally operating at ORB-2 to firce them by torture to confess to the crimes they have never committed.
Several such incidents are described below.
On January 10, 2007, at 3 p.m., in the city of Grozny officers from unknown security agencies, dressed in black uniforms, abducted Zelimkhan Abdulovichà Kurbanov (born 1956).
The unknown men came to Zelimkhan Kurbanov’s home and told him they wanted to discuss the sale of his house. Zelimkhan went out together with them and never returned home. At around 8.00 p.m., he called his wife and said, “Don’t try to search for me – you won’t find me anyway. Wait for news in three days ".
On the second day, Zelimkhan’s sister and his wife went to the Staropromyslovsky District ROVD to file a statement about the abduction. However, their statement was not accepted – officer of the criminal investigations office Radzhab Magomedov tore it to pieces on the instructions of his superiors.
On the follwong day, the Kurbanovs received a call from an unknown person who told them that Zelimkhan was held at ORB-2. As it became known later, he was charged with carrying out the acts of sabotage and terror in the Naurskaya District.
On February 13, 2007, at
A group of armed officers from security agencies, dressed in camouflage uniforms, arrived at the stanitsa by several UAZ jeeps. Several officers climbed over the fence into the yard and started banging on the door. When they were let in, they did not introduce themselves and immediately demanded that Said-Magomed show his passport. After checking the documents, they took Kurbanov away with them. The wife of Said-Magomed, Fatima Esmurziyeva, was told that her husband would be taken to the Naurskaya District ROVD. However, Kurbanov was never taken there.
Esmurziyeva wrote statement about the abduction of her husband and filed it with the Naurskaya District Prosecutor’s Office. At the prosecutor’s office she was told that her husband had been detained by officers from ORB-2.
On that same day, at
On the evening of February 13, Said-Magomed was released from the building of the prosecutor’s office.
Kurbanov’s physical condition was bad: he complained of headache; bruises from beatings could be seen on his body and there were marks of handcuffs on his hands. He said that at ORB-2 he got some brutal treatment: his hands were handcuffed; he was kicked all over his body; beaten with a wooden board on his head; and had his head banged on the table. The beatings were accompanied with interrogations: he was asked about his association with militants and participation in armed attacks. They tried to force him to incriminate other men who lived in the stanitsa. Despite the violence he was subjected to, he did not cite any names and did sign any papers.
When they were releasing him, officers from ORB-2 threatened Said-Magomed with severe punishment should he tell anybody about the way he had ben treated. They reminded him that his brother Zelimkhan was still in their hands.
On February 20, 2007, at the entrance to the town of Urus-Martan officers from unknown security agencies abducted residents of the village of Goiskoye, the Urus-Martan District, Ramzan Shirvaniyevich Khasiyev (born 1976) and Shakhid Sultanovich Ipayev.
They were taken to the building of ORB-
Shakhid Ipayev was subjected to cruel beatings; Khasiyev was subjected to suffocation with a plastic bag and tortured with electric shocks until he lost consciousness. They were released by Khasiyev’s brother, an officer from a different security agency. Immediately after their release, Khasiyev was taken to hospital. The medical examination revealed brain concussion; multiple bruises; abrasions on the body and the upper and lower limbs; and a bruise on the right lumbar region and the lumbar spine.
Ramzan Khasiyev and his five brothers since December 1999, partipated in a counterterrorism operation, being police officers and soldiers of the rifle company at the military commandant’s office of the Urus-Martan District (for more details see Appendix 7).
On March 5, 2007, the prosecutor’s office launched a criminal case on the torture of Ramzan Khasiyev. It should be noted that this is the first criminal case, opened in the Urus-Martan District into torture by officers from security agencies. However, the investigation of this case has been complicated by harassment against one of the victims, Shakhid Ipayev, who appeared in court as a witness.
In mid-April Ipayev, attending a court as a witness in the case, identified the head of the Urus-Martan ORB-2 as a person who personally threatened and insulted him when he was detained together with Ramzan Khasiyev.
Soon after that, on April 24, Shakhid Ipayev was detained in Voikova settlement (the city of Grozny) by officers from the State Committee for Monitoring the Circulation of Narcotics. They blocked his car, forced Ipayev out, handcuffed him, put him into their vehicle and took him to the State Committee Directorate’s building. His car was also taken there. Attesting witnesses were already there. Officers from the the State Committee inspected Shakhid Ipayev’s car and ‘found’ three grams of heroin under the rag at the driver’s side.
Shakhid had his passport and car documents taken away from him. Samples were taken to determine the presence of drugs (hand- and nail-wipe samples) and the man was subjected to medical examination. After that, he was allowed to go home, leaving his parked on the premises of the Directorate building.
It is easy to guess that the head of the Urus-Martan ORB-2 used his connections to exert harsh pressure on the witness.
The evidence of the abductions of people by officers from ORB-2, became most strong arguments in favor of having the operations of ORB-2 the territory of Chechnya discontinued. On May 4, 2007, heads of units of the Chechen Reoublic’s Interior Ministry jointly approached Ramzan Kadyrov with a request to raise with the RF Interior Minister the question of redeploying ORB-2 outside the Republic.
In April 2007, Memorial Human Rights Center registred not a single abduction in the territory of Chechnya and just one such incident was reported in May.
In July, the leadership of ORB-2 was changed. Police Colonel Isa Surguyev was appointed its head – the man who is closely linked to Ramzan Kadyrov. Since then, ORB-2 has ceased to be used as a facility for torture.
However, abductions have resumed since June.
On June 6, 2007, at
On that same night, in Kalinina settlement (the city of Grozny) Eli Akhmedovich Dzhaubatyrov was abducted in the same manner.
On the evening of June 7, Eli Dzhaubatyrîâ was thrown out of a vehicle in the Oktyabrsky District of the city of Grozny. He said the abductors took him together with Arsen Izhayev to some room, after which they were separeted. He had not seen Arsen since then. Eli does not know where he kept. He was beaten and interrogated to force certain information out of him. As of September 30, Arsen Izhayev’ fate remained unknown.
According to Izhayev’s mother, he has never been involved in any armed groups or committed any unlawful acts. He returned to his home in Grozny just two months before the abduction. Prior to this, he lived in Kazakhstan, where he moved in 1998. On July 19, 2007, the Bikiyev brothers, Umar Khabazhayevich Bikiyev (born 1978) and Ali Khabazhayevich Bikiyev (born 1982) were abducted from their house in the village of Frunzenskoye, the Naurskaya District, by officers from unidentified security agencies.
The unknown men arrived at their home by several vehicles. They burst into the house and without explaining anything grabbed Ali Bikiyev and pushed himinto one of their vehicles. An unwarranted search was conducted in the house; the officers were asking about where Umar was. He was at that time at the river bank and was told about what was happening by his fellow-villagers. Umar went home and was seized. He was beaten up and forced into a car’s trunk. The abductors drove the brothers off in an unknown direction.
Later, their relatives managed to learn that Umar and Àëè were held at the Kurchaloi District OVD. However, when they turned there, it emerged that the Bikiyevs were no longer there. The relatives were not told about where the Bikiyevs had been taken.
On July 22-23, relatives of the Bikiyev brothers, numbering about 70 persons, held a spontaneous rally in front of the Government’s building in the city of Grozny, demanding the release of the young men. Written statements were filed with republican law-enforcement agencies.
On August 15, Ali returned home and on August 20, Umar was released, too. After their release, the Bikiyev brothers have been refusing to give any information.
Three years ago, in October 2004, the then Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation Vladimir Ustinov, speaking in the State Duma suggested that application of the practices of “counter-hostage taking” to militants and terrorists be legalized. Although these methods have not been legalized, security agencies started to widely use abductions of relatives of militants since then.
Over a year ago, on August 17, 2006, journalist Elina Ersenoyeva, was abducted. According to some reports, she was the secret wife of Shamil Basayev. This incident was followed by the abduction, in October 2006, of her mother. These abductions took place already after Shamil Basayev’s death in a bomb attack on July 11, 2006. It remais unknown who these abductors are and what goals they pursue.
After the death of Basayev, FSB officers came to Ersenoyeva’s home. They interrogated Elina, her mother, and her 22-year-old brother Ruslan. After the interrogation, the officers said they had learned the things they wanted to know and they were no longer interested in Elina. However, Elina and her mother disappeared later without a trace (for more details see Appendix 8).
Abductions of people in Ingushetia
Unlike in Chechnya, where the number of abductions has dramaticlally dropped since the start of the year, Ingushetia has seen a sharp increase in abductions. According to the information of the Memorial HRC representative office in Nazran, during the first eight months of 2007, 22 persons were abducted in Ingushetia – which is almost as many as in Chechnya. However, if one is to take into account the population size, Ingushetia comes in first as far the number of abductions is concerned.
People in Ingushetia are often seized in the streets by armed individuals in uniforms. The abductors do not introduce themselves and do not inform why and where they are taking the apprehended persons. The abducted individuals are often ‘discovered’ several days later at the pretrial detention center of the city of Vladikavkaz. There the detained persons are subjected to torture to extract confessionary statements. Usually the same Ossetian lawyers participate in these actions. Particularly notorious is lawyer Khumaryants, who regularly puts her signature on the protocols of interrogations during which torture was used, and tries to persuade the people under investigation to claim respnosibilty for the crimes they are incriminated with. At the same time the Ossetian lawyers who fairly defend Ingushes are subjected to harassment and sometimes to îáùåñòâåííîìó îñóæäåíèþ. Áåñïðåöåäåíòíîìó äàâëåíèþ ïîäâåðãëàñü Lawyer Irina Kodzayeva has been subjected to unprecedented pressure and come under threat of criminal prosecution for defending her clients against torture (See Appendix 9).
On September 18,
As it became clear from the conversation with relatives of the abducted men, members of security agencies grabbed them in the street when they met there by accident. Arselgov was in his KamAZ truck. Adam Khalukhayev approached the truck to negotiate its hire to transport cement. Then Khavash Tsoroyev pulled up near them, also intending to hire Arselgov’s truck. They all knew each other before.
Suddenly, the young men were encircled by troops. There were only after Arselgov; however, for unclear reasons, they also took with them Khalukhayev and Tsoroyev. The abducted persons were taken to the city of Vladikavkaz, to the building of local RUBOP. Family members were not informed of their whereabouts or the reasons for their detention. They learned about it from witnesses of the abduction.
Khalukhayev’s family members were the first to take vigorous efforts to ensure their release: four hours later Khalukhayev was released. Tsoroyev was released only on the following evening. He had been very badly beaten: he had his nose broken and his kidney and liver crushed.
Arselgov was retained in custody; he was charged with involvement in the September 6, 2006 bomb-attack on an armored personnel carrier of MVD Interior Forces Regiment 126.
On December 1, 2006, at
Ðàíî óòðîì â èõ äîì âîðâàëàñü a group of armed people, numbering up to eight persons. Some of them were masked. The troops wore blue ans sandy camouflage uniforms. They introduced themselves as officers from the Nazran GOVD, carried a superficial search, and then said they had orders to take Doskiyev and Nalgiyev to the GOVD. They did not show a search warrant or an arrest warrant.
After Nalgiyev and Doskiyev were driven away, relatives tried via their friends to learn the reasons for their arrest. GOVD officers assured the people who approached them that the detained persons were released after their fingers were printed and personal data recorded. However, Doskiyev and Nalgiyev did not return home.
On the evening of that same day, Doskiyev’s relatives received a phone call from a man from Vladikavkaz, who introduced himself as lawyer of Taisum Doskiyev. He said that Doskiyev and Nalgiyev were kept in the same detention facility in the city of Vladikavkaz.
On December 3, Isa Nalgiyev was released. Doskiyev was retained in custody. He is accused of participating in the armed attack on members of security agencies of the Republic of Ingushetia on the night of June 21-22, 2004.
It is known that earlier, in July 2005, Taisum Doskiyev had already been detained by officers from the Nazran GOVD. Back then, he was released after a 30-minute check. Taisum is a Category Two Disabled person with impaired sight; he works as a motor mechanic at a service station in Nazran.
Usually law-enforcement agencies keep tabs on those who have been detained once and such individuals can be detained again or abducted and forced to give statements the investigators require.
This year, a resident of the village of Sagopshi, Zakre Isayevich Fargiyev (born 1981), was detained twice in Ingushetia during a two months’ period.
First time he was taken away from home on February 4, 2007, by officers from unidentified agencies. Fargiyev was put in the RI MVD IVS in the city of Nazran. Ïðîòèâ íåãî âîçáóäèëè A criminal case was opened against him as suspects on suspicion of him being a member of illegal armed groups.
Five days later, his relatives learned from his lawyer that Zakre was being brutally beaten during interrogations. He cell mates were angered at the actions of the police and were voicing their protest.
In early March, Fargiyev was released on his own recognizance. According tohis lawyer, the investigatots had no serious grounds for keeping him in custody. The criminal case against him was slated for closure.
time Zakre Fargiyev was detained on April
12, 2007. According to Fargiyev’s relatives, at
On the evening of that same day, unknown people visted the Fargiyevs at their home and informed them that Zakre was kept at the Nazran District ROVD. However, officers ate the ROVD said that Fargiyev was held elsewhere and they did not know his whereabouts.
Later, his family members managed to learn that on April 13, Zakre was taken for interrogation to Vladikavkaz. It emerged that he was detained on the instructions of Sobol, head of the investigation team from the North Caucasus Prosecutor General’s Office of the Russian Federation. The grounds for his detentions were statements of one of the persons under investigation. Zakre Fargiyev was charged with involvement in the June 2004 incursion into the Republic of Ingushetia.
At the interrogation, Fargiyev said that the charges pressed against him are false and he had witnesses who could confirm his innocence. Currently the investigation into his case is still underway.
In August 2007, an incident of brutal and pointless sadism was reported in Ingushetia: unknown people in military uniforms abducted and were beating all night long an ill person – for no apparent reason – just for the fun of it or for entertainment.
On August 1, 2007, Ramzan Gagiyev (born 1982), resident of the village of Ekazhevo, was discovered in the vicinity of the stanitsa of Nesterovskaya, the Sunzha District. He was unconscious and had a plastic bag on his head.
As he said later, he was abducted on July 31, near a hospital in the city of Nazran. At 11 p.m., he left the hospital and walked to the nearest store. People from a car parked nearby called out to him in the Ingush language. When he stopped, people in military uniforms jumped out of the car, grabbed him, put a plastic bag on his head and forced him into theie car. For about an hour, he was driven somewhere.
When the car stopped, Ramzan was taken to a room. He was asked questions about his job and family; in the process they beat him on the head and on the groin. During the night, he was beaten four times. Some of the abductors talked between themselves in the Chechen language.
In the morning they asked him: “Where do you feel pain?” Ramzan replied that he had been operated on and had pain in the kidney area. So tied him to a chair and started beating him on the kidneys and on the ribs. He lost consciousness several times and each time they splashed water on him.
Ramzan could hear someone else being beaten near him. He asked why they were beating them. He was answered in Ingush: “We will be selling you to Ossetians for two dollars a person”.
On the following day, Ramzan heard someone say in Ingush that a search was being carried out and he had to be taken elsewhere. Ramzan was put into a car, given a huge blow on the heard, after which he passed out.
Ramzan was discovered at the sidewalk by a chance passer-by, who called in the police. He was immediately taken to the hospital in the stanitsa of Ordzhonikidzevskya.
The Nazran Prosecutor’s Office is conducting an inquiry into the incident. However, the servicemen who carried out the abduction are unlikely to be found; so they can continue unchecked to perpetrate any crimes withour and go unpunished.
Citizens, who lost hope to get protection from law-enforcers, try to prevent crimes themselves. For instance, on June 27, 2007, residents of the village of Surkhakhi prevented an abduction of Khalit Aushev (born 1980).
Deputy head of the Nazran District ROVD Daud Muradov and head of the precinct police inspectors service of the Nazran District Bers Kotiyev arrived soon at the scene. The police officers demanded that the security officers show their documents and the arrest warrant for Aushev. UFSB officers presented their documents; however, they had no arrest warrant.
They had to release Khalit Aushev, after which the local residents unblocked the road and security officers left the village.
At around midday, Khalit Aushev’s relatives, as law-abiding citizens, took him to the MVD building and handed himover to officers from UBOP at the RI MVD. Before doing so they got the word of the RI Minister of the Interior Musa Medov, who promised that Khalit Aushev would not be smuggled out of Ingushetia.
Widely reported was the incident when Ingush police officers thwarted an attempt by officers from law-enforcement agencies of North Ossetia to abduct local residents.
On 29 March 2007, at around 5.20 p.m., a motorcade of three vehicles – a white Gazel van with tinted windows and VAZ-2107 and VAZ-21099 cars – tried to pass a DPS (Traffic Police Service) traffic control post on the border of Ingushetia. Officers from RI MVD DPS stopped the vehicles to inspect them. The occupants of the vehicles were officers of RUBOP at the RNO-A MVD. An abducted citizen of Ingushetia was discovered inside the Gazel van. There was allegedly another abducted person there, who was held in the VAZ-2107 car.
DPS officers demanded that the RUBOP officers explain the grounds on which those persons had been captured. At this moment, relatives of the abducted men arrived at the post.
The RI police officers and his relatives succeeded in freeing the abducted person who was held in the Gazel van. Still, RUBOP officers in the VAZ-2107 car, who presumably held the other abducted person, managed to drive off the post towards North Ossetia.
The remaining RUBOP officers were detained. Additional troops from MVD of Ingushetia arrived at the post and under police escort the detained RUBOP officers were taken to a RI MVD station. According to eye-witnesses, a total of 15 RUBOP officers were detained.
It should be noted that residents of Ingushetia are willing to cooperate with law-enforcement agencies. Often parents suggest that checks be carried out in resepect of their targeted sons, provided that the law is observed and a guarantee is given that their children are not subjected to beatings. They hope that in this way they will be able to prevent extrajudicial killing or self-incrimination under torture.
For instance, a disabled person and father of ten children, Khashbiker Murzhoyev, has proofs that his sons are not involved in any armed attacks. The family has close family ties with a participant in the June 21, 2004 raid of militants on the city of Nazran. Khashbiker’s sons have a cast-iron alibi – at the time of the attack they served in the armed forces in different regions of the Russian Federation. In 2003 – 2005, Movlet served in the city of Kursk in central Russia, while Ruslan served in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk.
When in 2004, the elder son Ruslan was summoned to the prosecutor’s office, Khashbiker Murzhoyev took him there himself and suggested that a check be conducted.
The family would like to have an impartial check carried out in respect
of their sons after which they could be left alone. Despite the fact that he
came to the prosecutor’s office at his will, Ruslan was taken to Vladikavkaz,
where he was cruelly tortured. According to his father, before the arrest
Ruslan’s weight was
Abductions and disappearances of people in North Ossetia
According to the information available to Memorial HRC, over the past two years, 19 Ingushes, including five persons in the past three months, were abducted or disappeared without a trace in the Prigorodny District of North Ossetia and in the city of Vladikavkaz. The fate of all of them, except for the one person who was found killed, is unknown.
It is known for a fact that police officers and officers from the RUBOP of North Ossetia were involved in the abductions in at least two incidents.
On January 10, 2007, at around 10.30 p.m., a local resident, Sultan Abdul-Khalitovich Barakhoyev (born 1982), was abducted in the settlement of Kartsa. The abduction was contrived by a police officer from local police precinct, Soslan Tsorayev.
Sultan was taken to the Promyslenny District ROVD in the city of Vladikavkaz, where was badly beaten and tortured by police officers (for more details see Appendix 10).
On the following day, after a visit by lawyer Kodzayeva, Sultan Barakhoyev was released on his own recognizance. In his statement filed with Memorial HRC he wrote: “Ingushes living in North Ossetia, constantly anticipate provocations, arrests and abductions from the police that are composed exclusively of Ossetian. We are living here as if it were a reservation: we have no rights, no jobs …, no opportunity to move freely, etc. Any complaints by Ingushes against arbitrary actions by the authorities and police officers of Ossetia lead to no inquiries.”
This is also seen from the circumsatcnes of the abduction of brothers Beslan and Aslan Yandiyev. They were abducted on December 12, 2006, from their house in the village of Dachnoye. During a search, which developed into complete looting of the house, gross threats and insults were poured on Ingushes. Witnesses identified officers from the North Ossetian RUBOP and officers from UFSB for North Ossetia as the abductors (see Appendix 11).
A wave of indignation was stirred among residents of the Prigorodny District by the abduction of two elderly Ingushes in summer this year.
On July 7, 2007, Magomed Khadzhibekarovich Tarshkhoyev (born 1940) and Mukhazhir Sayupovich Gaisanov (born 1945), residents of the village of Chermen, were abducted in the city of Vladikavkaz.
Early in the morning, they left their village, traveling on Magomed Tarshkhoyev’s own car. They intended to pay a visit to relatives who lived in the village of Dzheirakh in Ingushetia. On their way there they were to pass through Vladikavkaz.
Immediately after they received a report about the disappearance of Magomed Tarshkhoyev and Mukhazhir Gaisanov, officers of RNO-A MVD started searching for them; however, their whereabouts have not been established so far.
On July 7, residents of the village of Chermen, ethnic Ingushes, gathered for a rally and blocked the highway that ran through their village. They demanded that the RNO-A authories find the missing men and investigate all incidents of traceless disappearances of ethnic Ingushes in the territory of the Republic.
On that same day, the prosecutor of the RNO-A and Interior Ministers of the RNO-A and the RI met the protesters. They promised to take every effort to search for Magomed Tarshkhoyev and Mukhazhir Gaisanov and persuaded the protesters to stop blocking the highway. The highway was unblocked; however, the rally in the center of the village continued on the following day.
According to their fellow-villagers, Magomed Tarshkhoyev and Mukhazhir Gaisanov have never been involved in any activities aimed at incitement of inter-ethnic strife, but, on the contrary, being well-respected men, they contributed to bringing peace and stability to the Prigorodny District of the RNO-A. It is known that during the conflict in 1992, Magomed Tarshkhoyev helped his fellow-villagers, ethnic Ossetians, to move to a safer place.
On July 16, Memorial HRC sent to the leader of the Republic of North Ossetia-Alania Taimuraz Mamsurov and the RF Prosecutor General Yury Chaika open letters about the need to take concrete steps to improve the situation with incessant abductions (disappearances) of people in the Prigorodny District of the RNO-A and in the city of Vladikavkaz.
The letter to the RF Prosecutor General contained a request to set up an investigation team at the RF Prosecutor General’s Office and pass on it the authority to investigate all unsolved cases of abductions (disappearances) in the region.
On September 12, the Investigative Committee at the RF Prosecutor’s Office sent a response, signed by special investigator A. Kurbanov. It said that “according to Resolution of August 8, 2007, criminal case No.12/2134 on tracelees disappearances of ethnic Ingush and Chechens in the territory of the RNO-A in 2005-2007 has been taken away from the Prosecutor’s Office of the RNO-A”. Now this case is investigated by the Chief Investigations Directorate of the Investigative Committee at the RF Prosecutor’s Office in the Southern Federal District.
The proceedings in this criminal case brought together 19 criminal cases on traceless disappearances of 23 persons: sixteen Ingushes, six Chechens and one Ossetian woman. “To investigate this case an investigation team was set up, in which investigators from the Rostov Region Prosecutor’s Office and the Volgograd Region Prosecutor’s Office, as well as from the RNO-A Prosecutor’s Office were included. To conduct investigation and search operations officers were assigned to the team from RF FSB and the ORB No.1 “Ò” Center for Combating Organized Crime (BOP) of the Chief Directorate (GU) of the RF MVD (Interior Ministry) in the Southern Federal District.”
FSB Lieutenant Colonel À. Kalimatov, who was assigned to the North Caucasus to work as part of this investigation team, on September 16, 2007, was shot dead by unknown people in Ingushetia.
The extremist groups that abduct ethnic Ingushes have moved on to open murders.
On October 19, 2007, at 10.30 p.m., unknown people shot three young men, Akhmed Alikhanovich Timurziyev (born 1987), Azrail Beslanovich Sultygov (born 1982) and Beiali Khamatkhanovich Dzaurov (born 1990), in the village of Chermen, the Prigorodny District. All three died of the wounds they received.
The three boys, who were returning home from the funeral of their female relative, were approached at an intersection by a silver-colored VAZ-21099 car, the unknown occupants of which started firing aimed shots automatic rifles at the young men. The perpetrators drove away along the Chermen Highway in the direction of Vladikavkaz.
Azrail Sultygov died on the way to hospital. Akhmed Timurziyev died on the following day at the hospital’s intensive care unit. Beiali Dzaurov spent two weeks at the intensive care unit. Doctors fought to save his life but on November 2, he died.
Sultygov was married; he had a small child. Timurziyev was a fifth-year student studying law at the Ingush State University. Dzaurov was an orphan, raised in his uncle’s family.
Investigations Directorate of the Investigative Committee at the RF Prosecutor General’s Office for North Ossetia launched investigation of the incident in the Prigorodny District; a criminal case was opened.
In view of many residents of Ingushetia, these attacks are aimed to derail the process of bringing back Ingush refugees to the Prigorodny District and create unbearable living conditions for those of them who returned.
Abductions of people in Dagestan
According to the information collected by activists of the group Mothers of Dagestan, 21 persons disappeared in the Republic since the start of 2007.
Memorial Human Rights Center recorded a significant rise in the number of abductions of young people in the territory of the Republic in 2007. Since the beginning of the year, workers of the representative office of Memorial in Dagestan have documented seven cases of abductions (see Appendix 12).
In July 2007, Memorial HRC received 15 statements from relatives of disappered people. All the applicants claim that their family members were detained by officers from the security agencies of the Republic of Dagestan and, most likely, were taken to Chechnya. Some of them were ransomed from police officers for big sums of money; they all report they were subjected to torture.
With great difficulty, relatives manage to establish scant details related to disappearances of their sons. For instance, when they were received, on June 10, 2007, by Imammutdin Temirbulatov, head of Department for Combatting Terrorism and Abductions of the RD MVD UBOP, they learned that their abducted sons, Muammar Mamayev (disappeared on April 27), Ramaz Dibirov (disappeared on April 25) and Isa Isayev (disappeared on April 26), were at some time held at the UBOP’s Sixth Departemnt.
July 10, 2007, Deputy Secretary of the RD Presidenetial Security Council G.M.
Guseinov told Isayev’s mother over the telephone that her son was held at the
office of ORB-
On August 10, six women went on an open-ended hunger strike, demanding meeting with the President of Dagestan Mukhu Aliyev. The hunger strike was ended only on August 23, after the women’s health seriously deteriorated and they were visited by high-ranking officials.
There are reports that local journalists were forbidden to cover rallies held by relatives of abducted persons and the hunger-strike.
At the same time, the authorities failed to respond to the relatives’ demands. On August 1, President Mukhu Aliyev had a meeting with the heads of security agencies, at which he stated that the activities to search the abducted have been organized in Dagestan in a most disastrous manner, “analysis of the situation is lacking; efforts to search citizens who are missing are poor”.
Fundamental differences emerged at the meeting between the positions of MVD and the prosecutor’s office: Interior Minister Àdilgerey Magomedtagirov was genuinely indignant about the suspicions aired by the press that police officers were involved in the abductions of people, based on the fact that ‘people in camouflage uniforms’ participated in them. He also suggested that“most citizens reported as abducted should be considered ‘disguised militants’”.
In response, the Prosecutor of the Republic Igor Tkachev confirmed the version that certain abductions are linked to officers from law-enforcement agencies: “More than 20 persons who were released gave statements that they had been abducted and driven into the Chechen Republic by people in camouflage uniforms.” He was supported by Human Rights Ombudswoman in the Republic of Dagestan Uma Omarova and the President of Dagestan.
The President of Dagestan demanded that MVD officers change their methods of operations. “You are compromising both yourself and us… How could you be trusted after that?!”
Memorial HRC’s bulletin noted that “the close attention towards the problem of abductions shown by the President of the Republic of Dagestan and the public disclosure of the problem – although not yet successful in helping to find the young people who went missing in spring – have contributed to the fact that there were no further abductions in summer”.
So, one may note that the destabilizing role in Dagestan is played by police officers. However, the acknowledgment of this fact and the open discussion of the situation give some hope for future improvement.
The picture of the situation in the North Caucasus we see does not look reassuring. Every year, for six years now, when we release our regular report we hope it will be the last one. Although the situation is changing, there is no overall improvent in it.
The North Caucasus is becoming increasingly diverse; however, life in each of the republics is in its own way dangerous for various groups of population. Neither of the republics can ensure a peaceful and safe life for people portrayed in our stories – Russian citizens who are ethnic Chechens.
There is no place for them in other regions of Russia as well.
We would very much like to hope that no new flows of refugees will start running into Russia in the nearest future. However, time is not yet right to return those who chose safety and a difficult life of exiles. Most of them took that hard decision for the sake of their children and their children’s future.
Data from the poll of residents of TAPs in the city of Grozny about the housing situation of their families
Information supplied by Memorial HRC
Residents of TAP in the Mayakovskogo settlement at 140-a, Koshevogo Street
1. Said-Emin Akhmadov. In 1987, the man arrived from Kazakhstan after pogroms targeting Chechens were started. Since that time, he has had no housing of his own. He is registered at the former hostel of GPNZ (Grozny Oil Refinery) at 4, Prospekt Pobedy, which now houses the Youth Palace.
2. Kheda Isayevna Shavkhalova. There are seven members in the woman’s family. Her husband has health problems and her grown-up children can’t get jobs. She is registered at her mother’s place, but the family cannot live there, since there are already four persons residing in the mother’s two-room apartment.
3. Madina Adlanovna Akhmadova. The woman is registered as oncology and neurology patient. She has had 12 operations. She sustained severe wound in the abdomen in 1995. She is registered at her friends’ place, but cannot live there.
4. Gumiyat Mavsarovna Basirova. The woman has four children; three of them are minors. Her husband has died. The family has not had its own housing, since it returned to Chechnya in 1998. She is registered at the husband relatives’ place, but her family can not be accommodated there.
Residents of TAP at 47, Kirova Street
1. Koka Beksultanova. The woman’s family lived in the Stavropol Krai (Territory). In 1991, they had to leave, since harassment was started against them on the grounds of their ethnicity. As a result of the stress he had endured, her husband was struck down by apoplexy and in 1999 he died. During that followed, the family has not been granted either housing or a land plot. They had to rent apartments and were registered at friends’s place. Koka has dependant mother who is blind.
2. Isa Madiyevich Magomadov. The man has six children; one of them is a Category Two Disabled person with epilepsy. He has been granted a land plot in Urus-Martan; however, he does not have money for construction.
3. Z.S. Dugushova. There are four minor children in the woman’s family. Her husband got killed in 1999. Her house at 54, Sunzhenskaya Street has been destroyed. She has not received compensation.
4. Z. Valadova. The woman has seven children who are minors. She has had no housing of her own.
5. Petimat Datayevna Isupkhadzhiyeva. The woman has a husband and two children. She is registered at her father’s place; however it is imposible to live there. Her family is offered a land plot; however, they don’t have funds for construction.
6. Yakhiyta Khabatova. The woman is divorced and raises three children. Before the war, she did not have her own housing and lived in Grozny in rented apartments. She is registered at her mother’s place in the village of Beno-Yurt, the Nadterechny District; however, she can not live there, since there are other relatives residing in the house; besides, it is in disrepair. When she asked the administration head of the village of Beno-Yurt to grant her a land plot, he refused her.
7. Ya.Kh. Bargisheva. The woman is registered in the Leninsky District of the city of Grozny. Her house in the village of Goichu was destroyed; she has received no compensation. There are seven members in her family; three of them are disabled persons.
8. Zura Agayeva. There are ten members in the woman’s family. She has no husband. She is registered at the place of people who are not relatives or friends.
9. Rukiyat Murdalova. There are small children in the woman’s family. She did not have her own housing before the war.
10. Iznaurova. There are five children in the woman’s family. Before the war, she lived in her mother’s apartment; however, now her brother together with his family lives there.
11. Khusein Magomadov. The man has a wife and three children. He could not get his own housing, since the war broke out right after he got married.
12. Malika Altemirova. The woman is a Category Two Disabled person with diabetes and hypertension. She has four children and no husband.
Resident of TAP at 2, Koltsova Street
Kh.Zh. Tataliyeva. The woman shares a 3 by
Resident of TAP at 4, Koltsova Street
Yusup Shakhabovich Kadiyev. The man has a wife and four children who are minors. His wife is expecting a fifth child. He does not have a place to live or a plot in his native village of Roshni-chu.
Resident of TAP at 24, Tchaikovskogo Street
Anzhela Tsuskiyeva. The woman was raised in a boarding school. She has not had her own housing. She is registered at the place of her father’s family. Her father has disowned her.
Residents of TAP on Okruzhnaya Street
1. Aimani Sugayipovna Dagalayeva. There are four members in the woman’s family: she herself, her son, and her daughter-in-law and her child. She has no husband. The house she is registered at is 80 per cent destroyed; the family of her husband’s brother lives there. Her husband was killed in 2001.
2. Mussa Dzhamaldayev. The man has five children. He is a disabled person with impaired sight; one of his sons is also a disabled person. He does not have his own housing.
3. Khalida Demayeva. The woman is a schizophrenia patient. She has two children. Her mother, who also has schizophrenia, has sold her house.
On the night of July 13th 2006, on the border of Chechnya and Dagestan happened an event that hit the headlines and airwaves the very next morning.
The Interior Ministry, ITAR-TASS, Interfax and other sources reported that in the Nozhay-Yurtovsky district there was annihilated a group of militants that had been plotting a series of terrorist acts there.
The local security agencies had got the information that a group of twenty militants was about to break through from Dagestan to Chechnya late in the evening. Owing to a well-planned operation, the militants were caught in an ambush. 13 were killed and two were taken prisoners. The security forces could get hold of a great many firearms.
According to some sources, the operation was held by the Interior Ministry’s battalions “North” and “South”, according to others, by the Akhmad Khadyrov SWAT team of the republic’s Interior Ministry. Terrorist acts were averted; noone of the security forces was harmed.
To crown the success, Chechen Premier Ramzan Kadyrov was quoted as saying that the operation killed a prospective successor of Shamil Basayev Khayrula Imurzayev. Mr Khadyrov also said that Khayrula Imurzayev was born in Dagestan, where the militants had been trained.
This information received extensive media coverage abroad, too, and was naturally viewed as a notable victory in the war on terrorism, which was now threatening Chechnya from beyond its borders because, as Ramzan Kadyrov put it, there are only few thugs in Chechnya left, the rest were exterminated.
But almost immediately from Dagestan came rumours that those were young Chechens who were ambushed, killed and then set up for militants.
In August 2006, however, Yulia Latynina wrote in Novaya newspaper about unarmed untrained guys whom false recruiting agents decoyed into an ambush where they were shot down. “No doubt, the guys had wanted to become militants”, writes Latynina.
Is that really so? If it is true, then what made the Dagestanis go to Chechnya and reinforce the depleted criminal gangs?
In the period of August 16th and 18th, in the company of Rassiyat Yassiyeva, lawyer of the Migration and Law networks in the Khasavyurt district of Dagestan, I visited several villages in Khasavyurt and the area to meet 17 families that had survived a big tragedy in July.
We were told a monstrous story. On the night of July 13th, their sons had been decoyed into a place near the Chechen border, where they were dressed in camouflage and then lead into an ambush where they were gunned down. Thirteen were killed, five were injured, and they miraculously stayed alive. Besides, we met two lawyers carrying on the cases of the alive young men. All the five are under arrest. They have been charged with the “fighting in armed gangs”.
As became clear from the meetings with the relatives and lawyers, in the morning of July 12th noone of those who took part in that raid wanted in the least to leave home and set out on any kind of journey. All the young men had been engaged in their daily routine. Some were working on construction sites, others were doing sports, and still others were swimming in the river. One of them had got a driving license in the morning, another went to register on the labour market, some guys were in the gym.
The relatives and neighbours testify that all the boys had been unexpectedly invited to take part in the raid after 3 p.m. And without preparations, without changing their clothes they headed for the appointed place.
Judging by what witnesses said, it can be assumed that some, most immature, partakers were really convinced that they were going to the sea. They’d been promised a trip to the beach where they would be informed about something serious and then dismissed. With others recruiters started to work about ten days ago, inviting them to learn shooting. The third, most religious, were promised heaven for a short participation in the holy war. Obviously, this was designed to swindle the gullible youths who had no regular work and earnings.
It must be stressed that all the young men had close familial ties, had no bad habits and most of them had quite peaceful plans for the future: to work, to marry, to get ready for a serious international sports competition. Therefore, one can hardly believe that the youths were going to the war seriously and for the long haul.
Yet, all ended in fraud and death, from which only five people luckily stayed alive. It’s most unlikely that the recruiters were unaware of the end.
The official site of the republic of Dagestan says that last year in the republic there opened 15 cases and for the past several months 6 criminal cases on the recruitment of young Dagestanis. But results of this work are yet to be revealed.
We were very surprised to find out that we were the first to come to each family to talk about the incident. It is impossible to find recruiters and, moreover, spot instigators of the mass killing without a thorough questioning of relatives, friends and neighbours of those who died.
We also found out that noone of the families received condolences from officials and noone was questioned about the case. They haven’t got death certificates, which makes it impossible for example, for Vakha Irshakhov’s widow and her 7-month-old son seek a pension for loss of breadwinner. Irshakov was 27 and he was the only one of the deceased who had a child.
The families of the killed had been struck by uncertainty and fear for over a month. The family of Shakhrudi Gzakhmayev, whose father has been living beyond Russian territory more than a year, is the only one to permanently get police calls. But it had happened previously too. As a result, no articulate allegations, only rude sweeping accusations.
Noone has still asked questions to the brothers and friends of the killed and alive, out of which there were surely those who had also been invited in the raid but who couldn’t or didn’t want to accept the invitation.
There still has been no mental examination of those who stayed alive. There are good reasons to believe that there has been no post-mortem examination of the bodies, which would reveal the cause of death in each particular case. This leads to rumours that after the operation each survivor was finished with a shot in the head.
In circulation are video materials made by unknown people and showing the place of the slaughter. These give grounds for rumours that some of the killed were dressed in camouflage after death and the guns were planted on them so that reporters could later on speak of the “withdrawal” of firearms. The relatives of the killed are still unaware whether there are cases on the homicide of their children and they can get the status of sufferers. As a result, some are trying to investigate the case on their own and are being threatened and warned by “well-wishers” that are connected with Chechen authorities.
Meanwhile, the five injured and heavily wounded young men are under arrest, which doesn’t look as a matter of urgency. The crime they have been indicted with is not classified as grave, their membership in criminal gangs ended within a day and was provoked by premeditated actions of other people and lead to dire consequences for other people and not for themselves. There are no reasons to suspect that if a court’s ruling is to release them, someone will be hiding from the prosecution.
All information they could’ve told the prosecution has already been obtained. It helped to detain a resident of the village of Pokrovskoye, Tagir Temayev. He is suspected of the recruitment of the raid’s men and, as lawyers claim, is willing to collaborate with the investigators.
All five survivors are very
Ibragim Shavkhalov (born 1987) is a Category Two Disabled person with a heart condition;
Arsen Temirsultanov (born 1988);
Yusup Dakayev (born 1990);
Muslim Sultanmuradov (born 1986);
Arbi Baimuradov (born 1987).
No one of them can get full treatment and psychological rehabilitation they all obviously need, particularly, a disabled person, Ibragim Shavkhalov.
We turned to the prosecutor’s offices for explanations and intend to maintain contacts with relatives of the boys who died or survived in the Khasavyurt tragedy. We also hope to meet soon the five boys who survived and discuss with them what except for youthful light-minded romanticism prompts Dagestani boys to surrender to propaganda and go to war. Do they fee themselves citizens of the country they live in? How many more such small Beslans are needed to maintain the public belief that the state actively and efficiently combats terrorism and who needs them?
The Ulman Case – the Budanov Case …
Civic Assistance Committee
The Eduard Ulman case is one of few cases on murder of Chechen civilians by the military that made it to court. And it was just the second instance when officers of the Russian army were put in the dock.
Officers from the prosecutor’s offices and officials from the presidential administration have spoken at length and on numerous occasions that hundreds of criminal cases are opened into crimes against Chechen civilians. However, the number of investigations that led to punishment of the perpetrators is insignificantly low.
During the entire period of the so-called “Second Chechen War”, i.e. largee-scale hostilities accompanies by mass elimination of civilians, to be exact, from December 1999 to April 2003, the court found guilty in crimes against seven commissioned officers, three warrant officers, 22 contract soldiers and sergeants, and 19 drafted servicemen. However, only 19 servicemen were sentenced to actual imprisonment and there was not a single commissioned officers among them. Meanwhile, the death toll, the record of which has never been kept by the state, had reached during this period, according to the estimates of Memorial Human Rights Center, not less than 20,000.
Currently, the European Court of Human Rights looks into dozens of cases on extrajudicial killings, torture and abductions of people in Chechnya. In several judgments of this Court Russia has already been found guilty of violating both parts of Article 2 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. It means that the state not only failed to ensure in Chechnya the fundamental human right to life, but actively violated it, using disproportionate force.
Russia pays the damages ordered by Court; however, she takes practically no steps to punish those guilty and make sure that no massacres and extrajudicial killings happen in the future again.
No one is held responsible for the crimes; as they say in Russia, everything as always is written off by the war.
Just two episodes of this terrible massacre came to light: the case of Colonel Budanov, who after many years of court trial was sentenced to 10 years in maximum security penal colony, and the case of Captain Ulman and company, which still drags on.
On January 11, 2002, near the village of Dai, the Shatoi District of Chechnya, GRU Spetsnaz (Special Forces) Captain Eduard Ulman, Lieutenant Kalagansky and warrant officer Voyevodin fired on a vehicle, the driver of which, they claim, refused to obey the orders to pull over. One of the passengers, 68-year-old rural school principal Said-Magomed Alaskhanov from the village of Nokhchi-Keloi was killed on the spot; two other passengers were wounded.
After they ascertained that the victims were civilians and realized that they might not get away with what they had done, the three Spetsnaz troops started consulting their superiors about the advisability of eliminating the witnesses of crime. These consultations lasted for several hours.
Beyond human imagination are the feelings that filled in those agonizing hours the minds of the people waiting for their fate to be determined: a pregnant mother of seven Zaitkhan Dzavatkhanova, her nephew Dzamlaila Musayev, school teacher Abdul-Vakhab Satabayev, forester Shakhban Bakhayev and driver from the village of Dai Khamzat Tuburov.
Eduard Ulman reported the incident to liaison officer Major Perelevsky, who supposedly after contacting Colonel Plotnikov, who was directing the operation, relayed to them the order: “Don’t take prisoners. You have six cargo 200s” (military slang for corpses). “Order” became a key word in the tried case.
Ulman gave the order to shoot and Kalagansky and Voyevodin exectuted it.
Subsequently, the investigators never managed to establish whether Colonel Plotnikov had really given that criminal order. Plotnikov himself denies it, claiming that the Spetsnaz troops were acting independently during the operation. However, it may be of importance for evaluating the actions of Plotnikov himself, not the actions of Ulman and company. Could they see as ‘prisoners’ a pregnant woman and several men of most peaceful trades, which they immediately saw after the first shooting attack, after checking their documents? Could they fail to realize that by executing a knowingly criminal order (if there was one), they themselves were committing a crime?
They realized it all full well. And they shot to kill to conceal their first crime – shooting on a civilian vehicle. This is why after killing the witnesses the three troops made an attempt to blow up the six bodies together with the vehicle. They poorly performed that task. When some time later the military commandant of the Shatoi District Major Vitaly Nevmerzhitsky appeared at the scene, the picture he saw left not doubts whatsover that was looking not on a vehicle blown up by a mine, but on the results of brutal murder.
“Article 105, Part 2 of of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation.
a) of two or more persons;
c) of a person who is known by the killer to be helpless state;
d) of a woman who is known by the killer to be in a state of pregnancy;
g) committed by a group of persons under a preliminary conspiracy;
j) committed with the purpose of concealing another crime
shall be punishable with deprivation of liberty for a term of eight to 20 years, or by deprivation of liberty for life, or by death penalty.”
Such were the charges on which Ulman, Kalagansky and Voyevodin appeared in November 2003 before the jury. Perelevsky was charged with incitement and complicity in the crime. The case was tried by the North Caucasus District Military Court in the city of Rostov-on-Don. Court hearings are held with sympathizers supporting the defendants with a permanent picket outside the court building. The judicial investigation revolves around a single question: did they servicemen execute the order they were given or acted at their own discretion.
On April 29, 2004, the jury acquitted Ulman and his crime accomplices.
On May 11, 2004, the acquittal is upheld by the court.
After the the victims filed a complaint, the Military Board of the RF Supreme Court overturned the verdict and the case was sent back to the court for a trial with a new jury.
On May 19, 2005, the jury unanimously found the killers not quilty again.
The story repeats itself: the Military Board of the Supreme Court overturned the verdict.
Since August 21, 2006, the Ulman case is tried for the third time by a board of three professional judges – without a jury.
On April 4, 2007, the prosecution demanded prison terms of 23 years for Ulman and Perelevsky, 19 years for Voyevodin, and 18 years in prison for Kalagansky.
And then Ulman, Voyevodin and Kalagansky ceased to attend court hearings. They were put on the federal wanted list. The court changes a measure of restraint for them from release on own recognizance to confinement.
It is strange that the court had not done it before. There was every reason to put the defendants in custody: the crimes they were accused of fall into the category of felonies; besides, when out ofprison, they could exert pressure on witnesses.
Now, when the verdict becomes a reality, all three have gone on the run. Rumors have been circulated that Ulman and his subordinates “were abducted by Chechens”. This story does not stand up to any scrutiny: such a plot has too much fiction about it. If there was at least a semblance of reality behind it, more specific report would have appeard, like: they were abducted by Kadyrovtsy, Yamadayevtsy or any other specific group. ‘Simply Chechens’ exist only in the imagination of those who are too detached from what is going on in Chechnya and just tries to fan once again the anti-Chechen sentiments.
One should admit they are good at it. It was the distorted public conscience that made the Ulman case being tried three times. Endless debates are going on: Did Plotnikov give the order and if he did could Ulman and others be seen as quilty. However, there is no legal problem here. Part 2 of Article 42 of of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation reads: “Person who committed intentional offence in execution of order or of instruction known to be illegal, shall be liable under usual terms. Failure to execute order or instruction known to be illegal shall preclude criminal liability.”
The problem here is a psychological one. The jury, judges and the most part of Russian society would hate to see these boys as criminals. They went there to defend Motherland and assert constitutional rule; they participated in a counter-terror operation. They received blessings of the Patriarch, who never held a prayer service for civilians who have died. People are used to be proud of warriors. The disgrace they have brought upon themselves humiliates not only them, but society itself; therefore, it finds it so hard to come to terms with the fact that its heros proved to be murderers.
Remember how official media outlets, above all, television channels covered the Budanov case? A rapist and murderers of young girl is being tried, who, in addition, on that same day that he commited crime almost killed his officer. And still in the court room he has a strong support group, led by Governor of the Ulyanovsk Region General Vladimir Shamanov. Shamanov says that it is “not so much a trial of Budanov as a trial of all Russian army officers fighting in Chechnya”.
So, this is what the face of the Russian army looks like: General Shamanov and Colonel Budanov. This is what people think; this is how television presents it. This is also what President of Russia Vladimir Putin thinks, who said at a meeting with human rights activists in 2002: “Such is the army we have.”
But this is not true. In that same Budanov case there aso was General Gerasimov, who arrested the killer colonel. They say that Budanov, who was awoken by him, responded to the statement: “The footprints of the killed girl lead to your kung (truck body)!” went into hysterics and fired a shot through his foot, to which said to him Gerasimov calmly: “In such situations, army officers fire shots to their heads”. It might be a legend, but there were statements in the case files that were unambiguous and signed by Gerasimov’s own hand: “I am convinced that Colonel Budanov killed Kheda Kungayeva.” There also there no less clear statements by General Vereisky and General Barannikov came to the house of the killed Kheda Kungayeva and asked forgiveness of her parents for everything and everyone.
And most importantly, also present in the Budanov case is Lieutenant Roman Bagreyev, who in the morning of that same day refused to open fire on the village of Tangi-Chu. For that he was handcuffed, beaten up, thrown into a pit and covered with chloride of lime.
So why it was not Gerasimov or Bagreyev, but Shamanov who gave comments on the Budanov case in the numerous TV programs?
Why were they not presented as heros and the face of the Russian army, which would have looked very different in this case? The state would have said in this way to its citizens: Yes, Budanov has committed crime and noone is going to cober him up. Russian army is in Chechnya to bring there peace and order; it’s mission is to protect civilians, not to kill and rape.
However, everything went differently. Bagreyev was not given a medal for not executing the criminal order of the colonel who got crazy after drinking much vodka. He saved lives of dozens of peaceful villagers. Humiliations that the Russian army officer Roman Bagreyev was subjected are classified by the court as a permissible punishment for officer who disobeyed orders.
Maybe the roots of the Ulman case and of the sympathetic attitudes shown towards him by the jury lie here?
It might be quite possible that Budanov’s arrest saved Roman Bagreyev’s
life. Had Bagreyev not been taken out of that pit later in the day, his mother
could likely have received that very “cargo
For instance, in winter 2001, from the village of Akhkinchu-Borzoi, the the Kurchaloi District, four coffins were sent to mothers with dead bodies of their sons, who went together with four Chechens ñut firewood for a local school. The team was led by the school principal Nadzhamuzin Borzoyev and boys got killed in a shooting attack by Spetsnaz troops of the GRU Regiment 15. Brother of the killed director Rudnik Borzoyev concluded his story of the killing of eight woodcutterû with the words: “When the body of her son is brought to mother, they will tell her he was killed by Chechens. This is not true: her son and my brother were killed by the dame people.”
Strange as it may seem, the most human words that were heard in the reports from the court room in Budanov’s trial belong to Budanov himself: “When I was dispatched there, nobody told me there were our citizens living there. We were told they were enemies who were to be killed.”
It was not only Budanov who was told so, but also those who were assign to give coverage of the war Chechnya. That is why we did not see Gerasimov and Bagreyev on TV screens. That is why the list is small of killers punished and so big of victims of trumped-up charges in criminal cases against Chechens, who include young girls of Kheda Kungayeva age serving sentences now for the crimes they did not commit. That is why the court releases killers on their own recognizance and the jury time after time acquits them.
Yesterday (June 14, 2007), the Ulman case ended with a verdict. The three fugitives received in the absence: Captain Ulman – 14 years; Lieutenant Kalagansky, his deputy, – 11 years; and warrant officer Voyevodin - 12 years in maximum security penal colony.
Major Perelevsky, who was present in the court room, was sentenced to 9 years in maximum security penal colony.
And again, for the second day the media can’t decide on the question of what the Ulman case is. Is it a politically motivated staging of an exemplary punishment of executors of the government’s orders, betrayed by it, or a trial of conscious killers of innocent victims in accordance with the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation? A call-in poll conducted by Sergey Dorenko at Echo of Moscow radio station does not practically give a choice to listeners. The question of law is not even raised; it is replaced with an alternative: does the conviction of Ulman and his company benefit or harm the army? No, the verdict announced yesterday will not correct the Russian army. Nor will it correct the society in which the value of human life is reduced to zero.
And still, it was a little step in the right direction. Every person bears responsibility for what they have done.
And those who turn citizens of Russia against one another will be given their verdict by history some day. However, the history will also judge us, who have allowed all this to happen...
The article was published in the magazine Dosh, Issue 3 (11)
The case of Asuyev’s police gang
On May 6, 2005 relatives of a missing girl, let me call her Madina, reported to the Staropromyslovsky ROVD in Grozny. Her body was found in the city morgue, but the relatives didn’t receive it, because under the police reports, she was a terrorist, killed at an attack on a police patrol.
Several days later another missing resident of Grozny was found in the morgue. It was Khamzat Gaytukiyev, aged 30. Allegedly he tried to fight against the Staropromyslovsky ROVD officers and was shot by the policemen.
The participants of these illegal special operations: Islam Agayev, police-patrol officer, Aslan Jamulayev, the Staropromyslovsky ROVD officer, Adam Arsanukayev, Anti-Terror Center officer and Ruslan Asuyev were promote to there next ranks. The latter became the Head in action of the criminal police department of the anti-terrorist center.
After the report of Madina’s relatives, the Prosecutor’s Office began the investigation of the “terrorist’s” death. It turned out that the woman was shot from a close range – at a distance of half a meter, though the police report said, that the girl was shot at a distance of several meters. Moreover the investigators found no proof of her connection to the militants. Then the Prosecutor’s Office took interest in the special operation of killing the “militant” Gaytukiyev, who had never been mentioned in any operation summary. In the course of an agency check, regarding the participants of the operation, it emerged that many of the Staropromyslovsky ATC officers connected to at least 5 abductions and several armed robberies.
Commenting on the exposure of the police gang Andrey Potapov, Deputy Prosecutor of Chechnya, mentioned that the only motive of the accused of murders policemen was to show best results and make a career for themselves. The investigation determined that: “It’s wild, but it’s true: on police slang it sounds as: “use the victim for the best results”. (“Chechen society today” No. 4, 2007).
Within the case Agayev and Jamulayev were arrested among the first ones. At the interrogation Agayed said that Asuyev ordered him to find a suitable woman that could be made to look as a female suicide bomber. A suitable girl was found (it was Madina) at a bus stop in the village of Tashkala. Under the cover of document check up she was taken to the ATC. When it got dark, Madina was driven to the Grozny suburbs. They demanded her to take the suicide bomber’s belt and to carry it over to the other side of the road. Madina refused and the policemen shot her.
Asuyev called the FSB and informed them that a female suicide bomber was killed as a result of a special operation. Bomb-disposal experts came to the scene of the crime and found a bomb belt in the hands of the killed girl.
In a couple of days the murder of the “militant” Gaytukiyev was staged in a similar way. On May 16, 2005, under the cover of document check up he was taken to the basement of the ACT, where they offered him to become an officer of the Center. But first he had to go through a “test”. He was given a submachine gun (taken from the hiding place; it was defective) and was driven to an ambush. The man was told to fire at the first car, supposedly with militants. Under cover of bandits, in a service vehicle Agayev and Jamulayev drove up to the spot. Gaytukiev didn’t shoot at them; he threw away the submachine gun and tried to escape. Asuyev and Aziyev caught him and shot.
In January 2007, Islam Agayev and Aslan Jamulayev were sentenced to 13 and 12,5 years of imprisonment.
Asuyev was arrested in spring
It’s one of the rare successful cases of investigation in side to enforcement agencies. The newspaper “Vremya Novostey” says that the investigation was very difficult; the Prosecutor’s officials were pressured on the part of Ruslan Asuyev’ relatives, who were in relation with some high Chechen Official.
Commenting the scandalous case of the policemen in an interview with a correspondent of “Kommersant” Naliya Esmirova, member of Memorial Human Rights Center, stated that there are tons of cases, when law-enforcement officers imitate a combating against militants, and give a bad time to innocent people. “We receive tons of complains on trumped-up cases on participating in illegal armed groups, young boys are caught, if a tuff case has to be solved and they are put in prison for a long time under fabricated charges.
A special operation in Malgobek. Khaniev’s house siege
On February 3, 2007, special service officers carried out a special operation on arresting Timur Khaniev, a local resident, 1981 year of birth, resided at 17 – 3, Oskanova Street, Malgobek.
The special operation began at about 5 p.m. Officers of unidentified enforcement structures blocked a multi-storey building, where Timur Khaniyev lived and began the onslaught of his apartment.
According to the house residents, “security officials” didn’t extract people from the house. Only an hour later they ordered the house residents of the section, where Timur lived, to get outside.
The onslaught took several hours. The apartment No. 17 was under fire, dispensers were used. As a result fire took off.
According to the officials, two burnt bodies were found in the apartment. It was announced afterwards that one of the killed was Timur Khaniyev. It was impossible to identify the second one. According to some information it could have been a woman, maybe even Timur’s sister. However, as it became known to the members of Memorial HRC, Khaniyev’s sister got married long ago and lived in another city. Timur’s neighbors spoke very well of him, as of a religious, well-bred person. Some of them doubt that he was in the apartment during the onslaught. Timur Khaniyev worked as a night watch in a school and should have returned home at 6 p.m.
“… around 5 p.m. I heard gun shooting, submachine gun bursts. I didn’t pay much attention to it. It’s become normal these days. Our police demonstrate its activity in detaining “militants”, they often shoot outside. Sometimes, being a little drunk, they shoot outside, not even noticing the pass-biers.
In some time, I looked outside the window and saw a strange scene: a crowd and a lot of cars. People in khaki were hiding behind the building, the small stores, they were shooting at the outer apartment of the house in front. Continuous fire was opened from behind a transformer house. Rare submachine gun bursts came out of the apartment.
Defendants in the apartment, unlike our “brave protectors”, didn’t hide – they felt they were doomed, being considered as “militants”. Now I know what it means to get in the hands of “law and order”.
Soon armored personnel carriers came, and more law-enforcement officers, who hid in the crowd and behind the buildings. The armored personnel carriers opened fire over the building. The residents of the house understood the gravity of the situation and started to run out, trying to cover the crying children.
Fire started in the object apartment several times. Obviously it was put down by the inhabitants, as the flames went away, but heavy smoke got out of the window. Those, who were closer to the building, saw not only a man, but a woman with a boy, aged 8-10. According to the witnesses the woman prayed to Allah. The man was shooting back, standing on an open balcony. He stood there even when his closes were on fire
A fight with “militants” lasted for 5 hours. The result was: innocent people were killed, burnt apartments, heart attacks. I was amazed at the slow speed of the fire-engines that came after the onslaught. They were either demonstrating their neglect, or they needed the bodies burn to ashes. When they began to bring out the remains of the bodies the crowd rumored that the killed woman was pregnant, that it was possible to see the child’s not burned hair. According to the neighbors, the killed “militants” gathered in the apartment to pray and study the Koran on a CD”.
Information Report by the Memorial HRC Representative Office in Nazran
Eye-witness accounts by residents of the village of Ali-Yurt,
victims of a mop-up operation
Eye-witness account by Yakhia Yevloyev
They were firing from the Osetian side for 10 minutes. It was on July
27th, at about 10 p.m.. On July 28th, at about
Eye-witness account by Magomet-Guirey B. Aspiyev,
residing at 27, Zyazikov Str.
Eye-witness account by Timerlan M. Aspiyev,
16 years old, residing at 27, Zyazikov Str.
I was sleeping with my brothers in the house. And all of a sudden in broke the military men, they pulled us outside, we had nothing on but boxers. They said, “You answer our questions. Are you a militant? Do you like them? Why did you fire at us?” I was saying “No” to their questions. They said, “You’re lying”. And kicked me on the side. It did hurt. Another man kicked me in the head, and then in the arm. And the third one struck me with a butt on the shoulder. Then father came and they stopped beating me.
Eye-witness account by Batyr Ya. Dzeytov,
42 years old, residing at 39, Zyazikov Str.
Eye-witness account by Issa T. Batsayev, residing at 5, Yevloyev Str.
There was a clean-up on July 28th here. After my documents had been checked, I left my house. There were my neighbours in the street, Alikhan Batsayev and Magomed Yevloyev. We decided to come to the corner of the street. There was sitting Moussa Daskhoyev with his son. We sat nearby. Down Zyazikov Street walked military men, 12 or 13 people. We were at about 20 meters’ distance from them, they told us to lie on the ground and started firing in the air, they swore a lot. After we’d lain, one of the men kicked me in the elbow and stepped on my back. I felt it crunch. He was swearing, threatening that he would order to burn down our damn village, that he was ready to be punished for that by 20 years in prison if he heard a shot from our village again. He also said that this is the war between Christians and Muslims. They didn’t let us get up for five minutes and then let us go. I had a heart condition at home. Earlier, on February 6th, 2007 I had a serious heart attack, I was in an intensity-care unit in Nazran. The doctor diagnosed that I had nearly had a collapse. I had also had two ribs broken, which still makes me hard to breathe.
Eye-witness account by Ramazan Yu. Nalguiyev,
80 years old, residing at 59, Ordzhonikidze Str.
Eye-witness account by Marzhan Kh. Dobriev,
66 years old, residing at 24, Zyazikov Str.
Eye-witness account by Vakhab Dobriyev,
46 years old, residing at 24, Zyazikov Str.
I woke up because someone was shooting in the neighbours’ yard. I wanted to come out when I felt two guns against my head and my stomach. I was knocked down and bashed up. “You’re a militant. You’re old for that. Where’s your accomplice that shot last night?”
At that moment my 14-year-old son came out of the house. They hit him straight away and put him on the ground by my side. While we were lying, they demanded of my wife to show them my passport. She brought it but they even didn’t look at it. They threatened to kill me if I left the yard; they fired in the air and went away.
Eye-witness account by Petimat Tatriyeva,
41 years old, residing at 27a, Zyazikov Str.
When I woke up, I thought that there was a bombardment. We were five at home – my sick husband, our three children (16, 15 and 2 years old) and a 16-year-old nephew who came to see us from Moscow. I came out to the yard when I understood that someone had been banging on the iron gate. I opened up. Into the yard broke a group of armed men, masked and unmasked, about 15 people all in all. Someone put his gun against my forehead and someone – a pistol against my neck. “Where are the men? We count till five. If they are not out here by then, we’ll throw a grenade into the house”. I scared to death, saying that everyone was sleeping in the house. But one said, “I start counting…” I couldn’t do as I was told because the gun was still against my head. I was begging to not touch the children. And at that moment I saw my elder son, Akhromat, 15 years old, who came out to see what was going on. The military fell on him and bashed him up before my very eyes. My husband came downstairs later. He is lame after a car accident. They also started to beat him on the kidneys and they pressed on his eyes. “Where are they? Who are they? You’ve killed a lot of our guys”, they shouted. They pulled my nephew out from the second floor into the yard and put him on the ground. When he tried to explain that he was just visiting us and that he actually lived in Moscow, they said, “Say in Moscow that we’ll waste all of your kind there too”.
Eye-witness account by Zaynap U. Ganizhev,
53 years old, residing at 7a, Ganizhev Str.
The military broke into our yard. Some were masked. They said they were checking documents. But I saw no documents of theirs. They asked if there were firearms at home. I said there weren’t. Then they asked about our car, its whereabouts. When I asked why they needed it, they said that it had been spotted during the firing in Megas. The car was at my brother-in-law’s yard, 37, Yandiyev Street. My daughter, Zalina, went to show the military his house. They returned with my nephew, Akhmed Ganizhev. The men put him and my son, Ruslan Ganizhev, 17 years old, into a blue Zhiguli and drove them to the outskirts of the village. I was with them. The military had some sort of headquarters there, I saw a tent. The chief said that he was taking the boys for a check-up.
Eye-witness account by Yusup A. Tsoroyev,
residing at 37, Zyazikov Str.
Information by the Memorial Human Rights Center in Nazran
Illegal detention and torture of Khasiyev and Ipayev at ORB-2
On February 20, 2007, at the entrance to the town of Urus-Martan officers from unidentified security agencies arrested two residents of the village of Goiskoye, the Urus-Martan District: Ramzan Shirvaniyevich Khasiyev (born 1976) and his relative, Shakhid Sultanovich Ipayev.
Information Report by the Memorial HRC Representative Office in Nazran
Account of Margarita Ersenoyeva, mother of Elina Ersenoyeva (written ðóê words by by a Memorial HRC worker in Grozny on August 24, 2006).
“In 2004, Elina E. Ersenoyeva, born in 1979, graduated from the School for Journalism of the Chechen State University with honours. By the recommendation of the vice-chancellor, dean of the School for Journalism, Lem Turpalov, she took a two-week seminar by Reuter in Moscow. And then she started to work with the UNICEF-funded Youth Committee of the Chechen government.
Along with her mother, Margarita Ersenoyeva, Elina lived in Grozny, in a house belonging to an elderly couple.
In 1998, Margarita divorced her husband. In the first military campaign Alahudin worked as a driver for the Russian Mission in Chechnya. In August 1996, when the storm of Grozny began, he hurried to work – they had received new cars and he wanted to save something. But a shell exploded by his side. Alahudin was seriously injured: he lost an eye and his internal organs and a leg needed a thorough treatment.
After peace set in, their family started to be persecuted for Alahudin’s work in the Russian Mission. They began to receive warning notes. Even their neighbours were threatened to keep out of touch with them, not to mention their sons. As Margarita said, she asked for a divorce to save the children. Alahudin went to live with his parents.
In May 2005, Margarita was abducted by the unknown on her way back from a market where she was selling shoes. They brought her to a house where she was severely beaten by a young Chechen. Then she remembers that in came a Russian officer who said, “Ilias, you can’t beat up a woman so badly”. He took her passport, went to the adjacent room and dictated her information to someone, pretending he was on the phone. Then he returned and said there was a mistake. She complained about Ilias and he promised to punish him. Margarita was brought back to the same place so that she couldn’t see the road and they apologized. Her body was bruised all over.
Shortly after that she was abducted again. And again she met Ilias. She asked him to stay away from her as she’d just had an operation but he said that due to her he’d lost his monthly salary of $500 and bashed her up. She was released but they demanded $1500. She gave the money. Later she was assaulted in the street; they beat her up and stole 6200 rubles ($250) and her golden earrings.
Elina told this to her boss in the Youth Committee, Dina Shagidayeva, who promised to ask for help of Ramzan Kadyrov. Soon came two men. One introduced himself as Abu, investigator from Gudermes, and the other – as Issa, his aide. They met at the Youth Committee. They promised to help Margarita, saying that they knew of 15-16 women who had been extorted money in a similar way. In fact they were probably far more but the rest kept silent.
Shortly after that Margarita was sitting at the market and she saw Ilias’s people showing her some signs. She called Abu to find out that he was away. When she called Issa, he promised to be with her as soon as possible. She waited for an hour and a half and in vain. She was mugged and the money was stolen. Help was not to come.
Elina was dating a young man who also worked in the Youth Committee. He was to go somewhere in the fall and said that he’d return in the spring and they’d marry. But on November 29th, 2005 Elina called her mother and said that she had got married and asked where she was so that her husband’s relatives could come and tell her about it officially. The mother was surprised and wondered if Elina had married for love. Elina said “yes”.
Indeed, some time later there came an old man who said that Elina’s husband was Alikhan Abuyazidov (probably, a fictitious name), he lived in Grozny and his family originated from the Vvedensk district. There came a woman who brought presents and introduced herself as Alikhan’s mother. She said that her daughter and she were leaving for Canada soon, and Margarita never saw her again. In December, Elina unexpectedly showed up at home and said that her husband had gone on a business trip and while he was away she would live at her mother’s. In about ten days she called her mother and said that the husband was back. The same happened in January.
The news of Bassayev’s death caught Elina at home. She learned it from the television. The mother noticed her daughter give a sigh of relief but never thought that there was something personal in that. In a short while, security officials paid them a visit. They questioned Elina, her 22-year-old brother and Margarita. Only then did Margarita understand who Elina’s husband was. The FSB men said they’d learnt everything they wanted and Elina was of no interest to them any more. They also said that they’d been watching her long, showed a transcript of her telephone calls and added that they’d checked out all her links.
After they were gone, Margarita asked Elina why she had never told her about it. To which Elina answered that she couldn’t help anyway, moreover, she was very sick, had undergone several operations and was in a predicament with the extortionists.
Elina told Margarita that later in November 2005 she again met the wife of Abdul-Khalim Saydullayev (president of the republic of Ichkeria who was assassinated later on), who said that she had a good man for Elina, but if she didn’t want to marry him voluntarily she would be induced to do that. She also hinted that soon not only her mother would be suffering, but her brothers too. Elina realized that noone could help her in the situation.
On August 17th, Elina was to meet her 40-year-old aunt Rovzan in the center of Grozny. No sooner had they met than they found two black cars standing by. Elina and Rovzan were told to get inside. Elina refused and tried to run away but was threatened to be put there by force. She couldn’t but succumb. According to Ravzan, after they’d gone several meters they put on her a sack so that she could see nothing on the way. When they’d lead them into a building, they took the sacks off. Rovzan cried to Elina and Elina echoed from the neighbouring room. Rovzan cried again but Elina was no longer there. The men apologized to Rovzan, put on the sack again and brought her back to the city. When she got out of the car, she asked about Elina, to which they said they she was on a neighbouring street. Rovzan doesn’t know where they’d driven her; she says that the abductors were Chechens.
Margarita claims that the statement by the NGOs Council that after her daughter’s abduction someone was calling them and threatening them, demanding that her son come somewhere is not true to fact. Her son was summoned to the Grozny ROVD, whereto they reported about Elina’s disappearance.”
Address by Lidiya Yusupova, lawyer with Memorial Human Rights Center
To all lawyers in the world!
I am seeking your assistance.
On October 12, 2007, the Lenin District Court in Vladikavkaz (the North Ossetia-Alania Republic) has returned a ruling to allow institution of criminal proceedings against our colleague Irina Kodzayeva, lawyer from the Vladikavkaz Legal Advice Office No.1.
The following event preceded the court decision.
On August 27, 2007, having arrived at the Pretrial Detention Center of the North Ossetia Ministry of Interior, lawyer Kodzayeva learnt that one of her defendants, Nazir Mudzakhoyev, was taken away that morning for performing investigative actions and was still in the General Prosecution investigation group’s office. As required by law and in the belief that this was her duty to participate in the investigation activities performed with her defendant, Irina Kodzayeva demanded that she should be allowed to be with Mudzakhoyev during investigative actions.
However, the investigation officer, who entered the room, shut the door in front of her and locked it. This was the cause of major concern on the part of the lawyer because many of her defendants gave torture-exhorted testimonies. Nazir Mudzakhoyev has been informing Kodzayeva that in the past six weeks he was under repeated threats of violence to make him plead guilty to the crime he didn’t commit and to decline the services of lawyer Kodzayeva. In her practice Mudzakhoyev is already the fourth defendant who was being forced to decline her services under threats, blackmail and physical violence and to admit the frame-up.
While performing her professional duty, lawyer Kodzayeva was insisting on being allowed to be with the defendant in order to make sure that there was no violence used against him. Failing that, Kodzayeva tried to enter the room right on the foot-tracks of one of the investigators. Viktor Pereverzev, an investigation officer of the RF Southern Federal District General Prosecution Department, met her in the office. First, he pushed her out of the way and then slapped her on the head. This made Kodzayeva hit her lip on the doorframe. She felt acute pain and seized the door handle to keep her balance. Pereverzev forced the door closed from inside.
Irina Kodzayeva went to a doctor and lodged a complaint with the Interior Ministry office in relation to what had happened. After one month Irina Kodzayeva was notified that her application on the institution of criminal proceedings had been refused.
At the same time she was notified that investigator Viktor Pereverzev had been transferred to a different job but before that he had lodged an application saying that lawyer Irina Kodzayeva had manhandled him.
The law requires a court decision in order to bring a case against a lawyer. The court session was postponed many times, but, at last, on October 7, the Lenin District Court in Vladikavkaz issued a ruling that permits to start a criminal process against lawyer Irina Kodzayeva.
All of us, the lawyers working in Chechnya, Ingushetia, Dagestan and the rest of Northern Caucasus, have many times seen our defendants after they have been tortured and exposed to physical or moral humiliation. Each of us knows what were the chances of proving innocence of our defendants in court. Imagine how helpless we may feel when our court returns its verdict of GUILTY on charges framed up by Mr. Pereverzev and other “ardent law enforcers” like him!
With our tacit consent the criminal frame-up, tortures and collusion between investigation and judiciary bodies are spreading all over Russia.
Today a lawyer was manhandled and given a criminal law process, and this makes citizens loose their last hope of being protected against high-handed practices.
Lawyer Irina Kodzayeva is one of those – not many in number – who dare to defend the objectionable people and for whom the ethnicity of the defendant does not matter because she is seeking guidance only in law and truth.
I am urging you, my colleagues in law, to display solidarity and support Irina Kodzayeva. She needs our help now.
Raise your voice to protect lawyer Kodzayeva.
Demand the stoppage of persecution of Irina Kodzayeva.
Send your letters to the General Prosecution Office of Russia.
Lidiya Yusupova, lawyer, nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 and 2007
General Prosecution Office of the RF
Yuri Yakovlevich Chaika
GSP-3, Moscow 125993, Russia
15à, B. Dmitrovka Street
Tel.: 692-26-82, 691-60-66
January 10, 2007
Late that night, Sultan Barakhoyev and his friend Vakha Shamaudinovich Keligov (born 1985), were returning home from a party. At the crossing of streets Druzhba and Rabochaya they approached a white VAZ-2107 car (license plate number 957, region 15). A man in plain clothes and Soslan, the law enforcement officer of the settlement, also in plain clothes, got out of the car.
Soslan greeted Sultan and Vakha and asked Sultan who his friend was. Sultan gave the friend’s name and added that he was a football player of the Ingushi team Angusht. Soslan was quite cordial with Vakha. At this point two cars abruptly came off the main street (Kartsinskaya Street). (Presumably one of the vehicles was an AUDI – 100 or a Volkswagen in golden or metallic color). Eight young men in plain clothes ran out of these cars. The unknown man who had been with the local policeman took Vakha by the hand and said: “Hush” and then handed Vakha to the new arrivals. They started to push Sultan and Vakha into the cars.
Vakha resisted and cried for help. There was nobody in the street, nobody reacted to the cry. Vakha managed to set himself free. He started running along the Druzhba Street. Two men and the VAZ-2107 car followed him, but Vakha managed to run away. He ran to his home and told his family what had happened.
At about 11 p.m., he and his relatives went to the local police station and informed the police about the abduction. Policemen said they knew nothing about the incident. Neither could they give the whereabouts of Soslan, the local policeman. Vakha and his relatives wanted to submit a relevant application but policemen refused to accept it.
An officer from the Vladikavkaz Promyshlenny District Police Department happened to be at the police station of the settlement. He made a phone call to his Police Department and found out that Barakhoyev was there. Vakha and his uncle went to that police department. The policeman on duty confirmed that Sultan Barakhoyev had been taken there but could not explain what for.
Vakha and his uncle went home, informed Barakhoyev’s family and returned back to the Promyshlenny District Police Department together with them. This time they were not allowed to enter the premises of the police department. Officers refused to answer any of their questions.
On the same day Vakha Keligov and Sultan Barakhoyev’s uncle went to Nazran to the local office of Memorial HRC. Vakha Keligov wrote an application supplying the details of Sultan’s abduction. The Barakhoyev family hired a lawyer.
On January 11, late in the night, Sultan Barakhoyev was released under a recognizance not to leave. He is still accused of illicit possession of weapons.
On January 13, Barakhoyev lodged a written application with the Memorial HRC, supplying the details of his abduction. He confirmed the story given by Vakha Keligov and more accurately specified the other two cars – an AUDI of silvery color and a white Volkswagen. Sultan also gave the name of the local law enforcement officer who took part in his abduction – Soslan Tsorayev.
gave account of the events that followed his abduction. He was forced into one
of the cars. Although he had his jacket wrapped over his face, he could still
see something. Five minutes later the car where Sultan had been forced into
stopped on Kartsinskoye Highway near School No.37. Sultan could see that the
VAZ-2107 stopped in front of them. Soslan Tsorayev got out of the car (Sultan
recognized him by his cap) and walked to the building of the police station
As soon as Tsorayev was gone, the VAZ and the car, in which Barakhoyev was kept, continued moving in the direction of the town. The man in the front seat got a call on his phone. He spoke to someone in the Ossetian language for a few minutes.
He finished talking and said to the driver in Russian: “The other one ran off. What do we do with this one?” Then an animated conversation followed. By bits of sentences pronounced in Russian and by a few words that Sultan knew in Ossetian he realized that the abductors were discussing to which police department they should take him. Later he knew they brought him to the Promyshlenny District Police Department in Vladikavkaz. Barakhoyev was taken to an office, and there the abductors and policemen gave him a bad beating. They were shouting abuse at Sultan and about the Ingushes. The young man had his head tied in a plastic bag and started to suffocate. The beating made Barakhoyev loose consciousness. He came to after policemen splashed cold water on him.
When Barakhoyev regained consciousness one of the policemen searched him in the presence of “invited witnesses”. First, he inspected the right pocket of his jacket and took out a grenade and then he produced a grenade fuse from the pocket on the jacket’s left sleeve. This was the end of the search. The policemen didn’t check other pockets. After having been searched Barakhoyev was taken to the office of the investigation officer.
During the interrogation, Barakhoyev told the investigator how he came to this police station and how the grenade was planted in his pocket. After the interrogation he was taken to a confinement cell.
On the evening of January 11, lawyer Kodzayeva came to Barakhoyev and with her mobile phone she photographed his bruises caused by the beatings. At around 9 p.m., - two hours after her visit – Barakhoyev was released under a recognizance not to leave. Before that he was forced to decline the services of a lawyer and sign a testimony saying he didn’t know how he got the grenade and the fuse in the pocket of his jacket.
In the end of his application Barakhoyev wrote: “Ingushes living here (i.e. in North Ossetia – Memorial HRC) constantly anticipate provocations, arrests and abductions from the police that are composed exclusively of Ossetian. We are living here as if it were a reservation: we have no rights, no jobs …, no opportunity to move freely, etc. Any complaints by Ingushes against arbitrary actions by the authorities and police officers of Ossetia lead to no inquiries.”
Sultan Barakhoyev asked Memorial HRC to help him defend his rights.
On that same day, Barakhoyev wrote an appeal addressed to the head of the RF Federal Security Service Patrushev. In this appeal he is asking the Director of the Federal Security Service not to send his application to the law enforcement agencies in North Ossetia for checking because he does not believe that the checking can be fair.
Information has been supplied by the “Memorial” HRC office in Nazran.
Information supplied by Memorial HRC
On December 12, 2006, at
According to Khava Yandiyeva, the wife of Beslan Yandiyev, armored military and other motor vehicles, which carried the soldiers of the federal security agencies (most of them were wearing masks), blocked their courtyard on all sides. Having burst the door open, they broke into the house and shouted: “Bitches, go down, everybody!”.
One of the arrivals pointed a gun at Khava who was lying on the floor with her child. When she asked in fright: “What happened?”, another man replied: “There is going to be a war against the Ingushes - every day and as long as they live”. Khava and her children were forced into another room.
Beslan Yandiyev, who had nothing on but his underwear, was dragged outdoors, tied up and put on the ground. Unwarranted search was being performed in the house. Khava managed to get out of the room where she had been placed and watched what the soldiers were doing. When she entered the living room, she saw one of the security officers throw a cloth parcel under the table. Then they called in a man with a video camera. The latter recorded how the cloth parcel was being removed from under the table and unwrapped: it contained a pistol and a silencer. The security guys started shouting at Khava: “What is this?” The woman replied this was a pistol that they themselves had planted under the table. An officer branded his fist against her but then restrained himself, pushed her against the wall and out of his way and then went out.
Khava followed him. The servicemen in masks over their faces were searching the courtyard. Right before her eyes they planted grenades in a bag of hay. The “discovered” grenades were recorded on video. There were no invited witnesses present during either of these episodes. According to Yandiyeva? there were no invited witnesses at all.
Meanwhile the security agencies servicemen engaged in explicit plunder: from the house they stole 143,000 rubles, around 17,000 US dollars and jewelry that cost approximately 80,000 rubles. When Yandiyeva demanded that stolen money and things be returned, the servicemen shouted invectives at the woman. One of them said: “Now you can write a letter to your /…/ President; let him take care of you (he meant M. Zyazikov, President of Ingushetia).
When the search was over the security servicemen took Beslan Yandiyev away. They didn’t say whereto. “Soon there will be no more Ingushes in this village”, said a serviceman to Khava Beslan Yandiyeva. She believes he was a commander of the operation. His subordinates called him “Marik”.
According to Khava, Beslan Yandiyev recognized one of the security servicemen as someone had known as an Ossetia security agency staff member. He addressed the man by saying: “Ruslan, when I was having tea with you in the local self-administration office I didn’t think you were so mean”.
Khava Yandiyeva is confident that servicemen from the North Ossetia RUBOP (Marik Hamtsiyev is its chief) and from the UFSB for North Ossetia were taking part in the armed provocation at her home.
Security servicemen detained Ruslan’s brother Aslan Yandiyev under similar circumstances. During an unwarranted search in his house some grenades “were found” and money and valuables were stolen.
Khava Yandiyeva wrote an application to President Vladimir Putin, the RF Minster of the Interior R.G. Nurgaliyev, the RF Prosecutor General Yury Chaika, the RF Federal Security Service Director N.P. Patrushev, Assistant Prosecutor General responsible for the Southern Federal District I.I. Sidoruk, Prosecutor of the North Ossetia-Alania Republic G. Shtadler and the Head of the North Ossetia-Alania Republic T.D. Mamsurov seeking their help.
Yandiyev’s family returned to the village of Dachnoye in
Abductions (disappearances) of people in Dagestan in 2007
Information supplied by Memorial HRC
On January 10, 2007, Ramazan Mukhamedovich Kurbanov (born 1980), a resident of the Republic of Dagestan and presently living in Astrakhan, disappeared in the city of Makhachkala. He disappeared in obscure circumstances and without leaving any trace.
On January 9, he was in Makhachkala visiting his second wife who lives in Settlement Separatorny, str. Perova, 11. Ramazan left this address on January 10, and went to his parents to the town of Kizylyurt. He didn’t return home that day.
His relatives made inquiries in all security department in the city but their officials denied the fact of Kurbanov’s detention. The staff members of the Directorate for Combating Organized Crime (UBOP) who did not wish to identify themselves sold the testimony that Kurbanov had allegedly made on January 10, 2007 to Major M.O. Asyukevich from the UBOP of the Dagestan Republican Ministry of the Interior for 1,000 rubles. In his testimony Kurbanov confessed of having been involved in a criminal group and the instigation of terrorist acts in the territory of the Bujnakski District, the Republic of Dagestan.
According to his relatives, some facts from his biography indicate that Ramazan did make the testimony but, obviously, under physical pressure.
On May 25, 2007, the Prosecution Office of the Sovetsky District instituted criminal proceedings based on the indication of the body of crime as envisaged in Part 2, Article 126 (abduction of an individual by a group of people having a prior collusion) of the RF Criminal Code. As of September 30, 2007, Ramazan Kurbanov’s whereabouts have not been ascertained.
On March 16, 2007 Saipulla Alhmedovich Ibragimov (born 1985) and residing at Khasavyurt, str. Salavatov, 101, disappeared in obscure circumstances.
After lunch, Ibragimov went to the market place where his cousin was working. According to the cousin, at 5 p.m., Saipulla went home but never reached it. On that day his family did not look for him because they though that Saipulla was staying overnight at his sister’s home as he often did.
On the next day, the security servicemen searched the marketplace shop container that belonged to Zagidat, Ibragimov’s mother. The container was unused for two years and closed. The family assumes that the security servicemen from Makhachkala performed the search. Rust-coated ammunition was discovered on the lid of the container. The search was performed without a warrant. The owner of the container had not been notified. The market manager has been acting as an invited witness and he refused to give any comments whatsoever. The Ibragimovs have not seen any record of the search.
According to S. Ibragimov’s relatives, beginning with September 2006 RUBOP officials Abdurzak and Raip came to their house several times and took Saipulla to their office for interrogation. Allegedly, they offered him to be their informer and promised to pay 15,000 rubles a month for that but Saipulla refused. Then they threatened him he would have problems.
the latest interrogation Ibragimov’s mother sent him to the village of Kupa
where he stayed four months. Then she brought her son back because she felt
lonely without him. One month passed and Saipulla disappeared. The family is
saying that he was abducted by the servicemen from the UBOP of the Dagestan
Republican Ministry of the Interior. As of September 30, 2007 S.A. Ibragimov’s
whereabouts have not been ascertained.
On April 25, 2007, Ramaz Abutalibovich Dibirov (born 1981) and having residence at Makhachkala, Akushinski pr., 7th line, 20, disappeared in obscure circumstances.
In the evening he left home
because he had a date with his bride Karina Dadayeva. At around 8 p.m., he saw
the girl home (Petra Pervogo str., 40 (a), apt. 23) and said that he would
place some money in her mobile phone account and then go home. At
Some time before this, on April 23, 2006, Ramaz Dibirov disappeared in a similar way. During several days his family was looking for him everywhere, but all in vain. On May 2, 2006 his Mother Shakhraza Dibirova was summoned by an investigation officer of the Sovetski District of the city of Makhachkala for testimony in connection with her son being detained on the suspicion of involvement in a criminal group and the instigation of terrorist acts in the territory of the Republic of Dagestan. The case was referred to the Sovetski District Court of Makhachkala. Dibirov was fully acquitted and set free in the courtroom.
As became known from his mother, during the first ten days of
confinement Dibirov was held in the building of UBOP of the Dagestan Republican
Ministry of the Interior where he was tortured with electrical shock, badly
beaten on the head, the joints and the loins area. He had a gun thrust in his
mouth and the trigger was pulled. He was threatened with rape to make him
confess of having committed crimes. While in prison he lost
According to Dibirov’s family, several days before he disappeared last their house was patrolled by a Gazel (41300) van, a VAZ-21099 car (steel color, 425 AK), and a VAZ 21099 car (white, A 386 UR). Unknown security force servicemen were in those cars.
On the day of disappearance (April 25, 2007), Dibirov told his fiancee that he was under surveillance and that he didn’t want to get into “their hands” once again. He meant the servicemen of UBOP.
Ramaz Dibirov is very sick. He has a neglected form of TB of his both lungs aggravated with periodic pulmonary bleeding. His mother is saying he was lately having treatment at home and that he was actually confined to bed. Shortly before his abduction the UBOP servicemen, in particular investigation officer Rashidkhan Omardibirovich Rashokhanov, were known to be asking other youths why Ramaz didn’t come to the mosque or go downtown. His mother thinks the “security men” were taking him for a Jamaat activist.
Makhachkala Leninski District Magistrate instituted criminal proceedings
No.701605 on Article 126 Part 2, Point «à» of the RF Criminal Code
into the abduction of Ramaz Abutalibovich Dibirov.
On April 26, 2007, at about 8 p.m., Vladimir Yurievch Vyalov (born 1975), a resident of the town of Buinaksk, disappeared in obscure circumstances.
That evening Vyalov went to the pharmacy near his home in the “Druzhba” neighborhood in order to buy some medications and did not return home.
Prior to that, Vyalov had served a sentence for having murdered Bulatov, an official of the magistrate. In the late 1990s, Vyalov, an ethnic Russian, was converted to Islam, and his mother who disapproved of her son’s choice decided to intimidate him. She made a statement at the police station that Vladimir had changed religion and associated with suspicious people. As a result Vyalov was detained and accused of murder.
Having served a seven-year sentence in a penitentiary, Vyalov was released several months before the abduction. One month before the abduction he got married and worked at a construction site.
As of September 30, 2007, Vladimir Vyalov’s whereabouts have not been ascertained.
The prosecution office of Buinaksk checked out the fact of his complete disappearance as envisaged in Articles 144 and 145 of the RF Criminal Code of Procedure. As based on the results of the checking, the institution of criminal proceeding was declined on June 4, 2007. After the second check-out the prosecution office of Buinaksk instituted criminal proceedings No.703109 in keeping with Article 105, Part 1 of the RF Criminal Code.
On April 26, 2007 Isa Aympahayevich Isayev (born 1982), residence address: Makhachkala, imam Shamil pr., 4, disappeared in Makhachkala at around 3 p.m. without leaving any traces.
At 2 p.m., he had a phone call from somebody who asked him to come out into the courtyard. His mother had the impression that the call came from someone whom he knew. After the call Isa said: “I am leaving, I shall be back soon”.
The Isayevs were making repairs in their home, and Isa was supposed to go shopping and buy a toilet bowl because they made an arrangement with a fitter to have the bowl installed the day after. For May 15 Isa’s family had a plan to make a match with a bride for him.
According to Svetlana Ibragimovna Isayeva, the mother of the missing man, there was a raid on an apartment in the neighboring house (No. 6) at 3 p.m. The housing block including the house where the Ibragimovs lived was cordoned off. Presumably servicemen from the Sovetski ROVD and the UBOP were deployed in the cordoning while the operation was run by the security officers wearing camouflage uniforms and masks. The security officers found nobody in the apartment they had been after.
Yarakhmed Yarakhmedov, the precinct policeman from the Sovetski ROVD, told Svetlana Isayeva that nobody had been detained. When she left her home at 4 p.m., the cordon had already been removed. Svetlana made a phone call to her son but his mobile phone was off.
At around 9 p.m. on the same day, the mother got a phone call from her son but by accident she pushed the “off” button. She called back immediately but Isa’s phone was switched off again. On that evening there was a call made to Isa’s senior brother but his phone was being charged and the brother didn’t answer it but the missed call was registered. After that there were no more calls from Isa Isayev.
On May 17, 2007, the Makhachkala Sovetski District Prosecution Office
returned a decision refusing to institute criminal proceedings into the
abduction of Isa Isayev. Criminal proceedings No.702839 based on Article 126,
Part 1 of the RF Criminal Code began on May 29,
In 2003, the Leninski District Court gave Isayev a suspended five-year sentence. In 2006, the UBOP officers detained and interrogated Isayev for three days. They did not apply any unlawful methods to him. According to his mother, Police Major Soltanmurad Gebekov from the UBOP had regular meetings with Isayev, gave him phone calls and invited to a café for a talk. In the past three or four months Isayev was telling his mother that security officers kept him under their surveillance and incited him to cooperate with them.
On June 10, 2007, at 3 p.m., Svetlana Isayeva together with the relatives of other abducted persons (Maghomet Mammayev, Madina Mammayeva, Gulnara Rustamova, and Shakhraza Dibirova) visited Imammutdin Temirbulatov, the head of the Division on Combating Terrorism and Abductions, UBOP of the Dagestan Republican Ministry of the Interior.
Temirbulatov said that Mammayev, Dibirov and Isayev were in Division No.6 and asked the relatives to bring him photographs of those men. He promised he would present the photos to the security officers and make a demand that the whereabouts of the missing persons be established.
On July 10,
As of September 30, 2007 Isa Isayev’s whereabouts have not been ascertained.
Muhamar Magomedovich Mammayev (born 1982), residence address: Makhachkala, str. Magomet Gajiyev, 71, disappeared in Makhachkala in obscure circumstances, the tentative date of his disappearance being April 27-29, 2007.
Mammayev went to the residence registration office for a certificate that he needed for a new passport. In the evening of April 26, his father phoned him and asked where Muhamar was. Muhamar replied he was in Kaspiysk with his friends and would be back tomorrow.
Muhamar was speaking in a very low and odd voice. There were no voices of his friends near him. The father suspected that something was wrong and asked his son if he was sick but Muhamar answered he was OK. Since then Mammayev’s phone has been off. He did not contact his family but on April 29 he sent an SMS-message to a girl he knew.
It follows from the application presented by his relatives that in the past Mammayev had a record of being detained by security officials. On April 22, 2006, he was detained by the Makhachkala UBOP officers after he had agreed to park Ramaz Dibirov’s car at a parking lot. During 10 days, he was subjected to severe beatings and torture. This made him sign “a confession” of having been involved in a criminal group and assisting the militants.
Mammayev’s detention was officially formalized on May 2, 2006. The Makhachkala Sovetski District Court gave Mammayev a suspended one-year sentence in keeping with Article 316 (Concealment of Crimes).
As of September 30, 2007, Muhamar Mammayev’s whereabouts have not been ascertained. The Makhachkala Kirovski District Prosecution Office declined the institution of criminal proceedings into the traceless disappearance of Mammayev.
On May 14, 2007, Rashid Magomedovich Batyrov (born 1976), resident of the settlement of Leninkent in Makhachkala (his temporary residence was an apartment that he rented), disappeared without a trace in obscure circumstances.
On that day there was an SMS-message on Rashid’s phone from a friend, Sultanali Aslangereyev, who invited him for a meeting. That evening Rashid left his home having told his wife he would stay overnight at his friend’s place. On May 15, he spoke on the phone to his wife for the last time. He said he was going to meet someone and that his phone battery was low. Soon his phone went off. Since then Batyrov stopped calling.
It follows from the application, which the missing man’s father placed
with Memorial HRC, that on May 25,
As was found out later, Batyrov’s friend Sultanali Aslangereyev was abducted by the security personnel and for more than two weeks he was kept by force at an illegal place of detention. After that the security soldiers took him to the Novolakski Forest and abandoned him there. At present, criminal proceedings have been started against Aslangereyev.
The Makhachkala Kirovski District Prosecution Office declined the institution of criminal proceedings into the disappearance of Batyrov.
Address by members of the public of the Republic Ingushetia
President of the Republic of Ingushetia M.M. Zyazikov
Parliament of the Republic of Ingushetia
Prosecutor of the Republic of Ingushetia Y.N. Turygin
President of the Russian Federation V.V. Putin
Plenipotentiary Envoy of the President of the Russiand Federation in the Southern Federal District G.A. Rapota
To Russian and international community
from members of the public of the Republic Ingushetia
Recently, worrying news from Ingushetia have flooded the federal media: national TV chanels and news bulletins virtually every day carry reports about bombings, killings and attacks taking place in our republic. Pictures from Ingushetia are increasingly reminding one of video reports from a zone of hostilities: tanks, helicopters, troops. Citizens of the Republic live under strain; many fear that the situation will get even worse.
Everybody was shocked by a series of killings of civilians, including individuals who are not from the titular ethnic group – the families of Russian teachers Terekhina and Draganchuk; the , the fother and son Lagai; Dagestani shepherds Bulatov and Zuberov; the Roma family of Lyulyakovs – a father and two sons, the families of the Kortikovs and Valentina Nemova, three workers – V.N. Oskin, V.B. Ponamarev, and S.A. Butusov; and two Armenian railway workers – S.A. Avetisov and V.S. Khurshudyan.
Whoever commits these crimes these crimes are aimed to undermine the foundations of the Ingush statehood, to compromise the Ingush people and destabilize the situation in the region. These killings are òå only cruel – they are hard to explain: the perpetrators can not hope to get anything except for disgust and anger from Ingushes.
We believe that impartial investigation of these crimes is a matter of honor for the people of Ingushetia. We want to know who are the masterminds of such provocations in our republic; what forces are trying to destabilize the situation; and what is their political agenda behind such cruel and pointless murders of civilians. Perpetrators – whoever they turn out to be – should be punished to the fullest extent of the law. The truth about the outrage they evil deed they have done will stop the circulation of rumors and speculations among the public.
It would be absolutely intolerable if these high-profile crimes were pinned in haste on whoever looks as good target in the heat of the moment. No one has the right to shoot at citizens of Ingushetia who look suspicious to them or use torure and illegal methods of investigation against detained persons. Otherwise, innocent people would suffer and the real killers will remain at large, carrying on with their criminal actibities aimed to destabilize the situation in the Republic which is already complicated.
Given the particular urgency of the matter, we are asking you to set up a public commission for monitoring the investigations of the above-mentioned murders. Each of us is ready to take part in its activities.
We ask you to send your response to: 46, Mutaliyeva Street, Nazran.
Musa Malsagov, head of the Ingush Republican Office of the Red Cross
Mukharbek Malsagov, chairman of the Anti-Corruption Committee of the North Caucasus
Ramzan Ugurchiyev, head of the regional public organization “Association of University and College Students of Ingushetia”
Ruslan Borov, youth organization “League of Justice”
Nazir Kostoyev, The Union of the Deported
Magomed Agiyev, secretary of the political party “Just Russia”
Arsen Sakalov, head of the Justice Initiative Fund in Ingushetia
Ruslan Albakov-Mirshkhi, Head of the History and Culture Center of the Republic of Ingushetia
Akhmet Barakhoyev, Civic Assistance Committee
Magomed Mutsolgov, head of the autonomous non-commercial organization Mashr
Khadzhimurad Chemurziyev, head of the charity fund Piligrim
Magomed Barkinkhoyev, director of the autonomous non-commercial organization Vita
Lyalya Tsoroyeva, head of the regional public organization Almos
Lima Oligova, head of the regional public organization Istok
Tamirlan Akiyev, Memorial HRC in Nazran
Magomed Gandaur-Egi, Siy-Kha lawyers’ office
Magomed Gaitukiyev, spokesman of the tribal public association Tsori
Batyr Akhilgov, Yabloko political party
Isa Gandarov, Memorial HRC, Nazran
Shamil Tangiyev, head of Memorial HRC in Grozny
Ruslan Badalov, head of the Chechen Committee of National Salvation
Magomed Gagiyev, Bar Association of the Republic of Ingushetia,
and others. A total of 81 signatures
The RF MVD Order No. 1105 of December 28, 2006 “On approval of the FMS administrative regulation on rendering public service in issuing, replacing and performing the state duty in registering passports for RF citizens”. Under point No.16 of the regulation the inner RF passport may be issued at the place of permanent residence in a 10-day term from the date of submitting the request or in another place in a 2-month term. This regulation is not fully introduced yet and functions only with the pressure of non-government organizations. Besides, citizens are not familiar with it and they submit to the demand to go to the place of permanent residence registration.
 On October, 2007 – under the Regulation No. 510, 37 857 families received the compensations, under the Regulation No. 404 – 45,939 families.
 In December
However, in 2007 we received an answer to our request to the Prosecutor General’s Office about the detention facility Khamzat Tushayev was kept at. It follows that upon the disappearance of Khamzat Tushayev a criminal case No. 53092 was opened and investigative actions are carried out; however “unfortunately we can’t locate Tushayev”.
 An article of 15.02.2007 at http://www.grozny-inform.ru/)
 See Report “On the Situation of Residents of Chechnya in the Russian Federation (July 2005 – July 2006)”
 An article of 19.06.2007 http://www.grozny-inform.ru
 Article of 02.05.2007 “A new cottage village is opened in the capital of Chechnya” at http://www.kavkaz.memo.ru/
 Article of 12.03.2007 “Kadyrov suggested not making business out of “rejected” apartments” at http://www.regions.ru/news/2060264/print/)
 “Vesti Respubliky” ¹92 of 04.07.2007
 Article of 12.07.2007 at http://www.kavkaz.memo.ru/
«Vesti Respubliki» ¹92 of 04.07.2007
 Article of June 5, 2007 «The compensation payments fir lost housing are suspended again» (http://www.kavkaz.memo.ru/)
situation of the residents of the Chechen Republic, internally displaced from
the mountain villages to the plain after the renewal of the military activities
 Article of December 4, 2006 «Mountain village residents are worried because of the bombardment” at http://www.kavkaz.memo.ru/
 «Nuhatgiev: Militarians kill civilians of Chechnya because of impunity”, view the publication 26.03.2007 dd on the web-site (http://www.kavkaz.memo.ru/)
 Article of 26.03.2007 «A criminal case opened in Chechnya upon gun-fire at women” at (http://www.kavkaz.memo.ru/)
 The HRC Memorial bulletin “The Situation in
the conflict zone in the North Caucasus, spring
 Article of 06.07.2007 at http://www.kavkaz.memo.ru/
 See report of November 17, 2006 “A Refugee from Chechnya Went Missing in Azerbaijan” on the Caucasian Knot Web-site (http://www.kavkaz.memo.ru/)
 See report of April 14, 2007 “Human Rights Defenders Demand Punishment for Killers of a Refugee from Chechnya” on the Caucasian Knot Web-site
 See publication “The truth about a mop-up operation is too costly”, Novaya Gazeta, No.5 of January 25, 2007
 See publication of May 24, 2007 “Abduction of people in Borozdinovskaya: Who and why hides the truth?” (http://www.hro.org/war/2007/05/24.php)
 Memorial HRC Bulletin “Situation in the conflict zone in the Northern Caucasus in summer 2007: assessment by human rights defenders” (http://www.memo.ru/hr/hotpoints/caucas1/index.htm)
 See íà ñàéòå www.memo.ru/hr/hotpoints/caucas1/msg/2007/02/m75584.htm.
 See the Web-site “Civic Control” http://control.hro.org/okno/mvd/2007/05/24.php
 See publication “One hundred days of customary nightmare” of July 27, 2007 at http://www.caucasustimes.com/article.asp?id=12997
 Hereafter the information about IDPs is cited
based on the Report “Situation of the internally displaced persons (IDPS) from
the Chechen Republic in the Republic of Ingushetia. Autumn – winter 2006 –
 See publication “The Aushev brothers released”, Novaya Gazeta, No.73 of September 24, 2007
 See publication “Won’t they come to get their salary?”, Novaya Gazeta, No.81 of October 22, 2007
 See report of September 3, 2007 at the Vesti.Ru Web-site (http://www.vesti.ru/)
 See Report “On the Situation of residents of
Chechnya in the Russian Federation. June 2005 – July
 See Report “On the Situation of residents of
Chechnya in the Russian Federation. June 2004 – June
 See Report “On the Situation of residents of
Chechnya in the Russian Federation. June 2004 – June
 See Memorial HRC Bulletin “Situation in the conflict zone in the Northern Caucasus in summer 2007: assessment by human rights defenders”, Section “Abductions in the Prigorodny District” (http://www.memo.ru/hr/hotpoints/caucas1/index.htm)
 See Report “On the Situation of residents of
Chechnya in the Russian Federation. June 2004 – June
 See Report “On the Situation in Russia of residents of Chechnya who
were forced to live its territory. June 2002 – May
 See publication “A case on wheels” in Novaya Gazeta, No.35 (May 14–16, 2007)
 See “Figures for abductions
and killings in Chechnya for
 See Memorial HRC Bulletin “Situation in the conflict zone in the Northern Caucasus in summer 2007: assessment by human rights defenders”, Section “Abductions in the Prigorodny District” (http://www.memo.ru/hr/hotpoints/caucas1/index.htm)
 See Memorial HRC Bulletin “Situation in the conflict zone in the Northern Caucasus in summer 2007: assessment by human rights defenders”, Section “Dagestan: ‘people in camouflage uniforms’ and traceless disappearances” (http://www.memo.ru/hr/hotpoints/caucas1/index.htm)
 See report îò August 21, 2007 at http://www.memo.ru/hr/hotpoints/caucas1/msg/2007/08/m98572.htm
 See report of August 22, 2007 on the Caucasian Knot Web-site (http://www.kavkaz.memo.ru/)
 See Nezavisimaya Gazeta, August 10, 2007