On April 21, 2006, a group of inhabitants of TAP No.119, located in the Staropromyslovsky District of Grozny, applied to the office of Memorial HRC in the city of Grozny. The people were complaining that public officials were putting pressure on them, demanding that they immediately vacate the rooms they occupied. The first such visit was paid on April 20, and in the morning of the following day the same “guests” appeared in the TAP and again prodded the IDPs to leave the premises of the TAP. Officials alleged that the absolute majority of the people residing in the TAP had housing elsewhere and had where to go. The public officials did not explain to which agency they belonged and did not listen to people’s protests.
By the end of May, based on the results of inspections of temporary accommodation points on the territory of the Chechen Republic, superintendents were replaced there, who previously had been elected by inhabitants themselves, and six TAPs were vacated. In the process, 4,300 persons were struck off the registers who, in view of the inspectors, were illegally residing in temporary accommodation points, while having their own housing. This was reported at the meeting that took place on May 24, in the city of Gudermes by the head of the Republican Migration Administration Asu Dudarkayev.
He also said that generally “the number of temporary accommodation points on the territory of the Chechen Republic was planned to be halved.”
Meanwhile, residents of temporary accommodation points argue that people have been struck off the registers in violation of the law. Inspections in TAPs were actually conducted with gross violations. A commission was arriving at a temporary accommodation point and taking down everybody’s names. And those who were absent from the place at the time of the inspection were immediately struck off the lists.
On May 29, 2006, at a meeting with members of Civic Assistance Committee and Memorial HRC the President of Chechnya Alu Alkhanov assured them that the Chechen authorities did not intend to shut down temporary accommodation points and leave the people homeless. He explained that registration was being carried out in TAPs.
However, the rushed campaign to vacate TAPs continues and is being carried out with gross violations of the rights of IDPs; no one provides the people with lists of addresses where they will be resettled and no one checks whether the IDPs really have their own housing – people are virtually thrown out into the street.
To illustrate the actions of the authorities, below we present an account of the developments that have taken place in a TAP located at Derzhavina Street in the city of Grozny. This account was produced by a member of Memorial HRC Natalia Estemirova, who was constantly present at the scene and took part in negotiations with the authorities.
May 16. IDPs from a TAP, located at 289 Derzhavina Street in the city of Grozny, filed an application with organizations Memorial Human Rights Center and Civic Assistance Committee. The application was signed by 46 heads of families. It follows from the application that a superintendent Dagman Almayev was imposed on them by the arbitrary decision of the head of the Staropromyslovsky District administration Khozhbaudi Estamirov. It was done in violation of the orders of the head of the CR FMSD Asu Dudarkayev. Dudarkayev made an attempt to reconcile the local authorities with the IDPs and approved the superintendent they had elected among themselves – a woman by the name of Khamzatova.
June 1. The head of the administrative district Vakha Sayitov appeared at the TAP and told the dwellers that within a three-day period their TAP would be closed down and they would be moved to other TAPs, where rooms were already assigned to them. However, Sayitov did not show the list of the allocated rooms to anyone. The inhabitants announced that they would leave the TAP only after they received compensations or permanent housing. Asu Dudarkayev reassured the residents telling them there would be no closure of the point.
June 5. Sometime after 9 a.m., officials from the Staropromyslovsky District and the migration service arrived at the TAP. The administration officials said that the TAP had to be closed down in the shortest time possible, since the building had to house a kindergarten, which was there before the hostilities.
The migration service officials explained that it was not their initiative, but the district administration had the authority to perform such actions. People were again told that a list of places for resettlement exists. And felt they were requested to sign resettlement applications without seeing their new housing. People not without reason that there must be a catch in it.
Those who had previously lived in the Staropromyslovsky District, were promised apartments, the number of which was cited differently – ranging from 20 to 50 – however, no one was given any concrete addresses. Moreover, apartments were promised only to disabled persons, veterans of labor and other citizens from the groups entitled to special benefits. Land plots, construction materials, etc. were also promised to be provided. However, the people, who already know the real worth of such promises, were reluctant to believe them. Provision of a land plot does not solve the problem, since you still have to build a house on it.
According to the residents, they were threatened that supplies of fresh water to their place would be discontinued and OMON (special purpose police unit) troops would be called in for help. This would have spelled a real disaster for the people, since public water supply system is not functioning in Grozny and water is supplied by organizations, which on a regular basis replenish the supplies of water in the tanks which have been installed. To be left without water in the summer period, when the air temperature reaches 40 degrees centigrade is particularly terrible. People resented; they encircled the tank and did not allow it to be taken away.
The administration could not even prove its readiness to turn the TAP into a kindergarten, having admitted that it did not have the funding and a team of workers ready to start the renovation.
At around 5:00 p.m., member of the Human Rights Council at the RF President Svetlana Gannushkina spoke by telephone to the administration head of the Staropromyslovsky District of the city of Grozny Khozhbaudi Estamirov.
Khozhbaudi Estamirov said that what was going was a routine operation to put things in order in his area. He flatly denied the possibility of physical pressure being exerted on the TAP dwellers and assured that no one was going to take away a fresh water tank from them or call in the police. He also denied the assumption that he intended to care only about the people who lived in the district before.
According to Khozhbaudi Estamirov, the dwellers had another ten days to look at the rooms assigned to them at other TAPs.
Division of temporarily displaced persons into “locals” and “aliens” would be a gross violation of international norms, since forced displacements of citizens within a country are a national problem and it is the responsibility of the supreme government to address it.
“Yesterday, in Grozny, Ilias Azimov (born 1985) was abducted from the TAP at 4 Koltsova Street; his mother and many neighbors were beaten up in the process. The abductors wore masks; they arrived by cars with no license plates.
In the morning, the TAP dwellers blocked the Staropromyslovsky highway, demanding the release of Azimov; they are saying they needed, like Borozdinovskaya villagers, leave Chechnya en masse. At 9:00 a.m., police officers tried to disperse the protestors, who are mostly women and children, using vehicles and shooting in the air. When they failed, they started shooting at the ground near the feet of those who gathered for the rally. Please, help.”
At 10:00 a.m., we reported the incident at the session that opened, requesting law-enforcement officers:
– to explain who and on what grounds carried out the detention of Ilias Azimov;
– to inform his relatives where he is being held;
– to ensure that he has access to a lawyer; and
– to explain why the practice of using masks and vehicles with no license plates continues.
The person who gave replies to our questions was the CR Minister of the Interior Ruslan Alkhanov. According to him, Ilias Azimov was detained by his officers, who never wore masks and never drove around on cars without license plates, since he had forbidden them to do so. He also said with confidence that Adam was being kept at the Itum-Kale District ROVD and was being charged with the killing on July 4, of Abdul-Azim Yangulbayev, head of the administration of the village of Zumsoi, which is located in that district.
We immediately conveyed that information to Grozny to be passed on to Ilias’ relatives.
Staff of Memorial takes special interest in the investigation of Yangulbayev’s murder, since one day before the killing we met with him to discuss ways to clear the landslide that cut off the village from the outside world. Abdul-Azim was killed when he went to get fuel for a tractor leased by Memorial to clear the road.
But what was the need to wear masks; why the arrest warrant was not presented; and why relatives were not informed about the reasons for detention, if this is a normal process of investigation of a grave crime?
N.I. Shepel, Deputy Prosecutor General in the South Federal District, told us that wearing masks, the absence of license plates and other violations can not be considered to have taken place until the witnesses and victims submit applications written by their own hands. One could have agreed with the prosecutor’s stance, had Chechnya not been permeated with fear and people submitting such application not been exposing themselves to real danger. Why is it so hard really for the prosecutor to believe that human rights activists are given somewhat more details, than his staff, and to verify the information obtained from them?
The debate between the law-enforcement officers and human rights activists was concluded by the announcement from the CR Human Rights Ombudsman Lema Khasuyev that he was immediately dispatching a lawyer to the Itum-Kale District ROVD to defend the interests of Ilias Azimov.
On the night of July 29, already back in Moscow, we found an application sent to Memorial by fax by Ilias Azimov’s sister, which was written by her own hand:
“On July 28, at 9:00 p.m., unknown armed men wearing masks and camouflage uniforms arrived at the TAP by three armored UAZ jeeps and a VAZ-21 car that had no license plate. They took and drove away my brother, Ilias Azimov, and in the process our mother, Koka, and I were beaten up and threatened that we would be shot at if we tried to protect the brother. They also threatened the TAP dwellers who tried to resist the abduction. I ask you to help me identify the whereabouts of my brother. July 28, 2005. Aset Azimovà.”
Apart from Aset, the application was signed by another 25 dwellers of the TAP.
We forwarded the application to the prosecutor’s office. Will the prosecutor and the minister consider it?
However, the most interesting thing is that in the morning of July 30, we received, again by fax, a copy of the application addressed to the Prosecutor General by Ilias Azimov himself, who was released on the night before. Ilias tells the story of his abduction and says that he was being called a “Wahhabi” and asked if he had killed anyone.
It’s easy to guess, given the locally established methods of getting testimony, how things would have developed had the incident not come onto the radar screen of the entire Kislovodsk Conference.
Most likely, some 10 to 20 days later, Ilias would have confessed to the murder and officers from law-enforcement agencies would have got a solved crime and rewards for the success; another life would have been ruined, while the murderers would have felt safe and secure walking around. In fact, they are not worried much even now: a random choice will hardly fall on them.
We would like to hope that this is a story with a happy end. Two persons got lucky, but there are not enough international conferences around to protect everyone.
Kamil Magomedov (born 1955); residing at 27 Mayakovskogo Street;
Akhmed Abdurakhmanovich Magomedov (born 1979); residing at 45 Lenina Street;
Magomed Dutalovich Isayev (born 1969); residing at Kolkhoznaya Street (house without a number);
Abakar Abdurakhmanovich Aliyev (born 1982); residing at 18 Lenina Street;
Akhmed Ramazanovich Kurbanaliyev; residing at 7 Michurina Street;
Magomed Ramazanovich Kurbanaliyev; residing at 7 Michurina Street;
Said Nazarbekovich Magomedov (born 1960); residing at 62 Kolkhoznaya Street;
Shakhban Nazarbekovich Magomedov (born 1965); residing at 14 Kolkhoznaya Street;
Akhmed Paizulayevich Magomedov (born 1977); residing at 18 Kolkhoznaya Street;
Martuz Asludinovich Umarov (born 1987); residing at 84 Kolkhoznaya Street; and
Eduard Lachkov (born 1985); residing at 48 Tumanyana Street, Kizlyar, the Republic of Dagestan.
The above persons are absent from the database of the Information Center of the CR MVD.
For unknown reasons a fire started in Borozdinovskaya population center. As a result of the fire the following real estate properties were damaged:
9 Lenina Street; owned by Nazarbek Magomedovich Magomedov (born 1963); unemployed; absent from the database of the Information Center of the CR MVD;
11 Lenina Street; owned by Zuizhat Khalilbekovna Belyalova (born 1970); unemployed; absent from the database of the IC of the CR MVD;
27 Mayakovskogo Street; owned by Kamil Magomedov (born 1955); unemployed; absent from the database of the IC of the CR MVD; and
9 Naberezhnaya Street; owned by Magomaz Masikovich Magomazov (born 1932); a pensioner; absent from the database of the IC of the CR MVD. The charred body of the owner was found in the house.
The circumstances of the death of M.M. Magomazov and the causes of the fire are being investigated and material damage is being determined. The dead body of M.M. Magomazov has been sent for examination to the city of Kizlyar, the Republic of Dagestan.
The detainees are being checked for involvement with IAGs.
The following people visited the scene: District Prosecutor Vasilchenko; Head of the ROVD Magomayev; the Head of the Temporary Task Group of Agencies and Departments; the Head of the ROVD Criminal Police; investigator with the prosecutor’s office Vishnevsky; Dutov; investigators with the Investigation Department Dikai, Umalatov and Viskhanov; Head of the ROVD Criminal Investigation Department; and officers from the ROVD and ROVD Investigation and Response Team. No evidence has been recovered at the scene.
The material has been filed with the prosecutor’s office.
ÊÓÑ – 535 (registered at 8:15 p.m.)
April 25, 2006
During the check of documents on the premises of MRO-UMS (CAP) approximately 20 to 25 persons (mostly teenagers) were detained by officers from law-enforcement agencies for violating the passport and visa regime and taken to the Sunzha District ROVD.
Names of some of the detainees have been identified:
1. Anzor Galayev (aged 16);
2. Adam Galayev (aged 15);
3. Lemma Boshev (aged 17);
4. Muslim Dzhamaldayev (aged 32);
5. Anzor Okuyev (aged 19);
6. Aslambek Asvadovich Akhmedov (born 1968)
An incident occurred during the check on the premises of MRO. One of the refugees, a teenager, tried to escape from the territory of the camp. The military spotted him and opened fire with submachine guns. They were shooting in the air. The shooting made Aslambek Akhmedov go out from his trailer; he started to vigorously express his anger with the actions of the military, which prompted them to detain him. According to some witnesses, Akhmedov was in a state of alcohol intoxication.
Later on the same day, after an additional check, almost all the detainees from MRO were released. Only Akhmedov remained in custody. Police officers told his wife that he would be released only five days later. Akhmedov and his family have been residing in this CAP since 2004; before that he lived in the Sputnik camp (on the outskirts of the stanitsa of Ordzhonikidzevskya). There are five children in his family; the oldest child is nine and the youngest one is two years old.
According to the information of the RI MVD which they conveyed to a correspondent of the Caucasian Knot Web-site, Aslambek Akhmedov and Bislan Maayev were detained on suspicion of being members of an IAG.
April 27, 2006
In the morning, officers from Ingush and Russian security agencies conducted passport checks in several CAPs for Chechen refugees located in the city of Nazran: LogoVAZ, Kristall, Tanzila, and Tsentr-Kamaz. When the check was completed in Kristall CAP almost all male residents who were at the moment of the check in the camp were detained (approximately 40 to 50 people).
Five persons were taken away in LogoVAZ CAP; several men were also detained in Tanzila and Tsentr-Kamaz CAPs. The people were detained because they did not have temporary residence registration. All the detainees were taken to the Nazran GOVD (Municipal Department of the Interior Ministry) and released after an additional check.
in a Kadiyat Building
On November 25, at around 11 a.m., the building of a kadiyat located in the center of Nazran near the central mosque was encircled by armed masked officers from security agencies, who arrived in several cars with tinted windows and no license plates.
Kadiyat (official name: “a spiritual center for settlement of civil disputes”) is a traditional institution for the Ingush; it comprises religious leaders and serves the task of settling disputes according to the norms of common law. On that day, there were approximately twenty five persons in the building of the kadiyat, including Deputy of the People’s Assembly of the Republic of Ingushetia Magomet-Sali Aushev.
The armed men forced all the people to leave the building, pointed weapons at the detainees and ordered them to put their hands behind their heads. All the detainees were thoroughly searched and their documents were checked; after which younger men were taken aside, handcuffed and forced to stand with their faces to the wall.
Then two cars were thoroughly searched: a VAZ-2109 car of Yusup Khashiyev and Muslim Tsechoyev’s VAZ-2110. During the search of Muslim Tsechoyev’s car a single-barrel hunting gun was discovered, for which he had the necessary documents: permit and registration papers issued by the RI MVD. No other items have been found in the vehicles. Without explaining their actions, the armed men singled out four persons: Muslim Tsechoyev (born 1980), Ruslan Tsechoyev (born 1982), Magomed Tsechoyev (born 1991) and Yusup Khashiyev (born 1969).
The military forced them into one of their cars and drove away. Relatives tried to learn where they were taking the boys; they were told – to Magas. The officers from security agencies also drove away the cars of Khashiyev and Tsechoyev. Relatives immediately filed an application with the police concerning the abduction of the young men.
After midnight, three of the four detainees returned home. According to them, they were taken to the Vladikavkaz RUBOP. There they were separately, one by one, led into a room where a bodkin, pliers, handsaws and hammers lay on the table. The officers were asking the young men, while pointing to those objects, “Well, what do we start with? (i.e. “What to torture you with?”) Choose yourself.” After that, they were severely beaten and tortured for several hours. During that time they were shown photographs of some people, prodded to identify them and asked what militants they knew. They were continuously beaten during the interrogation: with a hammer on their legs and feet and with a baton in the kidney area; they were also tortured with electric shocks.
As midnight approached, officers of the Vladikavkaz RUBOP suddenly decided to search again one of the cars they have taken with them – a VAZ-2109 car. As was mentioned earlier, the first thorough search, conducted in the day-time, did not yield any results, but a repeat search of the car produced a pistol and a grenade. After that, Yusup Khashiyev, Muslim Tsechoyev and Magomed Tsechoyev, who is a minor, were released, while Ruslan Tsechoyev was kept at the RUBOP.
Before the release, the detainees were made to sign papers which read that they did not have any complaints against those who detained them and that no illegal methods and means were used to interrogate them. In addition, the young men were forced to sign the interrogation protocols without reading them first.
A day after their release, the Tsechoyevs and Khashiyev wrote applications addressed to the prosecutor’s office concerning their illegal detention and the use of physical violence against them and turned to the republican hospital with the request to document the signs of torture and beatings.
However, doctors at the hospital requested a letter of referral from the forensic medicine bureau, which they received with great difficulty. The medical examination conducted after that confirmed the fact of torture and beatings, however, the urologist and the neurologist refused to examine the young men altogether, saying they were extremely busy.
On November 1, Ruslan Tsechoyev’s relatives hired a lawyer, Ruslan Yevloyev, who found out after meeting his client that physical force had been used against him during the interrogation and wrote a complaint against the actions of investigators.
As of December 16, 2005, Ruslan Tsechoyev was held at the Vladikavkaz SIZO and interrogated by an investigation team of the North Caucasus Prosecutor General’s Office led by investigator Krivorotov.
Ruslan Tsechoyev is being charged under Article 209 (banditism).
Below is the text of his application.
A.A. Bigulov by Ruslan Tsechoyev
At about 7:30 a.m., in the city of Nazran, officers from security agencies conducted an operation in Tsentr-Kamaz CAP. Four men were detained.
According to residents of the CAP, in the morning their camp was closed off by officers from security agencies (50 to 60 people), who arrived by two APCs and a Gazel minivan. Most troops wore masks (four or five people were without masks). Without introducing themselves or offering any explanations, they searched the rooms where refugees lived. During the searches the troops were overturning furniture and throwing things on the floor. Males were led to street and lined up against the wall with their hands above their heads. Not only their documents were checked, but mobile phones as well.
The settlement’s superintendent tried to learn the reason for conducting the check. One of the security officials answered that they do not come without a reason and in this case they had the information that militants were present in the refugee settlement (they were allegedly told so over the telephone by someone calling from the settlement itself).
Checks were conducted for an hour and a half. When the operation was completed, four persons were detained, three of whom were in the settlement visiting relatives or friends:
1. Khasan Bamatgirayev, a refugee from Chechnya; a college student; was visiting relatives.
2. Sultan Adamov, a refugee from Chechnya; resides in the vicinity of the CAP; was visiting friends.
3. Ramzan Umatkhanov, a refugee from Chechnya, was visiting friends.
4. Timur Pareulidze (born 1978), a refugee from Chechnya; resides in the CAP.
Three persons were released later on the same day: Khasan Bamatgirayev was the first to return home after noon; then Sultan Adamov was released at around 4:00 p.m.; and then, already late at night Ramzan Umatkhanov came.
According to the information available, Pareulidze was taken to Vladikavkaz and put in SIZO.
On January 20, the Russian news agency Interfax reported that three militants had been apprehended on the outskirts of Nazran, including the leader of an armed gang under the command of Shamil Basayev and Doku Umarov. According to the agency's interlocutor, during the investigation and search operations conducted in Kamaz auto center, located on the outskirts of the city, officers from law-enforcement agencies detained residents of Chechnya Ramzan Umatkhanov and Sultan Adamov, who were involved in carrying out acts of sabotage and terror on the territory of Chechnya and Ingushetia.
Also detained was Timur Pareulidze, native of the Akhmetovsky District of Georgia, who was suspected of involvement with the murder of an officer of Ingush police in the Nazran District and planting improvised explosive devices in the areas of militant bases to protect them. According to available information, Pareulidze was under the command of field commanders Shamil Basayev and Doku Umarov.
In the town of Karabulak, the Republic of Ingushetia, Aslambek Akhoyevich Khatuyev, a resident of Chechnya, was killed in a compact accommodation point located on the premises of Yug-Agrosnab enterprise during a special operation (zachistka/a mop-up operation) carried out by officers from federal security agencies.
Later on the same day, news agencies carried the following report citing a spokesperson of the Republican FSB:
“Aslambek Khatuyev, killed on January 27, during a special operation in the Ingush population center of Karabulak, was an active member of illegal armed groups and the leader of a “back-up team of terrorists” who attacked Beslan on September 1, 2004,” reported the public relations team of the FSB Directorate of Russia for Ingushetia. “Khatuyev was the so-called “emir” of the Achkhoi-Martan District of the Chechen Republic and an active member of IAGs. He, in particular, led a “back-up team” of Beslan attackers, which in case of failure of the terrorists in North Ossetia was to seize a school in the stanitsa of Nesterovskaya in Ingushetia,” said a spokesperson of the UFSB public relations team. “Khatuyev also actively participated in the attack on Ingushetia in June 2004, in which he led one of the groups of militants and was involved in the attack on the village of Roshni-Chu in 2005,” said the FSB spokesperson. The UFSB has information that Khatuyev has organized a series of terror acts against officers from law-enforcement agencies on the territory of the North Caucasus and was in addition “a person close to the notorious field commander Doku Umarov.”
(Interfax news agency, RIA Novosti news agency, IA REGNUM information agency, Pravda.Ru, Inform Buro information agency, Vesti.Ru, Caucasian Knot information agency, Kavkaz.Strana.Ru, newspaper Trud, Echo of Moscow radio station, Lenta.ru, NEWSru.com, RBC, and Russkaya Liniya information agency.)
According to witnesses, at around 1:00 p.m., several cars and armored vehicles arrived at the refugee settlement – up to five Gazel vans, two APCs, an UAZ jeep with an aerial and cars of different makes with no (or concealed) number plates and registration marks. The armed men who ran out of them, numbering up to 80 troops (some wearing white camouflage and masks), dispersed across the territory of the CAP and encircled the barracks.
The settlement’s superintendent Imran Tutayev tried to learn who they were and what they needed. The troops hit him with the butt of a submachine gun and forced to stand face to the wall with his hands behind his head. From the bits of conversation between security officers the superintendent gathered that they were looking for some person who supposedly ran onto the premises of the CAP from the direction of the alcohol plant, which was approximately 150 meters away.
Security officers asked Tutayev whether there were any strangers in the settlement and with whom they were staying. The superintendent answered that there were no strangers there; the settlement was small – just 186 residents – and he knew all the inhabitants by sight. He would have known for sure if strangers appeared there.
A shooting with submachine guns and machine guns soon ensued in the western part of the settlement. After a while, small explosions were heard; apparently, they used rifle-attached grenade launchers. The shooting continued at small intervals for 15 to 20 minutes. The frightened residents were rushing around in panic, trying to hide from ammunition fragments and bullets that were piercing plywood walls of the homes. The males who tried to look outside and learn what was going on were driven back by shouts and threatening gestures from the military. It's a miracle no one was injured – for instance, Malika Shidayeva and her children were spared because the bullet hit a television set.
When things calmed down, the commissioned officer who led the operation was informed: “The target has been destroyed.” He asked over the radio set about “the second one, in a sheepskin coat,” and then ordered the camp’s superintendent to take people to the street (first women and children, then – about half an hour later – males), leaving the doors of the houses and rooms open.
Imran Tutayev announced over a loud-speaker that everyone had to go to the eastern part of the settlement. Security officers led the women and children into the building of the medical station. Males, after a body search that was accompanied with swearing and threats, were divided into two groups: seven men were driven into a bathhouse and the rest were forced to their knees near the last barrack hut. In this position – without outer clothing, shirts unbuttoned and with their hands behind their heads – they were kept on the snow for five hours, until the “special operation” was over.
After that the troops started searching the residential premises. Having selected a few young men among the refugees, they put ropes on their waists and drove the people before them using them as a human shield. When the troops were entering the homes they pulled carpets from the walls, overturned furniture, shuffled through people’s belongings and removed the floors in two or three rooms. In those houses where the doors were locked the doors were broken with kicks and with butts of submachine guns.
After the end of the check, it emerged that simultaneously the troops doing the searches were also looting – many refugees found their belongings and money gone missing. Someone informed local law-enforcement bodies about the special operation being conducted and officers from the Karabulak GOVD (Municipal Department of the Interior Ministry) arrived at the scene. They tried to enter the camp; however, the security officers who carried out the operation did not allow them onto the premises. The police officers had to stand by observing the developments from the distance of 10 to 15 meters from the nearest barracks. Several dozen refugees were also standing there, who having heard about the zachistka, hurried to their homes but were also denied access to the camp.
Shortly after the end of the search of residential premises, security officers started to interrogate refugees. There were two women in camouflage uniforms among the interrogators; they were very rude and were swearing. The troops were trying to find out whether the killed person lived in the settlement and if he had a companion. Adult residents of the CAP were taken to identify the body that lay between the second and the third barrack. According to one of the residents, the killed person, a young man, aged around 25, was lying on his back, with a Stechkin pistol, a pistol clip and some cartridges near him. No one of the refugees had ever seen him before. It was found out during the interrogations that he was alone.
Approximately at 6:00 p.m., security officers left the premises of the CAP, detaining Aindy Makayev, the camp’s dweller, who was, although, released on the same night. After they left, the Ingush policemen took the body of the killed man.
On the following day, officers from the Karabulak GOVD arrived at Yug-Agrosnab. They inspected the scene, listened to complaints by the people, collected ammunition fragments and shells and left, having promised to open a criminal case. A district police officer informed them that the killed man’s name was Aslambek Khatuyev. It was established later that his parents lived at the address: 38 Mezhdunarodnaya Street, the stanitsa of Assinovskaya, the Sunzha District, the Chechen Republic.
According to the information Memorial HRC has, A. Khatuyev was the brother of Sultan Khatuyev, who was abducted by FSB officers in 2004 in Ingushetia and later “disappeared”. On June 28, 2005, complaint by relatives of Sultan Khatuyev was forwarded to the European Court of Human Rights.
Maka Ismailovna Merzhoyeva:
“I was outside, clearing the snow at the entrance to the barrack hut and knocking the icicles down when I heard some swearing and a shout: “Raise your hands; get down on your knees!” I turned around and saw a few meters away from me an unknown young man in unbuttoned sheepskin coat with his hands half-raised and at some distance – armed people in white camouflage uniforms who were looking from around the corners of the houses. The guy was very confused and pale as death; he had no weapons on him. I asked him to do what they requested him to do, adding that otherwise they would kill him, have pity on your mother. However, he shook his head and then under the barrels of submachine guns directed at him he slowly, using just his feet, took off his footwear, black running shoes, and rushed to the opposite side of the camp. Having noticed that Russians are there, too, he turned half-way and ran around the corner of a barrack. When the shooting started I rushed into my home. After a while, I looked through the door and saw that young man, already without a sheepskin coat, running back. There was shooting again and I heard one of the military shout to another: “You hit him; it’s for sure! Wait for a reward!”
When that nightmare was over, the Russians requested us to move to the eastern part of the settlement. At first I refused, but then I had to take my five children and go to the medical station, where we were kept until 5:00 p.m., when the check was over. When I returned home the 1000 rubles I left on top of the fridge were missing – the money I borrowed from neighbors to buy foodstuffs.”
Roza Magomedovna Barakhoyeva (born 1963):
“Having heard the shouts and the shooting, I looked into the street and saw a man running between the barracks. He had a sheepskin coat in one hand and I guess he had a pistol in another hand. When he was running past our barrack, he threw his coat on the ground and rushed towards the end of the camp. People there shouted: “Halt or we shoot!” Then the young man turned back. Shots were fired and I ran home.
After it was all over, the troops asked about the second militant. And then they realized that there was no second man: simply in opposite ends of the CAP the military saw one and the same man – in a sheepskin coat and without it.”
Imran Tutayev, superintendent of Yug-Agrosnab CAP:
“When the shooting began, the military told me, “If any of our men gets hurt, your brains will be blown out.” After the unknown man was killed, I made an announcement on the instructions from a commissioned officer that a search and an ID check were going to be conducted and went to the opposite send of the camp to reassure people and help them get out.
The troops who were there made me take off my jacket and unbutton my shirt. When they saw a cell phone case on my belt, they pointed their submachine guns at me, fired two or three warning shots above my head and demanded to say what it was. After my explanations they ordered me to slowly, without abrupt movements, take a mobile out and show it to them. I did as was asked and after that the troops relaxed.”
Nina Usmanovna Ebirkova (born 1952):
“During that operation, my husband was in a shed near the barrack, taking care of cattle. The troops, raining blows upon him, drove him to the house, put him aagainst the wall and shouted “Take off your jacket and lift up your shirt, you bastard!” And he is an elderly person, almost 70 years old. They have shuffled through all our belongings at home and took away 19 thousand rubles.”
Zargan Abuyevna Saidullayeva (born 1961):
“When it all happened, I was outside the settlement, at a rail crossing – ten meters away from the place where the Russians drove our men to. There they were kept in freezing temperatures without outer clothing for five hours. My son, 21-year-old Uruskhan, was also among them. I tried to enter the territory of the CAP; however, one of the military pointed a submachine gun at me and said: “Don’t even try to take one more step, bitch!” I told him, “It’s your mother who is a bitch,” but did not venture to go further.
So, we stood watching the special operation from the outside until 5:20 p.m. Ingush police officers were standing near, who were also denied access to the camp.
After the end of the check, when we were allowed to pass through, I found a mess in my home: floors broken and things scattered all around. My money was gone – 1,730 rubles, which I kept under a mattress, and a camera.
From my neighbor, Zinayida Gorchkhanova, the Russians stole 10 thousand rubles she saved with so much pain to pay for her treatment (she has a heart problem). God damn them!”
Aindy Abdul-Khamidovich Makayev (born 1964):
“After the shooting ended, I went with other men to the central barrack, where we were ordered to go. We were put in the bathhouse and our documents were taken away. I showed them my card of Representative of the Chechen Republic in Ingushetia for Public Relations and Relations with Humanitarian Organizations; however, the military did not pay any attention to it. They ignored my request to introduce themselves and one of them, a man dressed in white camouflage and with an open face, even said: “Don’t stick your neck out, smart aleck!”
From the bathhouse I managed to make a call to Chechnya to former CR Representative in the RI Gilani (Sharap) Beldurov (he is currently a deputy in the Chechen parliament) and tell him what had happened. He promised to help.
They started to take us one by one for identification of the killed man. Neither I, nor other males had ever seen him before on the premises of the camp. No one knew whom he was visiting, if at all. After the identification procedure was completed, the troops returned documents to six people and released them. I asked them to give back mine. I was told, “Later” and taken to a place where two cars were parked (Ingush license plate was visible on one of the UAZ jeeps, Region 06, and number 017). I was led to a VAZ-21099 car with tinted windows and no license plates. They put a submachine gun to my side and ordered me to get into the car. A person who sat inside said they were going to take me to the Republican MVD to check against a computer database and if I was clear, they would return my passport and release me. They did not even cover my face.
At around 6:00 p.m., the motorcade left the CAP. We arrived in the town of Magas and pulled up near the UFSB building. Three troops sitting in the car took off their masks – they were all Slavs. The fourth man, who forced me into the car under gun-point, stayed masked. I was again asked about the killed person: whom he was visiting, at whose place he stayed for the night, etc. They asked me to tell the truth, promising not to tell anyone. Such an interrogation continued with interruptions for more than an hour. Then they talked to someone over the radio set for some five minutes. After the end of the conversation, they asked me why the head of the FSB Directorate and deputy minister of the Republican MVD showed interest in me. From that I gathered that G. Beldurov managed to get in touch with leaders of local security agencies and intercede for me.
At around 7:30 p.m., they brought my passport back (they took away from it my temporary registration certificate); however, they did not return my card, which was expired. After that I was taken to the city of Nazran and left at the building of the new school. I asked them to give me a lift to Karabulak, to which they responded, “You should be grateful you are alive at all.” With the help from my friends I got to the CAP and discovered at home that 300 rubles and my 9.5 gram gold ring were missing.
At around noon, several local residents got blown up on a mine in the forested area near the village of Dzhugurty when they were gathering ramps (wild leek). The following persons were killed in the explosion: Albika Mussayevna Mussayevà (born 1982) and Yunus Ismayilovich Baisultanov (born 1991), an eighth-grader. Irabu Betersultanîvna Mudayeva (born 1965) sustained a serious wound.
Shortly before that Albika Mussayevà got a job as a teacher in school at the village of Bachi-Yurt; she came to Dzhugurty to help her parents.
A response team from the Kurchaloi ROVD arrived at the scene of the explosion. It discovered traces of some unknown military detachment in the area. Relatives of the victims did not apply to law-enforcement agencies. No criminal case was opened into the explosion.
March 7, 2006
At about 10:00 a.m., four local residents were blown up supposedly on a trip wire mine near the village of Ali-Yurt, the Nazran District of the Republic of Ingushetia:
Alikhan Khusenovich Yevloyev (born 1991); resided at the address: 8 Tutayeva Street (killed at the scene);
Israil (Isropil) Osmanovich Yevloyev (born 1987); resides at the address: 6 Tutayeva Street (open fractures of both legs and multiple fragment wounds of the lower limbs);
Timur Yunusovich Yevloyev (born 1988); resides at the address: 4 Tutayeva Street (a mine blast wound injury of the lower limb and fragment wounds to the body);
Mussa Khusenovich Yevloyev (aged 16); resides at the address: 8 Tutayeva Street (fragment wounds of the lower limb and a mine blast wound).
On that day, the five young men from the village of Ali-Yurt went to the nearest woods to gather ramps. There Israil Yevloyev tripped on a wire, after which an explosion occurred. As a result, one person was killed and three wounded. The fifth teenager, Khasan Yunusovich Yevloyev (born 1987), residing at the address: 4 Tutayeva Street, was not injured in the incident. He ran to the village to call for help. When he was going back, 30 to 40 minutes later, he tripped on another trip wire mine near the site of the first explosion. As a result, Khasan sustained fragment wounds of the lower limbs.
All the victims were taken to an intensive care unit of the Central Republican Hospital in the city of Nazran. According to doctors, three of them were in bad condition.
Two craters with diameters of 20 and 40 cm were formed at the sites of the explosions. Three Krona batteries, an F-1 grenade without a fuse, and an electric fuse were discovered at the scene during its inspection.
According to some reports, officials in the MVD of Ingushetia suppose that the explosive devices were planted in the woods by servicemen of special units of the RF Ministry of Defense, who were hunting down militants in the areas adjacent to the village of Ali-Yurt.
Dear Murat Magometovich,
January 17, 2006
At around 6:20 p.m., in the stanitsa of Ordzhonikidzevskya, unknown people tried to set on fire the property of the Chebotayev family at the address: 7 Shirokaya Street. According to the owner, Nikolay Maksimovich Chebotayev (born 1932), he was sitting on the verandah when a jar with Molotov cocktail was hurled there. The jar crashed beside him and the fire that blazed up spread over to Nikolay Maksimovich’s clothes. Chebotayev managed to quickly put out the fire and did not get burnt. Neighbors called in the police. The Sunzha District Prosecutor’s Office opened a criminal case into the incident.
At 11:05 p.m., in the stanitsa of Ordzhonikidzevskya, unknown people tried to set on fire the property of the Kovalenko family at 1 Chapayeva Street. The housewife, Anna Yefimovna Kovalenko (born 1953), says that unknown people hurled a jar with Molotov cocktail over the fence. The jar hit the wall of the house, but did not flare up. The Kovalenkos have not filed an application with the law-enforcement agencies.
January 20, 2006
According to a report by the Caucasian Knot news outlet, in the stanitsa of Ordzhonikidzevskya, the Sunzha District, the Zarudnev family fell victim to a shooting attack. Unknown men wearing masks burst into the Zarudnevs’ home and shot point-blank at the people who were there, after which they left the place. The owner of the house, Vladimir Zarudnev, and his neighbor, Sergey Linkov, who was visiting the Zarudnevs at the time of the attack, died at the scene of the incident. The killed man’s wife and his son were taken to the district clinical hospital with serious wounds.
January 23, 2006
At around 9:30 p.m., in the stanitsa of Ordzhonikidzevskya, an arson attempt was made on the home at 147 Lenina Street, where the Pomotov family lives: Yelena Pavlovna (born 1948) and Vladimir Vasilievich (born 1950) Pomotovs. According to the owners, unknown people threw a jar with Molotov cocktail and an oil wick over the fence. The jar crashed on a wooden porch; however, it did not flare up. The Sunzha District Prosecutor’s Office opened a criminal case into the incident. On May 6, 1998, the Pomotov family was subjected to an attack: two criminals, Ingush, burst into the house and robbed and beat its owners. This crime has not been solved yet.
February 21, 2006
On the night of February 21, in the stanitsa of Nesterovskaya, unknown people attempted to set on fire two properties, located at 102 Kommunisticheskaya Street, owned by the Starostyukov family, and at 95 Kommunisticheskaya Street, owned by the Matyushkin family.
After midnight, a three-liter jar with Molotov cocktail and a wick was thrown through the window of the Starostyukovs’ home. The Starostyukovs learned that their house was set on fire from the neighbors living across the road, the Matyushkins: a jar with Molotov cocktail was thrown at their house a few minutes earlier.
Repeat arson attempts on those houses were made on the night of February 23, after midnight. According to Marina Nikolayevna Starostyukova (born 1971), at the time of the incident she was rocking her baby to sleep and heard the sound of the crashed jar. This time the people were quick to respond to the noise and put out the fire. A similar arson attempt was made on the same night on the home of the Matyushkins. The Sunzha District Prosecutor’s Office opened criminal cases into the incidents.
February 25, 2006
At around 9:45 p.m., in the stanitsa of Troitskaya, an unknown person threw an explosive device at the house at 4 “a” Sovetskaya Street, where the Gorokhov family lives. At the time of the incident Mikhail Nikolayevich Gorokhov and his wife, Valentina Vladimirovna Gorokhova (born 1941), were watching television. They heard the sound of a broken glass and thought that a ceiling lamp fell. Valentina went to the entrance hall to see what happened. An explosion occurred at that moment; Valentina Gorokhova sustained fragment wounds to the neck, the face and the left forearm. A response and investigation police team arrived at the scene of the incident. A metal safety lever from an RGD grenade was discovered. The Sunzha District Prosecutor’s Office opened a criminal case into the incident under Article 3, Part 3, Article 105, Part 2 “å,” and Article 222, Part 1, of the RF Criminal Code.
In 1997, the Gorokhovs’ son, Viktor Mikhailovich Gorokhov (born 1970), was taken hostage by unknown men. Together with him three specialists from Moscow were abducted, with whom Gorokhov worked on a pipe laying project. Viktor’s body was found later near the stanitsa of Assinovskaya, the Sunzha District of the CR, while the specialists were released on the territory of Chechnya for a ransom.
At 10: 30 p.m., in the stanitsa of Ordzhonikidzevskya, unknown people threw an explosive device into the house at 24 Rozy Lyuksemburg Street, where the Shaikov family lives: Maria Yegorovna and Vladimir Stepanovich Shaikovs. The explosive device, supposedly an RGD grenade, was thrown into the room where the Shaikovs’ grand-daughter Oksana Yurievna Didyk (born 1985), her husband Yegor Nikolayevich Didyk (born 1980), and their daughter, Yulia, aged three, were at the moment. As a result of the explosion, Oksana Didyk died at the scene from the fragment wounds he sustained. Yegor Didyk called in the police over the phone. Metal fragments of an explosive device were discovered and recovered at the scene of the incident. A criminal case was opened into the incident under Article 105, Part 2, and Article 222, Part 1, of the RF Criminal Code.
The Didyk family returned to Ingushetia in May 2005. Yegor Nikolayevich got a job at the brick works in the town of Karabulak. His wife worked at the intensive care unit of the hospital in the stanitsa of Ordzhonikidzevskya.
March 5, 2006
At 11:05 p.m., in the stanitsa of Ordzhonikidzevskya, unknown people threw an explosive device into the yard of the house at 6 Komsomolskaya Street, where Nina Vladimirovna Penkova (born 1982) lives together with her younger brothers (born 1999 and 1998) and a sister (born 1995). According to Nina Vladimirovna, an explosion was heard when they were going to bed. Then there was a smell of burning. The explosive device hit the glazing of the verandah and exploded. No one was injured in the explosion; however, all the windows in the house were smashed.
Two minutes later, a similar explosive device was thrown into the vegetable garden of the house at 2 Chapayeva Street, where Lyubov Dmitriyevna Ivanova (born 1950), and her family, four adults and seven minors, live. The Ivanovs live not far away from the Penkovs. No one was injured in the explosion. Several windows were smashed in the house.
Ten minutes later, a lot of police officers arrived at the crime scene. They inspected the sites of the explosions. They managed to establish that in both cases an explosive device was put into a glass jar filled with metal pellets. One of the neighbors saw a white VAZ car driving away from the Ivanovs’ home after the explosion. According to him, a large man in camouflage uniform was sitting behind the wheel. Law-enforcement agencies opened criminal cases into these incidents; investigations are underway.
According to Nina Penkova, on March 3, at around 6:00 p.m., a fire engine arrived at their home. The fire fighters started to unroll fire-hoses, apparently planning to put out a fire. When Penkova said that her house was okay, they explained to her that they received a fire emergency call for her address.
Excerpts from articles by the observer of Novaya Gazeta newspaper Anna Politkovskaya
A Hostage to the Russian Federation
Adam Chitayev, a teacher of English, was arrested in Ust-Ilimsk because he and his brother have filed an action with the Strasbourg Court
Anna POLITKOVSKAYA, Novaya Gazeta
The Chitayev brothers have filed applications “against Russia” with the Strasbourg court. Furthermore, they have almost won.
In summer 2005, consideration of their case in the European Court, which had been going on for years, ended with an interim victory – with the so-called “Decision on the Admissibility of Complaint No.59334/00.”
… For year 2000 in Chechnya their story looks quite trivial. …
Arbi (born in 1964) was an engineer and had always lived in Chechnya, in Grozny. Adam (born 1967) was a school teacher; he lived in Kazakhstan for a long time, like many Chechens, and moved to Chechnya only in 1999, just before the war, settling at the place of his brother, Arbi, in Grozny, together with his wife and two kids.
In autumn 1999, Arbi’s apartment in Grozny was destroyed as a result of a missile attack. The brothers together with their families moved into the home of their father in Achkhoi-Martan. On January 15, 2000, officers from Temporary Department of the Interior Ministry (VOVD) conducted a search in the Chitayevs’ home and in the process took away a brand-new, still packed, cell phone.
On January 18, one of the Chitayevs went to the VOVD to voice his complaints. And they even gave back to him the telephone. However, on April 12, they took a revenge: there was a search again, and again looting, and then an arrest, and looting again.
… everything that was of interest was taken away from the house: a VCR, a printer, TV sets, a PC, a heater, “two folders with documents,” etc. Most interestingly, the list of stolen things was submitted to Strasbourg with a signature of police operative from the Achkhoi-Martan VOVD Vlasenko.
Arbi and Adam Chitayevs were arrested. On April 14, their father, Salaudi, went to the VOVD to learn about the fate of his sons and got arrested himself. The official reason was violation of the curfew (he was released five days later). The brothers were held at the Achkhoi-Martan VOVD for 17 days. “They were handcuffed to a chair and beaten… different parts of the body, including the tips of the fingers and ears, were treated with electric shocks… their arms were twisted; they were beaten with rubber batons and plastic bottles filled with water; they were subjected to suffocation with adhesive tape, plastic bags and gas masks; dogs were put on top of them; and patches of skin were torn off with pliers …”
On April 28, the Chitayevs, together with other detainees at the VOVD, were taken out with their eyes blindfolded and told that they were going to be executed by a firing squad. However, they were taken to the Chernokozovo SIZO. “…They were forced to run into the interrogation room bent down and with their hands behind their heads, while the guards were giving punches to their backs. The interrogation room had an iron table and an iron chair; there was a hook on the wall…. they were kicked with boots and beaten with the butts of firearms and hammers to different parts of the body, in particular, on knee caps; straight jackets were put on them; they were tied to the hook to hang on it and beaten; their fingers and toes were squeezed with the help of hammers and side jambs; their hands and feet were tied together behind their backs (“sparrow” position)… The detainees were not allowed under the threat of beating to pray…”
The Chitayevs got lucky: they were released from Chernokozovo in October 2000. …Naturally, their anger first brought them to Russian law-enforcement bodies: the prosecutor’s office and court, and next – when they failed to elicit any interest towards their sufferings from them – to Strasbourg. There the Chitayevs – Arbi and Adam – filed official complaints.
… Arbi took a hard decision and left the country, as he felt he could no longer live in the place where you had been so badly humiliated. … And Adam decided to stay – he went for Siberia, got a job at school and became a teacher, as before.
And their case in Strasbourg was put into a long queue of suffering fellow-countrymen and was routinely slowly proceeding towards consideration.
And then, when the result became obvious…, but there was still time before the final verdict, the criminal case against Adam was brought back to life. Again the same “eight military coats and a tape with recording of Shamil Basayev’s interview” appeared there. Adam was put on the wanted list and a legal (with official residence registration) law-abiding person, who was not hiding anywhere, was captured. And he was convoyed to Chechnya. This is clearly a reprisal for his efforts in Strasbourg. The state’s revenge for the attempt to disagree that you are a nobody in this country.”
How a Chechen “militant” went without a convoy from Ust-Ilimsk, the Irkutsk Region, to Achkhoi-Martan, Chechnya, to visit the prosecutor’s office. And how he returned back.
Anna POLITKOVSKAYA, Novaya Gazeta
However, amazing things started to appear in Adam’s life later – after a trivial detention. When television channels were still gushing over the fact that the “Siberian militant” had already been convoyed to Chechnya, Chitayev went there himself under his own guard. In the past few years we have definitely not seen things like that.
The first person to visit Chitayev at the IVS (temporary detention center) after his detention was the head of the Ust-Ilimsk UFSB (Federal Security Service Directorate) by the name of Berezovsky. Berezovsky, a Siberian man, had a paper in his hands with the letterhead of Russian Justice Initiative – there is such a human rights organization, which helps interested people to prepare documents for Strasbourg.
Berezovsky was not repressive. He did not file his teeth, did not beat him in the kidney area. The only bad thing he said to Chitayev was, “You don’t love your Motherland if...” you got involved with human rights activists.
The hint and the reason for the arrest became clear: withdraw you complaint from Strasbourg. … Adam refused. So, he had to be convoyed to Chechnya – people there were insistently demanding him to be turned in …
But how to transport him? At least five to six guards had be assigned and plenty of money was needed from the lean budget of the municipal prosecutor’s office to pay them “combat” and “field” bonuses…
And Berezovsky offered a trade-off: sign a written undertaking to arrive at the Achkhoi-Martan District Prosecutor’s Office of Chechnya, which had put you on the wanted list (and it is this office that writes a response to Strasbourg) and go there yourself, paying for the travel with your own money.
… over the recent years, A.G. Chitayev has been studied and rechecked: there are no mines on his field. Naturally, it is most easy to do checks in Ust-Ilimsk. There are three Chechens in the entire town – people know them inside out…
So, on September 14, Adam went there under his own guard. He gave his word and he kept it.
“No one knows with what feelings I went there,” says Adam.
On September 16, he appeared at the Achkhoi-Martan Prosecutor’s Office and saw that he was not at all being waited for. To be more exact, he was being waited for, but not to come by himself. People escape by themselves and here he arrives and says right away, “Tell me, where is my guilt? Why did you reopen the investigative case?”.
“Fyodor Alayamkin from the prosecutor’s office, whose signature is under the request to convoy me to Chechnya,” says Adam, “refused to talk to me; he sent me to the Republican Prosecutor’s Office, because it had taken the case. I went there, but there, too, I had great difficulty finding my investigator. I found him only on September 29. The man’s name was Aslan Makhmudov. And he said exactly the following: “Your case is false and you may leave … .”
…When he was heading for Grozny to the Republican Prosecutor’s Office to find “his investigator,” Adam was already aware that his was being followed by some “unknown people in camouflage uniforms.” They sent a messenger to him, who said: “If you don’t withdraw your Strasbourg application, that will be the end. We will get either you or your family.”
Adam told the people at the prosecutor’s office: “You’d better lock me up in a remand cell, lest I be kidnapped.” However, investigator Makhmudov ventured to do a miracle: he simply told Adam, “Leave this place.” And he issued a relevant certificate, followed by another one written by the head of the Achkhoi-Martan District OVD Captain Aidamirov: “…issued to Adam Salaudinovich Chitayev (born June 25, 1967) … Chitayev… has been removed from the federal wanted list: investigative case No.095010.”
And Adam left, lest he be kidnapped by Kadyrovtsy. In an airport in Ingushetia he appeared with a big folder under his arm. And now wherever or whenever he goes, he always takes this folder with him. His entire life is in this folder. When in airports, he goes straight to the security service to say to them: I might be on the wanted list, but this not true, this was in the past, and here I am, documented. He has a whole set of documents in that folder: from his Komsomol and soldier references from the Soviet times to the latest certificate issued by Captain Aidamirov, dated October 4.
When he was passing Moscow on his way back from Chechnya to Ust-Ilimsk, Adam wrote a letter about it all to Putin – that we cannot go on living like this:
“Dear Vladimir Vladimirovich, this is a letter from a man who, with every day, finds it increasingly difficult and dangerous to live in Russia … I ask you to intervene and stop this outrage, this lawlessness, this terror by law-enforcement agencies, which instead of sorting things out and launching an in-house investigation on officers from the Achkhoi-Martan District VOVD are trying to break me, my family and my relatives, constantly threatening and intimidating me and suggesting that I go to the mountains and fight if I disagree with them … Vladimir Vladimirovich, people are still disappearing in Chechnya; extrajudicial killings and atrocities still happen; believe me, it is really very scary to live in Chechnya … My letter is a desperate step of the person who still believes in the rule of law and justice in Russia… I have serious grounds to believe that members of my family and I are in mortal danger from security agencies.”
…. Both Adam and Arbi were tortured so cruelly that it would be impossible, unethical to describe them here. Two of the four brothers have buried their little children. Adam buried a baby boy, who had a heart attack because of the bombings… An ordinary Chechen story – only there is very much dignity, which, it so happened, has only hardened in the ordeals. And they are too educated to take up arms. And they very much want to live like Europeans do – by the laws, rather than by some medieval rules.”
At around 5 a.m., a group of armed men in camouflage uniforms arrived at the house of Ilman Umayev that was located on the edge of the village and where his cousin Anzor Umayev was staying overnight. They burst into the house and one of the troops shot Anzor in the leg as he slept. Having heard the sounds of shooting, one of the neighbors went by car to take Yeisa Umayev, Ilman's father, who lived in the center of the village, and brought him to the house of his son.
By that time the troops were already taking away Ilman, his wife Madina, and the wounded Anzor, the latter being dragged across the ground. Yeisa, an elderly and sick man, was severely beaten; they badly hurt his face and took him away as well.
Approximately at 4 p.m., officers from PPSM based in the city of Gudermes informed Umayevs’ relatives that the bodies of Anzor and Ilman had been found lying on the intersection of the roads leading to the villages of Nozhai-Yurt, Sayasan and Beno. Local residents saw as they were passing by the bodies being photographed at the scene. The killed men, whose clothes had already been changed for camouflage uniforms, were photographed as though they were active “militants” who had just been neutralized.
This allowed a number of news agencies to carry reports about an armed clash with IAG fighters in the village of Sayasyan:
“An armed clash took place in the Nozhai-Yurt District of Chechnya between police officers and members of illegal armed groups, the Republican MVD told RIA Novosti news agency on Wednesday. “Police officers conducted an investigation and search operation in one of the private homes in the village of Sayasyan,” said the MVD spokesperson. According to him, during the check fire was opened with automatic weapons at police officers simultaneously from two homes. As a result, two officers from the MVD special unit sustained wounds.
Three members of illegal armed groups were detained. Two of them tried to escape during the investigative actions. According to the agency's interlocutor, police officers had to open fire and both criminal were killed.”
At 5 in the morning, officers from Russian security agencies abducted six residents of the village of Novye Atagi from their homes: Ruslan Salaudinovich Khalayev (born 1984); Sharudin Badrunovich Khalayev (born 1978); Magomed Isayevich Elikhanov (born 1985); Apti Edilov (aged 18); Magomed-Zmi Aguyev (born 1987); and Islam Khasinovich Bakalov (born 1987).
The military displayed very rude behavior during the capture; they did not introduce themselves and did not explain the reasons for taking the people away. Relatives went to Shali and tried without success to learn about the fate of their family members at the ROVD and the prosecutor’s office.
On September 15, 16 and 17, relatives of the abductees were gathering for a picket, blocking the road that lead to the village of Novye Atagi and passed near the bridge over the Argun. Several times they received threats from armed people in camouflage uniforms that force would be used to disperse them, but still they rallied together.
On the night of September 17 – September 18, unknown armed people abducted the head of the village administration Abdulla Datsayev. He was taken to Shali. He returned on the same day, in the early morning, badly beaten. According to some reports, he had four ribs broken. He invited Elikhanov’s parents to his place and urged them not to block the road anymore. According to him, the whereabouts of the abductees had been established; however, he did not disclose where exactly they were held.
On the same night of September 18, officers from unknown security agencies raided a bake house in the village of Novye Atagi. They smashed the equipment and scattered the workers, accusing them of providing militants with bread.
On September 18, one of the abductees, Apti Edilov, returned home. He was pushed out of the car not far from the city of Grozny and got home independently by a passing car. The fate of the remaining abductees was still unknown.
On September 18, villagers of Novye Atagi blocked the road again. By noon, a police officer from local police precinct approached the picketers and suggested that relatives go with him to Shali, where they would be shown their sons. Several people went there. At the Shali ROVD they were told that Elikhanov, Aguyev, and Ruslan and Sharudin Khalayevs were charged with murder of police officer Mitsiyev. Criminal cases were opened against each of them. There was still no information about Bakalov’s fate.
On September 19, residents of the village of Novye Atagi again gathered for a picket near the bridge over the Argun, protesting arbitrary actions of security officers and demanding information about Bakalov’s fate. By noon, deputy head of the district administration Ramzan Tasukhanov and official from the Committee for Enforcement of the Constitutional Rights at the CR Government Abu Mussayev arrived at the picket. They informed that Bakalov was also held at the ROVD. He, like others, was also charged with the murder of the policeman. According to them, some of the abductees had admitted their guilt. Ramzan Tasukhanov also said that a criminal case was opened against police officers who had exceeded their authority. After that the picketers went home.
Villagers of Novye Atagi link the killing of the policeman to blood revenge. About a month earlier, Mitsiyev killed a man – by accident as he said. A campaign to shoot stray dogs was carried out at the time. Hearing some stir in the bushes the policeman shot there thinking it was a dog. There were people in the bushes and one of them got killed. Supposedly, a relative of the killed man avenged the policeman.
Sixteen-year-old Ruslan Magomedovich Yandarkayev was abducted from his home in the Zavodskoy District of the city of Grozny.
Ruslan Yandarkayev was taken to the Oktyabrsky District, to precinct station 12, which was housed in the building of the former vocational school and where one of the units of local security agencies under the command of Akhmad Kadyrov was based. There he saw several other abducted young men, who were very badly beaten. They told Ruslan that they had been held there for several days already and had not had a single meal since the time of detention.
Ruslan was accused of having buried weapons on a wasteland before the war. The boy tried to object saying that he was not able to do it, since he was only ten at the time. However, his arguments were not taken into account. He and other two young men, one of whom was from the village of Chechen-Aul and another – from the village of Starye Atagi, were taken to that same wasteland and requested to hand over the weapons.
Ruslan’s father, Magomed Yandarkayev, learned about the charges against his son. He volunteered to dig where the military would show him. He dug a big hole after the place was indicated; however, there were no weapons there. Then the security officers demanded that in exchange for his son he turn in one grenade launcher and one militant. Magomed Yandarkayev managed to talk them into paying 50,000 rubles instead. He borrowed the money, bought out his son and now is selling his property to repay debts and leave Chechnya.
On the same day, on September 7, 2005, in the village of Novye Atagi, the Shali District, officers from unknown security agencies abducted two local teenagers: Lom-Ali Khunkerkhanov (aged 14) and his neighbor Ruslan Yasayev (aged 15).
According to local residents, security officials wanted to take with them even a 12-year-old boy, but later released him.
The troops displayed very rude behavior during the conduct of the operation. They put bags on the heads of Khunkerkhanov and Yasayev and drove them away, despite protests from their mothers. The troops did not say where they were taking the children.
Three days later, they brought the teenagers back and said there had been a mistake. It emerged that the reason for their detention was the fact that in the end of August the boys for some small pay were gathering stones near the river (stones are used in construction). Many teenagers in Novye Atagi earn money in this way to pay for their school uniforms, which their mothers cannot afford to buy them.
Security officers suspected the boys in burying weapons on the riverbank. According to fellow-villagers of Khunkerkhanov and Yasayev, the teenagers were badly beaten during the interrogation: the bodies of the boys showed signs of beatings.
September 17, 2005
In the early morning, in the city of Grozny, Saikhan Mukayev (aged 14) was abducted from his home by unknown armed people.
The abductors forced him into a car’s trunk, drove him outside the city, brutally beat him up and only then asked his name. When he gave his name, the criminals said they got mistaken and left the boy, who lost consciousness, without any help. Passers-by who discovered him helped him to get to his home. Saikhan needs serious treatment. It is a hard blow to his mother, Isita. She is raising Saikhan and his brothers and sisters alone. Saikhan’s elder brother got blown up on a mine in 2000, when he with other boys was gathering scrapped aluminum products. He was left without a leg and an eye. The family lives in very bad living conditions in a semi-ruined five-storied building.
On May 7, 2006, at about 10:00 a.m., in the center of Nazran, unknown men wearing camouflage and police uniforms, abducted a local resident Uvais Magometovich Dolakov, (aged 50), residing at the address: 8 Sheripova Street.
According to witnesses, Dolakov arrived by his car Volga-3105 at the LogoVAZ private enterprise, which is located near the central market. When he got out of the car, he was approached by people in camouflage and police uniforms. After a short conversation, they led Dolakov to their car (a silver VAZ-2110 car; number 392, Region 95), put him inside and drove him away in an unknown direction. Dolakov did not offer any resistance and calmly got into the car with the unknown men.
Later in the day, sometime after his abduction, a woman called Dolakov’s relatives and informed them about what happened. His brother, Idris Dolakov, went to the place from where Uvais was taken away. After questioning the witnesses, Idris reconstructed the abduction and immediately turned for help to law-enforcement agencies of the Republic. Relatives filed written applications with the Nazran GOVD, the municipal prosecutor’s office, etc. None of the republican security agencies had any information about the abduction or detention of U.M. Dolakov. Officers from law-enforcement agencies promised to take measures to search for him.
Relatives chose not to rely on help from security agencies and took their own efforts to find him. They managed to find out that the car on which Uvais had been driven away was spotted near the settlement of Dlinnaya Dolina in the Malgobek District of Ingushetia. In that location Dolakov was put into another car – one of the two Niva cars. Dolakov was taken away by six or seven people wearing camouflage uniforms and masks. He was driven away in the direction of Malgobek. Relatives went to Chechnya and visited almost every security agency and unit in that Republic. They also used unofficial channels.
All the measures that were taken yielded no results – they failed to find Uvais. However, they managed to find out that the car with number 392, Region 95, was not registered anywhere (perhaps, its license plate was fake). Relatives came to the conclusion that Uvais was not present on the territory of Chechnya. Then they started to look for traces of Dolakov in Ingushetia and North Ossetia. They also unofficially turned to officers from security services. They managed to establish contact with a person, an intermediary, who promised them for a reward to show the place where the dead body of Dolakov was buried. They paid 10,000 US dollars for that information.
On June 4, Dolakov’s relative together with officers from the RI MVD and the prosecutor’s office went to the Mozdok District, to the village of Vesyoloye (or Veselovskoye). The team was led by Deputy Prosecutor of Nazran Nurdin Daklayev. After they arrived at the scene, they were joined by officers from the Mozdok District RUVD.
Several kilometers away from the village of Vesyoloye, in a forest belt, Dolakov’s grave was discovered in the place that was indicated. The body was put into a pit approximately one meter deep and covered with earth. The ground sank over time in that place. When they started digging, officers from the Mozdok RUVD called in reinforcement over the radio set. When the body was recovered, relatives recognized Uvais Dolakov. There were no clothes on the dead body and no wounds or visible injuries. A more careful inspection of the dead body revealed that three ribs were broken. For further examination the body was taken to the Mozdok District Prosecutor’s Office and from there sent to morgue for forensic medical examination.
It was reported after the autopsy that heart attack was the cause of death of U. Dolakov. Relatives were promised to be given forensic medical examination report before June 26, 2006. Relatives signed the report and took Dolakov’s body to Ingushetia to bury him. All the actions at the scene were videotaped; officers from the Nazran Prosecutor’s Office have a copy of the recording.
According to Idris Dolakov, who was present during the exhumation of his brother, several other places with characteristically sunken ground were visible at the scene where Uvais was buried. Strong putrid smell was present there even before the digging was started.
According to relatives of Uvais Dolakov, he had never done anything illegal in all his life; he was a very law-abiding citizen. He was married; four children were left without father, the youngest of whom is seven. Lately, U. Dolakov had no permanent job. The Nazran Prosecutor’s Office opened a criminal case into the death of Dolakov. Dolakov’s relatives continue their own independent investigation.
in the Vladikavkaz SIZO
In the city of Nazran, officers from security agencies captured and drove away Mussa Israilovich Dzortov (born 1980). M. Dzortov was taken away from the house at 144 Albogachiyeva Street, where he together with his wife, Tanzila Barkinkhoyeva, was temporarily renting an apartment.
At about 3:00 p.m., around 40 armed people arrived at their house by several cars. Ten masked men in camouflage uniforms, who spoke unaccented Russian, came into the room. They did not present any documents. One of them said that they needed Dzortov. Mussa said that it was him. The military said that he had to go with them. He asked them why, and one of them said they were from FSB and did not report to anybody. Mussa was led from the home and put into an UAZ-452 jeep.
Then the security officers conducted a search and asked Tanzila Barkinkhoyeva if there was a gun in their home. She said they did not have any gun. No illegal items were found in the search. The security officers spent approximately half an hour in the home. Sometime after they left, Ingush police officers arrived. Local police precinct officer Dzeitov was among them. They also thoroughly searched the home and left thirty minutes later, without offering any explanations.
On the same day, Barkinkhoyeva turned for explanation to the republican MVD, however, there she was told that they did not know who had taken away her husband. She also went to the GOVD to meet police officer Dzeitov. He also could not give her the reason Dzortov was taken away and did not say who had done it. Their visit to the house at 144 Albogachiyeva Street the Ingush policemen explained by the fact that got the order to conduct a search at that address. They did not specify who gave them that order.
On March 12, Dzortov’s uncle received a call on his cell phone from a woman who introduced herself as lawyer Regina Tuayeva. She informed him that Mussa was being kept at the Vladikavkaz SIZO and she was representing his interests. Tuayeva suggested that they come to Vladikavkaz on the following day to meet her.
On March 13, Barkinkhoyeva and her husband’s uncle met the lawyer and learned that Mussa was being charged with the attack on the ROVD in Ingushetia on the night of June 22, 2004, and that he supposedly had already signed a confession to the crime. Tuayeva suggested that relatives come a day later and bring personal belongings and foodstuffs to Mussa. She assured them that he had not been beaten.
On the night of that same day Dzortov called his uncle and told him not to sign an agreement with lawyer Tuayeva. He said he was being badly beaten and tortured – two ribs had been broken. Mussa also said that they threatened him with rape of he does not take responsibility for some “episode.”
Dzortov’s relatives hired a new lawyer, Kaurbek Cherbizhev. During the very first meeting with him, Dzortov recanted the confessionary statements he made earlier.
On March 30, Tanzila Barkinkhoyeva filed a written application with Memorial HRC Office in Nazran. She is asking to protect the rights of her husband, who she says is absolutely innocent. She is convinced that he has been pressed with false charges and coerced to admit his guilt. According to her, he could not have participated in the attack on the ROVD in June 2004, since over the past three years he had been earning money as a seasonal construction worker in Dagestan and was away from Ingushetia in that period.
Account of Mekhti Mukhayev of torture in the Shatoi ROVD
Excerpts from the application filed by Issa Gamayev
with Memorial HRC
The Response Letter from the CR Prosecutor’s Office Concerning the Release of the Dead Body of Ì. Muradov
Dear Ella Aleksandrovna,
The leadership of the Chechen Republic is making every effort to terminate abductions of people in the Republic.
Over the past year, we have made certain progress in this area. At the same time, unfortunately, isolated incidents of abduction of people on the territory of the Chechen Republic still happen.
In connection with the abduction of B. Chilayev and A. Israilov, under my instructions, the Ministry of the Interior of the Chechen Republic is conducting necessary investigation and search operations. Other security agencies are also involved in these efforts, including the Federal Security Service Directorate of the Russian Federation for the Chechen Republic, the Chief Directorate of the Temporary Task Group of Agencies and Departments of the Interior Ministry of Russia, and the Prosecutor’s Office of Chechen Republic.
Identification of participants in the abduction of B. Chilayev and A. Israilov and their whereabouts has been complicated by the fact that the people participating in the abduction used on their cars exact replicas of license plates assigned to units of federal forces and the MVD of Russia.
I assure you that the efforts to find and release B. Chilayev and A. Israilov will continue until they are found and released.
Chairman of the Government of the Chechen Republic R.A. Kadyrov
HUMAN RIGHTS ROUND TABLE
Recommendations to the leaders of the G8 meeting
in St Petersburg
from the Section “Migration, Xenophobia and Racial Discrimination”
This meeting of the G8 takes place in the context of rising xenophobia, racism, and violence in much of the Global North. Much of this xenophobia concerns refugees, migrants, people of immigrant origin, and minorities. Xenophobia is encouraged by factors including fears of terrorism, the marginalization of different groups, nationalism, ongoing domestic and international armed conflicts, and deliberate manipulation by some political leaders.
In this regard, Civil Forum Participants call upon the G8 member states to:
Recognize that racism and xenophobia pose a threat to national and international peace and security and to sustained economic development;
Recognize that xenophobia and accompanying racist violence must be addressed through a combination of political action, education, and law enforcement, to include:
· The elaboration and improvement of criminal law and law-enforcement with respect to violence motivated by discrimination, or hate crime.
· The creation of transparent and accessible systems of monitoring, reporting, and statistical analysis of hate crimes and incidents and the response to them, drawing upon information and positive experiences from G8 members.
· Public policies and programs to counter xenophobia and hate crime, including through education.
· Safeguards to ensure that measures taken to counteract racism and discrimination do not infringe internationally recognized norms of freedom of conscience and expression or be invoked to inhibit the democratic process.
· Commitments by members of the G8 to communicate with other member states where policies regarding xenophobia, migrants, and minorities violate the international obligations of member states.
Recognize the essential role of NGOs in helping refugees and migrants and in combating racism and xenophobia, including by:
· Commitments at the highest level to ensure that NGOs have the freedom of action required to work effectively and independently;
· High level action to ensure the security of civil society activists who help refugees and migrants and those who stand against xenophobia and extreme nationalist and racist groups.
Civil Forum participants call on governments to recognize the competence and experience of NGOs and to actively co-operate with them on these issues.
Twenty nine members of NGOs from 14 countries, including all G8 member states, worked in the Section.
MEMORIAL Human Rights Center
Migration Rights Network
Svetlana Alekseyevna Gannushkina
On the Situation of Residents
of Chechnya in the Russian Federation
July 2005 – July 2006
12 Maly Karetny Pereulok, Moscow 103051