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The Internally Displaced Persons from Chechnya in the Russian Federation

The report is based on materials supplied by the Migration Rights Network.
Àâòîð(û): Gannushkina Svetlana (Co-Chairperson of Civic Assistance Committee, Member of the board of the “Memorial” Human Rights Center)

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Memorial Human Rights Center
Migration Rights Network

S.A. Gannushkina

The Internally Displaced Persons from Chechnya in the Russian Federation

The report is based on materials supplied by the Migration Rights Network.
In work with the report have taken part:
I. Zolotarevskaia
M. Lvova
A. Barakhoev
E. Burtina

ISBN 5–93439–084–8

© S.A. Gannushkina


The aim of the report is to describe how the people who had lived in Chechnya and had to leave their homes because of the war that has been going on for eight years now are living in new places. In 1994 the events in Chechnya were described as “restoration of constitutional order,” since 1999 the developments have been known as an “anti-terrorist operation.” Neither at the beginning nor now the state of emergency was introduced in the republic despite the fact that on 30 May 2001 the Russian Federation got a Law “On the State of Emergency” that covers all relevant aspects. Art. 3, Point a, of the Law enumerates the following circumstances under which the state of emergency can be introduced: mass disorders, terrorist acts, training of illegal armed units and their activity. This perfectly fits the situation in Chechnya. The law establishes certain frameworks within which freedoms and rights can be limited. Outside the law the troops dispatched there to re-establish law and order are not limited in their actions. As a result, since December 1999, according to official sources, 568,449 Russian citizens left places of their permanent domicile in the Chechen Republic. Over a third of them remained in Ingushetia, the only republic among the Russian regions that receives refugees in an organized way. Despite their dire poverty those who live in the camps there do not want to go back: they cannot be tempted even by regularly paid pensions and child allowances. To persuade people return to their native land authorities stopped food deliveries to the camps and centers of temporal accommodation; the Russian authorities are doing everything they can to return refugees to Chechnya. People, in their turn, prefer poverty to threats of “clearing up” operations conducted at nights, disappearance of relatives, and reprisals.
Part of the refugees did go back and settled in the safest places and in refugee camps in the Chechnya. The rest scattered across Russia, joined relatives and friends seeking support from them. By the present time such possibilities have been nearly exhausted.
In an absence of international conventions and domestic legislation related to the people forced to leave their homes who stayed in the country of their citizenship we turned to the relevant UN recommendations that are gradually gaining acceptance across the world. In this way we have managed to prove that from the point of view of international law the conditions in which people from Chechnya have found themselves in the RF cannot be tolerated.
The report is based on factual material supplied by associates of the Migration Rights Network of the Memorial Human Rights Center that includes 48 offices of legal aid to migrants in various parts of Russia and the reception room of the Civic Assistance Committee (see Appendix 1). The situation in which refugees from Chechnya have found themselves in the republic and in the camps in Ingushetia have been discussed in reports of human rights organizations. We decided to concentrate on those people from Chechnya who settled in other regions of Russia. The Network lawyers give about 20 thousand consultations a year, help migrants draw up legal documents, help them in many other ways and never lose sight of their problems and cares. Thousands of migrants and leaders of migrant and human rights organizations from many regions come to the Civic Assistance reception room for legal, social, medical, material and other sorts of humanitarian aid. This provides a wide and genuine picture of the situation.
The picture is sad: it suggests a conclusion that forced migrants from Chechnya are not only deprived of official support but, in many Russian regions, are pushed outside the sphere ruled by laws and are subjected to deliberate and cruel discrimination by the authorities and the public at large. Positive examples of private aid to people from Chechnya or support by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and enthusiasts from among the forced migrants themselves who succeeded in life and reached understanding with the authorities are few and far between. On the whole, these lucky people cannot improve the picture. To borrow a medical term, their situation is incompatible with life.

I. The Situation the Internally Displaced Persons
from Chechnya find themselves in Russia in the Context
of the “Guiding Principles on Internally Displaced Persons”
Recently the world community has recognized the problem of internally displaced persons (IDP) as one of the major issues, mainl, because seats of armed conflicts appeared on the territories of former socialist empires. Back in 1992 the UN Secretary-General created a post of the Representative on IDP. The process has come to stay, therefore the UN and other international organizations are paying increasingly greater attention to the problem.
The United Nations proceeds from the principle that the governments of the countries part of the population of which became IDPs are responsible for legal support and social assistance to them. The earlier idea about everything happening to any country’s population being an exclusively or predominantly its domestic affair is gradually being replaced with an awareness that the world community as a whole is responsible for the suffering or discriminated against part of the Earth’s population no matter where this happens.
As a rule, the governments of the countries on the territories of which armed conflicts take place are opposed to any attempts to extend efficient protection—they interpret them as political interference. At the same time, the authorities of those states that are extending such help are not always ready to share the resultant financial burden. What is more, the world community has no working mechanisms of influencing the treatment of IDPs by governments. It is quite often that politicians put aside their responsibilities for the sake of better relations with a strong neighbor or a partner.
While making the states responsible for everything that is going on their territories one should bear in mind that abandoned by the authorities certain groups of people look at the outside world for help. The world that fails to justify the hope cannot be called civilized.

The contradictions inherent in the IDP problem show that it is signally important to work out common approaches to the problems of help and protection, international protection included. In 1998, Representative of the UN Secretary-General Mr. Francis M. Deng compiled the report the “Guiding principles on Internally Displaced Persons.” This report was offered as a guide to action in relation to IDPs when acting on a UN mandate, for states, all official structures, groups of persons and individuals in their relations with IDPs and for intergovernmental organizations and NGOs. The Guiding Principles and the suggestions on their application1 are the only international document that can be applied to an analysis of the situation in each particular case.
The Guiding Principles describe this category of people as those who “have been forced or obliged to flee or to leave their homes or places of habitual residence, in particular as a result of or in order to avoid the effects of armed conflict, situations of generalized violence, violations of human rights or natural or human-made disasters, and who have not crossed an internationally recognized State borders”. Russian laws know no such category that makes it difficult to apply the Guiding Principles in Russia.
In Russia forced migrations inside the country are classed according to their causes. In case of natural or technetronic calamities the government issues special decisions related to each particular instance of such calamity. They are very limited and mostly neglected, at least in part, yet they do offer those who lived through a calamity a certain amount of state support.
The victims of armed conflicts and military actions are in the worst possible situation: if the state is one of the sides in the conflict it looks at IDPs as the conflict instigators and denies them adequate assistance. Forced migrants, the category recognized by Russian legislation, are the closest category to IDP. The Law of the RF “On Forced Migrants” applies to the Russian citizens that move to Russia from other countries and to IDPs. The former are, in fact, repatriates to whom no law is applied, partly because it is too hard to formulate a conception of such law. The Law “On Forced Migrants” appeared as a derivative of the Law of the RF “On Refugees.” As a result, the definition of the forced migrant nearly exactly repeats the definition of a refugee. The only difference is that the forced migrant is a citizen of Russia. Those who apply for the forced migrant status have to prove that they were discriminated against for ethnic, confessional, political or social reasons. The definition also mentions mass disorders yet it does not say whether they were an independent defining feature or a possible outcome of such discrimination.
As a result of lack of clarity in 1999–2000, as distinct from the period between 1991 and 1996, practically no victims of armed actions got the forced migrant status. The authorities preferred to interpret the forced migrant in a different way than in 1996 when “mass disorders” served the reason of granting the status. What happened is absolutely clear: the first wave of people from Chechnya were mainly Russians; by the beginning of the second war nearly all Russians had left the republic. It was Chechens who fled bombings and arbitrary rule of the military in great numbers. There is evidence of an instruction not to grant the forced migrant status to the Chechens (see Section II and Appendix 2 ).
There is no law under which the state should extend its support to IDPs. The Guiding Principles reflect the international human rights norms and the provisions of international humanitarian laws that are part of the Russian legislation. From this it follows that they should be observed in Russia even if domestic legislation contains no definition of IDP.
I regret to say that Russian realities are far removed from the UN principles.
Contrary to Principle 1, the Chechens who found shelter in other subjects of the Russian Federation and who live with friends and relatives are deprived of equal rights with the local population. They cannot register with the structures of the Interior Ministry ; what is more, they and those who give them shelter are equally punished (see Section II). They are unemployable, their children are denied school education (see Section III). In some regions they cannot get medical assistance. I should say that the Ministry of Health is the only state structure that nearly always responds to applications from IDPs, yet not all those who need treatment can apply there directly.
The developments in Chechnya violate Principle 10 that demands of the state to protect people against murders, lynching, disappearances, and secret arrests. There is an international ban of these actions, threats of them and abetting them. All this happens in Chechnya on a wide scale. Many political leaders and certain media directly instigate these actions.
In violation of Principle 12 people from Chechnya are detained and arrested in violation of legal norms (see Section V and Appendix 3).
Principle 13 bans compulsory conscription of IDPs to the army and their punishment for avoidance of military service. This important principle should be introduced in Russia because compulsory conscription of young Chechens is of a provocative nature.
Conscription in Chechnya started in autumn 2001; 525 young men born between 1875 and 1983 joined the Armed Forces. In response to a deputy inquiry Deputy Chairman of the Government of Chechnya answered: “Despite a complex social and political situation people in Chechnya demonstrated high civil awareness and patriotism.”
The Russian authorities violate generally accepted principle 17: reunification of families in the shortest time possible. They refuse to accept to the centers of temporary accommodation (CTA) close relatives of those few lucky people who managed to get places there.
Principle 20 that demands that IDPs be supplied with all the necessary documents (passport, birth and marriage certificates) is regularly violated: the Interior Ministry insists that these people get their documents in places of their permanent domicile (Chechnya). Meanwhile a trip there may end in deprivation of freedom or even death. The same applies to the disabled who cannot get passports in places of their temporal accommodation (see Section II).
Principle 18 that insists on an adequate living level for IDPs is not observed either: it does not fit even the very low living level of the entire population. The majority of IDPs from Chechnya has no means of subsistence, lives by chance jobs, tiny assistance coming from NGOs and private persons, and old-age pensions of those who managed to get them paid.
The right of property according to Principle 21 is ignored: IDPs are arbitrarily deprived of the main type of property in Russia: dwellings and personal property (see Section III).
Other types of property are outside of their reach: nearly all small and medium Chechen businesses were destroyed; big businesses less dependent on politics or cooperating with the authorities survived. A small fraction of the victims of the hostilities in Chechnya acquired the right to tiny compensations. These are the people who left the Chechen Republic forever December 12, 1994, to November 23, 1996, that is, during the first period of military actions. There are no normative documents to regulate compensations for lost property to those who left Chechnya since fall 1999 when the second stage of armed actions began. The property left behind is destroyed and plundered.
The Russian authorities that strive to return IDPs to Chechnya by depriving them of food in the Ingush camps violate Principle 28 that obliges the authorities to create conditions and supply means to safe and dignified return of IDPs to their homes and places of permanent domicile (see Appendix 4).
Finally, the authorities do not completely abide by Principle 30 that demands that international humanitarian and local NGOs be allowed to meet IDPs and that such organizations should receive all possible assistance in their work (see Appendix 5).
One should say that the rights of women mentioned in the “Guiding Principles” have taken a very specific form in Russia: the families of IDPs are totally dependent on women. Despite certain difficulties one may say that their status in the family has boosted. Because of the police, men rarely venture outside because of possible unmotivated detentions, extortions, and false accusations. This deprives them of a possibility to help their families, their social status is decreasing and they cannot find their bearings in the new conditions. There are families in which fathers and grown-up sons totally rely on small earnings of not so young mothers who work as a domestic help or spend hours selling things in the local market. Men are prone to heart condition and acute nervous and psychic disorders to a greater extent than women.
So, we have seen that the Russian Federation is far removed from observing the UN Guiding Principles, which means that the authorities and the public should be familiarized with the document. This is an urgent task. One hopes that mechanisms able to turn this and similar documents into something much more efficient that simple recommendations will be set up.

II. Status, Registration, Documents

The Forced Migrant Status

The problem of granting the forced migrant status to IDPs from Chechnya is one of the central subjects of this report. There are several reasons for this.
First. In an absence of normative documents about assistance to the victims of the second wave of military actions in Chechnya the forced migrant status is the only hope to get a minimal support from the state and a minimal guarantee of social rights.
Second. The police persecute those who have the status on a much lesser scale. It is much easier for them to register in new places, that is, to legalize their presence if this term can be applied to the citizens of Russia who have never left the country of their citizenship.
Third. Since a refusal to grant the status cannot be interpreted in any ambiguous way an analysis of such refusals provides a clear picture of ethnic discrimination and discrimination according to the area of exodus.
Between 1991 and 1996, that is before and during the first war in Chechnya about 150 thousand people from the republic got the forced migrant status, between October 1999 to late 2001 only 12,464 people who left the republic got the status. As I have said above, there are 568,449 registered people who left Chechnya in the situation of the emergency state. The Ministry of Federation has admitted: “The majority of those who got the status did not belong to the title nationality,” that is, they were not Chechens. The latter are refused the status on the ground that “there are no signs or circumstances envisaged by Art 1 of the Law of the RF “On Forced Migrants.” From this it follows that today the authorities are interpreting the “forced migrant” concept differently than in 1996 when “mass disorders” were often recognized as sufficient to grant the status.
Migration officials directly admitted that they had been instructed not to give the Chechens the forced migrant status on the grounds that they were not victims of ethnic, confessional or political discrimination. In certain regions those who can supply documents of their loyalty to the Russian authorities and their direct cooperation with them under Zavgaev and persecution by Muslim fundamentalists and bandits are lucky exceptions. As a rule, positive decisions can be got only through courts.
This shows that there is an official confirmation of an ethnic bias.
Information from the Ministry of Federation cited in a letter to deputy of the State Duma V. Igrunov of 09.12.2001 (No. 09/1-9317) deserves special mention (see Appendix 2). It says that only 89 persons received the status out of the total number of refugees now living in the Ingush Republic comparable to its own population strength. It is a well-known fact that the republican migration structures are constantly and captiously watched by the federal center: no wonder, they do not dare to violate the instructions. In Moscow, that attracts all loyal Chechens, only 157 received the status. St. Petersburg proved more lenient (433 people). In the Saratov and Tambov regions 627 and 687 respectively got the status
(ten times more than in the neighboring regions: Samara, 57; Pensa, 55; Riazan, 47). Slightly over 100 persons got the status in the Kurgan, Orenburg, and Tomsk regions with large CTAs. Over a quarter of all those who got the status received it in the Stavropol region
(3250 people).
This says that the status is granted depending on the local authorities’ attitude to IDPs, which confirmed by what the lawyers of the Migration Rights Network have to say.
Tatiana Zharova, a Network lawyer from Astrakhan, reported that the family of
M. Matsasev and Ia. Akhmetkhanova and their four minor children who had left Chechnya in June 2000 did not receive the status. Their application registered as late as in March 2001 said that Wahhabi militants had threatened them, that they had not been able to accept the Wahhabi faith and way of life and that they had been forced to help bandits. On June 21, 2001, the commission refused to grant the status because it found discrepancies between their information and legal provisions.
This happens quite frequently: Chechens insist that they were persecuted by militants for social and confessional reasons and are disbelieved. In fact, what they say is mostly true. We know of many cases when Chechens paid with their lives and the lives of their children for cooperation with Russian authorities. Among those who come to the Civic Assistance reception room there are many women who lost their relatives in this way. A husband of one of them (she is not named for obvious reasons) served in the structures of the Russian Interior Ministry and did not support Maskhadov’s regime. In 2000, as soon as the village was captured by the militants, he went hiding. At night armed people burst into their house in search of the husband. They did not find him and cruelly murdered his elder son in front of the mother and sisters. The family failed to get the forced migrant status though it would not be able to return to Chechnya for a long time to come.
Valentina Shaysipova, a lawyer of the Tambov office, tells a story about the hard lot of those who supported Russian authorities in Chechnya. In small hours of August 5, 1996, Shamil Basaev personally took away Amir Zagaev, administration head of the Vedino District, and threatened his family with repressions. On the second day his body was found at the mosque in a neighboring village.
His daughter Malika Zagaeva, her husband Iles Tukhashev and their children (born in 1994 and 1995) had to leave the republic after the death of her father. Several days after the burial her husband who went in hiding with a friendly family was informed that unless he joined an armed detachment he would follow his father-in-law.
Malika and Iles together with children escaped to Nazran with the help of friends yet they were pestered even there: Iles was told to remove the stain of his father-in-law’s treason with his blood.
On January 17, 2000, the Migration Services sent them to Tambov where they applied for the status of forced migrants. On August 24, 2000, the territorial structure of the Migration Service refused to give them the status. The family longed a complaint in the Oktiabrsky District Court of Tambov. The document was twice lost in the court; finally on the strength of eyewitness accounts and newspaper publications their complaint was satisfied.
Successes are few. In 1995, Merited Artist of the Checheno-Ingush Republic Said-Emin Iaskaev sent his family (wife and five small children) away from Grozny to Tambov. He stayed behind to look after the house he had received on the eve of the war and the family property. He knew that because of his cooperation with the Russian authorities he had been entered into the lists of the doomed. He was hiding in cellars; on one occasion he and his two colleagues from the Nochkho ensemble were cruelly beaten. The physical and moral trials and humiliations ended in a stroke. Having learned that militants were looking for him his friends took him away from the hospital and helped his wife to take him to Tambov in December 2000. He was registered as a 2nd group disabled. In Tambov he could not get his pension because of an error in his labor record: the list of positions he had filled in the past did not fit the official list. The territorial migration office refused to give him the forced migrant status. The court of the Oktiabrsky District declined his complaint despite medical certificates and eyewitness accounts supplied by B. Kapinos, T. Getsiev, and M. Kagirov.
Deprived of pension and the status and watching his family’s dire poverty he fell victim to a vast heart attack. Today, he is disabled of the 1st group.
According to Network lawyer in Cheboksary Petr Ayvenov the Territorial Office of the Migration Service of the Chuvash Republic distributed an official letter (No. 01/52 of 19.12.2000) that said that the status would not be given to those who arrived from the Chechen Republic having failed to discontinue registration in places from which they had arrived on the ground that the Law of the RF “On Forced Migrants” did not apply to temporary registered people. Viacheslav Bituitski, a Network lawyer from Voronezh, told us how the family of T. Makaeva and Kh. Iasaev with three small children, fought for the status. They were Russian citizens and Chechens who in November 1999 left Grozny under bombs and arrived to Ingushetia. For want of space in the camps the migration service sent them further on, to the Voronezh Region. There the family got an accommodation in a CTA and lodged an application for the status. It was rejected, they also failed in higher instances. In November 2000 T. Makaeva lodged a complaint with the Komintern District Court of Voronezh and supported it with eyewitness accounts of murders of Chechen civilians by the troops in Grozny in October 2000. Their neighbor was taken away from his home and killed, Makaeva’s mother who stayed behind confirmed that Chechens were persecuted for ethnic reasons. A year later, in October 2001, the complaint was finally considered and the application refused.
In February 2002 the cassation court supported the decision of the court of the first instance.
During the hearings it turned out that the migration structures of the Voronezh
Region were guiding themselves by the letter of the Ministry of Federation of 23.05.2001 (No. 08-3757) which said, in particular: “The law does not envisage granting the forced migrant status in connection with the threat cased by the anti-terrorist operations in the Chechen Republic and by mass disorders without taking into account the above mentioned circumstances of leaving the places of permanent domicile. In these cases the status should not be granted. Besides, the counter-terrorist operation cannot be regarded as a mass violation of public order because it is aimed at restoring public order.”
Protocol No. 2 attached to the Makaeva’s file showed that among those who had left Chechnya and had applied for the status only the Chechens did not get it.
One can cite a comment made by an official of the migration service of the Voronezh Region in court as a typical one: “Federal troops entered Chechnya under a presidential decree to restore law and order, not to persecute this family.”
According to information we received from Network lawyer Svetlana Tarasova and head of an organization of migrants of the first wave Lydia Naumova there were over 5 thousand IDPs from Chechnya in the Volgograd Region. A considerable number of them arrived in 2001; twelve were eligible for the forced migrant status, nine got it.
There is any number of cases when ethnic Chechens are consistently denied the status.
The family of Gichibaev lives in CTA Serebrianiki (Tver Region.) Their dead father was a Chechen while mother was Russian. The parents registered the sons as Chechens and daughters as Russians. As a result, the female members got the status, the male members did not.
Lawyer Nikolai Trofimov reported a similar fact from Taganrog. In an ethnically mixed family, Russian mother and minor daughter got the status after a lot of trouble while the father, a Chechen, was denied it.
According to Zhanna Buriukova and Valentina Molokova who work in a relatively hospitable Saratov Region all Russians who arrived from Chechnya during the second campaign got the status while the Chechen families of Kahadisovs, Taisumovs, Shamilovs, Iunusovs, Iakhtiaevs, and others got a refusal from the Territorial Office of the Ministry of Federation. The court that considered complaints agreed with the decision. The Chechen diaspora in the Cherkasski settlement (Saratov Region, Volsk district) is still actively fighting for the status without much success.
Network lawyer Aleksei Gladkikh from Orenburg who has good contacts with the migration offices reports that only those who come to the region from the Central Asian republics can hope to get the status. There is no hope for the second-wave Chechen migrants from Chechnya. According to him, those who live in CTA are especially aware of the difference: those with the status can start looking ahead. They are registered as needing homes, they can get subsidies to build or buy houses. The Chechens are deprived of future.
According to Network lawyer Nina Efremova from the Pensa Region, herself a forced migrant from Chechnya who got the status in 1995 and now heads a large and active migrant organization, about 500 ethnic Chechens who arrived early in 2001 were denied the status. Her attempts, and the attempts of her colleagues, to defend their interests in court proved futile.
There is a list (supplied by Network lawyers) of those who did not get the status.
In Stavropol—T. Mezhidova who fled Chechnya because of constant shelling and threat of death and as mother of an officer of the Russian Army;
L. Davlutkaeva who left Chechnya in 1999; rejection based on an absence of facts of persecution in Chechnya;
A.Asambieva who left Chechnya in 2000; rejection was explained by the stabilized situation in the republic.
In Krasnodar—seven members of the Khasuevs family driven from Chechnya by religious persecutions cited as a reason for granting the status in Art, 1 of the Law “On Forced Migrants.”
In St. Petersburg— Birlant Nogamurzaeva, mother of five minor children.
In Briansk, Madina Gelaeva, mother of five minor children, two of them killed in Grozny.
There are 7,710 people (3,398 families) registered in the Republic of North Ossetia-Alania according to form No. 7 (arrived because of the state of emergency); nine of them got the status, none of them Chechens.
It is quite often that the migration structures refuse to register applications, that is, rejections occur at the first stage, even before the applications are considered on the merits. There are numerous facts of applications remaining unregistered and rejected outright. This means that the procedure does not start at all. In 1999-2001 the territorial structures refused to accept the applications about the forced migrant status of the following people:
in Vladikavkaz—the family of Guslan Mogomadov whose father, retired colonel of the Interior Ministry, disappeared in November 1999 having been arrested in his home by unknown persons clad in the riot police uniforms;
in Kaliningrad—Natalia Zelimkhanova who came there together with two grandchildren the mother of whom died in Chechnya in August 1996. Having lived through many disasters at home she had to go from court to court trying to get the status with the help of public organizations.
As a rule the courts agree with negative answers of the territorial migration structures and their refusals to register applications. Not all IDPs from Chechnya can go from one court instance to another: this is a time-consuming occupation that does not leave time for earning money for the family.
In October 1999 the family of Ruslan Suipov with numerous children left Chechnya for Mozdok (North Ossetia-Alania) under the threat of death. The republican migration service sent the family to the Kaluga Region where they applied for the status on 29.11.1999. The application was rejected and they longed a complaint with the Federal Migration Service of the RF; the rejection stayed. In November 2001 Ruslan Suipov appealed to the Kaluga District Court against the rejection (according to Arts. 239-1 and 239-7 of the Civil Procedure Code of the RF) and asked to recognize the rejection as a wrongful act. In March 2001 he got another rejection from the court. He appealed to the Supreme Court of the RF against the decision of the Kaluga District Court in the exercise of supervisory powers.
According to Network lawyer Tatiana Lyndrik in the Vologda Region the complaints of all those who came from Chechnya in 1999-2002 about the refusal to grant the status were overruled. The case of Malika Tagaeva is one of the most graphic examples. Her application for the status for herself and her five small children (between 2 and 10) was not registered with the territorial migration structure. The decision was appealed against in the appellation commission of the Federal Migration Service that agreed with the decision. The court rejected her complaint and refused to take into account that her house had been destroyed and that there was a threat of persecution for ethnic and confessional reasons both from the federal forces and Chechens.
Valentina Shaysipova, a Network lawyer from the Tambov Region, reports that since January 2001 none of the refugees from Chechnya (with only one exceptionhave received the forced migrant status judicially, including S. Astaev, S. Baysangurov, S. Iaskaev who proved that they could not remain in the Chechen Republic for fear of death. The cassation instance did not alter the earlier decision.
Irina Nekrasova, a Network lawyer from Ekaterinburg, also reports that courts refuse to satisfy complaints of ethnic Chechens about denials of the status. Natalia Estimirova, whose mother was Russian and who was active in the human rights center, could not get the status through the court despite legal support and her own firm resolution to realize her right.
In the Kurgan Region (where there is a CTA) well-known defense lawyer Sergei Salasiuk who works with the Network, failed to get in court a satisfaction of a complaint about the refusal to grant the status lodged by Buvadi Nutsulkhanov and other Chechens.
Sometimes courts decide in favor of claimants but territorial migration structures do not hasten to obey. For example, Nurbika Magomadova arrived to the Saratov Region in August 1999. The territorial agency refused to grant her the status. For over two years her case was put before court three times and decided in her favor. She got the document of a forced migrant late in 2001.
The same happened to the family of Zeinap Baisaeva in Moscow. Her house in the settlement of Samashki was destroyed by a direct hit. Several members of her family were killed or heavily wounded. She and her niece Madina who lost an eye and needs permanent medical help in the Gelmgolts Institute of Ophthalmology are now traveling along the third round in courts. The court of the first instance passes a positive decision that is appealed against by the Moscow migration structures, the case is returned for a re-trial, another decision is passed that is appealed against once more. The Moscow City Court can consider the case and pass a decision yet the prevailing opinion of the Moscow authorities affects the court. In this way the case started another round along the same route.
Each positive court decision is a result of hard work of defense lawyers, NGOs, and migrants who have to queue for hours to hand in their documents, waste time waiting for their turn in courts, be humiliated in migration structures and even in courts. For example, Ms. Makarova, federal judge of the Meshchansky Court in Moscow, called those present “persons of Caucasian extraction” and added that she “could not tolerate more than four of them in the courtroom.” People from Chechnya hear from all sides that “they have come in great numbers,” that “they kill our sons in Chechnya,” etc.
This shows that the only chance to get the status is to go to court and that chances of a positive decision are slim.
In Moscow and the Moscow Region there were several positive court decisions. In the Briansk Region where the migration service denies all Chechen families of the forced migrant status the families of Khasnevs, Inderbievs, Gudievs, and Didaevs registered their applications through a court. There is no final decision yet.
From September 1999 to this day 496 people arrived to the Kurgan Region from Chechnya; 46 of them got the status after a court decision.
As a result many IDPs do not believe it advisable to apply for the status.
Boris Ponosov who works with the Network in Perm says that 283 Chechens do not want to apply for the status. Many of them do not want to participate in the procedure because of possible negative treatment by the authorities.
Everything cited above shows that there is an instruction not to give the status to the IDPs from Chechnya, especially to ethnic Chechens. In this way the authorities try to avoid the duty of their protection and minimal assistance.


It is on several occasions that the Constitutional and the Supreme courts of the Russian Federation ruled that the system of registration with the Ministry of the Interior structures should be changed to correspond Art. 27 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation and the Law “On the Right of Citizens to Freedom of Movement and Choice of Place of Residence and Habitation.” Despite this many regions are still clinging to the old authorizing rather than notifying registration system. The public is well aware of this and is using the Soviet term “propiska” to describe the procedure. If not registered anybody moving from one region to another can find himself nearly an illegal migrant living in a foreign country.
This shows that registration is one of the most urgent problems facing the IDPs.
Everybody knows that the worst violations of the notifying order of registration happen in Moscow and the Moscow Region. Contrary to the federal laws Moscow and the region insist on limiting registration. The Civic Assistance Committee appealed against them in the Moscow City Court. After two years of hearings, on December 25, 2000, the court abolished some of registration rules in Moscow. On May 15, 2001, the Supreme Court considered the appeal of the Moscow authorities and did not allow it. The decision was enacted yet it was as late as February 5, 2002, that the governments of Moscow and the Moscow Region issued a joint decision on introducing changes into the local rules of registration in compliance with the Moscow City Court’s decision. It should be said that by the end of the month the district police departments still had not been informed about the changes and were working according to the old rules. The media misinformed by the Moscow Mayor’s Office press center reported that the rules had been tightened. One can suspect that formally in compliance with the court decision the Moscow authorities will do their best to preserve the old order by issuing instructions of all sorts (Appendix 6). I shall demonstrate below (see Section III) how the Committee for Education of the Government of Moscow complied with the court decision.
There is a tacit agreement about a special registration order applied to the Chechens in order to make registration for them as difficult as possible. The police use a lack of habit of written applications and of a resolution to obtain an official response typical of our people to reject applications for registration during preliminary oral interviews in police offices or house management offices. As a rule people do not come back—they go to dealers or firms that have made registration their business. This business is illegal yet it is flourishing for everybody to see; the firms run adverts in the press and the Internet and are never persecuted. At the same time those who buy registration documents (more often than not they are false) from them run a risk of punishment for the use of false documents or their manufacture.
The Civic Assistance Committee knows of a case of this sort. In summer 2000 Fatima Paskacheva from Chechnya bought from an intermediary a year-long registration for her gravely ill and disabled brother Salman Bagaev to get him medical insurance and pension. The family lived with their elder brother who could register Fatima and her children but had no floor space to register Salman as well. Fatima knew the dealers and they assured her that the document was genuine. After eight months in a hospital Salman went to the post-office to claim his pension and was arrested. His document was registered by an address of a single old woman. When social workers came to the flat to find out whether the disabled needed their help the woman panicked and rushed to the police. The police ambushed Salman in the post-office. It intended to start criminal proceedings against it but the leaders of the Civic Assistance convinced the chief of police not to do this. They argued that the “false registration document” had been bought from his officers. This would have been a happy end but because of police roughness the newly implanted electronic pacemaker was damaged and the patient had to undergo another surgery.
Such things still happen today even if the requirement for a certain amount of per capita floor space was removed from the registration rules. Rosa Ibragimova and her family are in a very difficult situation: she has five children and the husband who as a TB patient cannot work. To get child allowances they should obtain registration. The owner of the rented flat does not want to register them therefore Rosa paid for a registration by another address. When social workers called the place of registration it turned out that the owner had no idea about anybody registered by her address. The intermediary explained that the registration document issued by the police was genuine. Obviously, the police issued the document without consulting the flat owner.
In March 2002 Ruslan Osmaev from Argun required registration by the residence address to get a foreign passport. (He had to accompany his cousin Magomed Zagalaev, paralyzed below waist after a wound, who went abroad for medical treatment.) He could not register in the flat he was living in: the owners were avoiding the house management office because of rent arrears. Ruslan paid 1000 rubles to an intermediary. When he presented the document in a Moscow military registration and enlistment office he was nearly arrested because the document turned out to be false. It was copied on a copier and the stamps were of a wrong color.
Precinct police officers have their role to play in maintaining limited Moscow registration for the Chechens. There is any number of cases when they intimidated those of the Muscovites who wanted to rent out their flats to Chechens or were prepared to register them. In violation of the registration rules they put their visas on applications for registration. Malkan Avturkhanova, a Chechen refugee and a cancer patient who undergoes chemotherapy in Moscow, showed us her application on which a precinct police officer had written “Should be rejected” without any explanations. While her compliant was being considered in the Main City Administration of the Interior the owner of the flat became too frightened to register Malkan.

The precinct officers are obliged to visit the homes where people are registered to check whether they indeed live there. If they find that the registered do not live by the address they are registered in they may insist in a registration annulment. This happened to a student from Chechnya who during holidays left the dormitory she was registered in to live with her mother who arrived to Moscow to see her daughter in a rented flat.
The precinct officers make rounds of the flats where, according to their information, unregistered Chechens are living. They either regularly return for bribes or intimidate them with threats of forced evictions. Sometimes they come together with two or three armed police officers and behave aggressively. This happened quite often in fall 1999 and winter 2000 and turned into a nightmare of many Chechen families. Early in 2002 police officers of the Sokolinaia Gora department tried to evict Baret Suleimanova and her three small children, one of them a baby, from a factory hostel without any legal grounds. She has a permission of the hostel room owner but the factory administration refused to register her.
If registered Chechens are subjected to numerous humiliations that include: getting permission from the chief, checking their past with an aim of detecting criminal behavior, compulsory finger printing, rough treatment, insults and accusations of murders of Russian soldiers and of terrorism. Khava Torshkhoeva who works at the Civic Assistance Committee was photographed en face, in profile, in three quarters and full length in the Zhulebino Police Department where they compiled a list of her distinguishing features. On an initiative of the Civic Assistance Committee deputy of the State Duma Viacheslav Igrunov asked the police department for the relevant documents allowing them to behave in this way. The department refused because, the police chief explained, the instructions of the Main Administration of the Interior of Moscow of how to treat migrants from the North Caucasus were designed for internal use only.
Similar information comes from other regions. The Network lawyer from Chuvashia reports that the passport sections of the Interior Ministry were instructed, in a secret way, to deny registration to the Chechens under any pretext, even to those who want to live in far-away villages. There the structures of the Interior Ministry to limit registrations for people from Chechnya intimidate flat owners.
The governor of the Vologda Region issued an instruction (No. 616 of 17.09.99) of temporal registration of those who come to the region: people seeking registration should first obtain a permission of the chief of the Interior Administration of Vologda. Chechens are no longer registered there. The local administration answered to an inquiry from the Interior Ministry that the documents had been not applied for some time. Today, the newcomers have to get permission from police officers, in particular, from the precinct officers.
Malika Tagaeva, whom I have mentioned above and who had come to Belozersk in the Vologda Region from Grozny, was denied the status in all instances. She and her family could not register by the address they were living at for varied reasons: too small living space and an absence of discontinuation of registration in Chechnya. The court accused her of absence of registration that she simply could not get. Being unregistered she was not eligible to child allowances.
Sabigula Dzhabrailov who had been living in Vologda for eleven years had to give shelter to 12 relatives who fled from Grozny. None of them was registered though all had the necessary documents.
According to Rasiat Iasieva, the Network lawyer in Khasaviurt, the Government of Daghestan issued Instruction No. 257-P of 29.06.1999 according to which registration of people coming to Khasavuirt from Chechnya was suspended. The instruction was called to life by a murder of a female migrant from Chechnya.
The Daghestanians that used to live in Chechnya and who come back home to Khasaviurt that since time immemorial has been hometown for Chechen-Akintsy have to go through a humiliating procedure of trying to explain why they returned to Daghestan. They have to provide documents and write an application to chiefs of the City Interior Administration or of district departments of the interior. The chiefs send the materials with their visas to the passport and visa service (PVS). If the latter agrees the person can finally register in his own home.
Magomed Aliev from Chechnya who came to Volsk (Saratov Region) complained to the Saratov Network office that the local PVS refused to register him in his own flat. He was offered a residence registration, not permanent habitation. An explanation that accompanied the refusal said that there was a local instruction not to register Chechens in places of permanent habitation.
Ukhmaeva with a baby came to the Rostov Region from Chechnya. For a long time she was denied even temporary registration and had to live secretly with a friend in a social shelter. There is no need to add that the baby was deprived of medical assistance and baby food.
The Gaitarov family of 11 came to Tambov in August 2000. The PVS of the October District Interior Department refused to register them on the ground that the territorial migration structure did not agree to register them. They got registration after a court decision.
According to lawyers from St. Petersburg Olga Osipova and Tamara Ter-Karapetiants the structures of the Interior Ministry refused to register already mentioned Birlant Nogamurzaeva and her five small children in the place of residence. She was requested to confirm her Russian citizenship. After numerous complaints lodged by the Network lawyers she got a special page in her passport of a Soviet citizen that confirmed her Russian citizenship. After that the family was registered.
Nearly all members of the Migration Rights Network can tell similar stories. The law- enforcement bodies, in their turn, on the one hand, prevent registration in places of habitation or residence. On the other, the same structures persecute people for living without registration, impose administrative penalties, and detain people at will. All this is accompanied with threats to deport the Chechens even though they are Russian citizens. Natalia Estimirova who works at the Human Rights Memorial Center gave a graphic picture of her attempts to register in the place of residence in Ekaterinburg where her mother, brother and sisters are living (see Appendix 7). It should be said that not all people can display self-assurance and stubbornness bred by years of human rights activity. Not many IDPs from Chechnya are registered—they become victims of regular extortions and persecutions.
In fact, a genuine registration document cannot protect its owner. On March 21, 2002, Akhmed Arsamakov got a year-long registration in the flat of Elena Burtina who works at the Civic Assistance Committee. There are no doubts that the document is genuine yet on March 31 he was detained by police officers of the Interior Department of Golitsyno (outside Moscow) where he went in search of work. Despite his protests he was taken to the precinct where his registration document was declared to be false. They called the Central Address Bureau of the Main Administration of the Interior of Moscow that denied any knowledge of his registration. Akhmed called Burtina, she called the Central Address Bureau where Savina, who worked there, explained that information flow was great while the staff was too small to promptly process it. The time lag was nearly six months. This says that lack of information about registration does not prove that the document is false. Savina said that police officers were well aware of this. The chief of the PVS of the Preobrazhenskoe department of the interior who had drawn up the document confirmed this. Still, an absence of information about registration in the Central Address Bureau is frequently used for extortions and persecutions.
Having spent over two hours in the police office and after a lot of investigations Arsamakov was let go. He missed a meeting with a potential employer and thus lost potential income. On top of this, the officer who detained him tried to accuse him of resistance to the police though it was he himself who was wrong. Luckily, his colleagues did not support him.
In 2001 those of the IDPs of the first wave (covered by Decision on compensation for the lost dwellings of the Government of the RF of 30.04.97 No. 510) who wanted to discontinue their registration in Chechnya ran into problems. The decision related to a very small group of people who left the republic between December 12, 1994, and November 23, 1996. The document, the only one of this sort, requires that before getting compensation the person should discontinue his registration in Chechnya.
According to the joint letter by the Federal Migration Service and the Interior Ministry of March/February 1998 registration was discontinued upon an application from an IDP when a positive decision about compensation had been passed. For some time now this rule seems to be forgotten. The PVS of the Interior Ministry tells people to go to Chechnya to discontinue registration “because passport sections are functioning there.” This is told even to those who have the forced migrant status. For example, the Ionov and Akhtakhanov families that live in Moscow have been trying to get compensation for six months (see Appendix 7a).


The problem of obtaining new documents and replacing the old ones is the most urgent for all IDPs who came from Chechnya: everywhere in the Russian Federation they cannot get either internal or foreign passports; in many places they cannot get birth certificates for their newly born children.
When the “anti-terrorist campaign” just started in September 1999 the Interior Ministry issued an order that banned to issue passports to people arriving from Chechnya. In spring 2000 the ban was lifted in relation to foreign passports; the Chechens were allowed to get passports outside Chechnya at places of their temporal registration. Few people so far profited from this: before issuing a passport the visa structures have to inquire in Chechnya whether the particular person can be allowed to go abroad. Quite often such inquiries remain unanswered (see Appendix 8).
Today, the PVSs refuse, without any legal grounds, to issue foreign passports to those who came from Chechnya. In Chuvashia, for example, Iakubov and Mairukaeva got foreign passports after Petr Ayvenov, the Network lawyer, interfered. People working in the passport and visa sections and in the Ministry of the Interior explained to Ayvenov in so many words that the superiors banned them to issue passports to Chechens.
The internal passports are even harder to get. In 2000 the situation was tolerable but starting with 2001 the structures of the Interior Ministry flatly refuse to issue internal passport to the IDPs from Chechnya. The heads of the ministry’s PVS explained that since passport sections had started functioning in the Chechen Republic people should go there for documents. They deliberately ignore the risk of death for those resolved to get passports there. The threat of death is not the only obstacle: Chechens, mainly men, have little chance to go far in the republic without documents. They are stopped at checkpoints. What is more, they are detained and sent to filtration camps from which not all of them will return.
There are numerous cases when IDPs from Chechnya could not get their passports for lack of registration. At the same time, Point 10 of the Decision of the Government of the RF of July 8, 1997 (No. 828), and the Rules “On the Passport of the RF Citizen” endorsed by the Decision say: “The citizens without places of habitation can get new passports or replace old ones at the structures of the Interior Ministry in places of their residence.” The refusal to issue passports to those who have no registration contradicts Art. 3 of the Federal Law of the RF “On the Right of the Citizens of the RF to the Freedom of Movement and Choice of Place of Residence within the RF” according to which “registration or its absence cannot serve the reason for limiting or a condition for realizing the rights and freedoms of citizens provided for by the Constitution of the RF.” The passport of the citizen of the RF allows its carrier to realize his human and civil rights, including his constitutional rights (the right to the freedom of movement, to participate in state administration, to elect and be elected, to draw pensions and allowances, etc.) From this it follows that a refusal to issue passports at places of people’s actual residence interferes with their constitutional rights.
A. Nogomerzaeva who reached the age of 14, applied to the PVS of the Central Administration of the Interior of St. Petersburg for a passport. She was refused on the ground that she had no registration at the place of her factual residence and was told to go to Chechnya to get a passport.
In the Rostov Region, Batukaev, who was a Chechen, could not replace his lost passport — he was offered a temporary document issued on a condition that he would spent 15 days under arrest while his identity would be verified. In fact, earlier he carried a similar expired document issued after a similar procedure: the police wanted to check him once more.
O. Bugraishova from Grozny applied to the PVS of the Lenin District of Saratov to replace the old passport (issued in 1996 in Saratov.) She was refused under an absurd pretext that her old passport missed a stamp about her Russian citizenship. Zhanna Birukova, Network lawyer, is convinced that the PVS try to use any pretext not to issue passports to people from Chechnya.
The following teenagers who reached the age of 14 were illegally refused their passports because they were nor registered at the places of their residence and were registered at places of their habitation in Chechnya:
in St. Petersburg—Bela Vakalisheva, Zarina and Alina Mataeva;
in Tambov—D. Akhamdov, A. Grebtsov, S. Getsiev;
in the Riazan Region—the elder children of the Gubashev family and other children of the same age;
in the Kurgan Region—the families of Bitieva and Sultukhanova.
In Moscow, Larisa Akhmurzaeva, mother of a five-month-old girl, who lost her husband, parents and documents in an air raid, came to the Civic Assistance Committee to ask for money to go back to Chechnya to get a new passport. She had to leave the baby behind in Moscow. In Chechnya, they asked her to pay an exorbitant bribe for a new passport. She came back empty-handed.
Valentina Shaysipova, a Network lawyer in Tambov, knows 25 IDPs from Chechnya who cannot get passports. An official from the PVS in Tambov commented: “Those who stay temporarily in Tambov can go back to Chechnya. They are probably applying for another passport.”
Similar information came from the Novgorod Region; besides, the passports of the Chechens who wished to extend registration were detained in the PVS without explanations.
There are two typical stories told by people from the Civic Assistance Committee how they tried to get documents for IDPs with the help of a Duma deputy. Not all such stories have happy ends.
Razida Iarotkhanova, who used to live in the village of Samashki, the Chechen Republic, was denied a passport and a birth certificate for her newly born in the place where they lived (the village of Sukhozhilino, Staritsa District, Tver Region.) The house in Chechnya where she used to live and where she was registered had been ruined during the war. The PVS of the RF Interior Ministry explained that only those who were not registered at places of their permanent habitation could get passports at places of their residence. She was advised to go to Chechnya with the baby, without documents and money. In fact, it is impossible to buy a ticket without a passport and to board a train with a baby without its birth certificate (to demonstrate that the baby is traveling with its mother not a kidnapper.)
Between October 8, 2001, and January 24, 2001, deputy of the State Duma V. Igrunov sent several letters to the PVS of the RF Ministry of the Interior and directly to Minister Gryzlov in which he explained the circumstances and asked the ministry to issue a passport. The Service of Public Safety of the Ministry replied that “to resolve the problem R. Iarotkhanova has to decide where she wants to live in Russia.” The letter did not say how a woman with no home and no money to buy a flat could do this.
Police chief of the town of Khimki (outside Moscow) refused to issue a passport to Anton Markariants, disabled since childhood, who turned 14. His mother and grandmother had been wounded in Grozny in an air raid. Their house had been destroyed by a direct hit. The PVS explained that the boy should go to Grozny to get his passport. In response to Igrunov’s letter of 13.10.2000 in which he explained the circumstances the police suggested that his parents should apply to discontinue their registration in Grozny. In this way they would be deprived of their rights on it and of a possible compensation. The deputy was answered: “We do not consider it necessary to change the established order of issuing documents or make any exceptions from it.” On April 2, 2001, V. Igrunov sent a letter to the President of the RF and the Minister of the Interior in which he described the PVS decision as “inhuman.” The presidential administration sent the letter to the Chief of the Citizenship Department of the President of the RF with a request to issue the passport by way of exception. This was nearly the only exception from a long list of failures.
Normally, the refusals to issue passports are based on instructions from the PVS of the RF Interior Ministry that applies to all IDPs from Chechnya irrespective of their ethnic affiliation.
They send 14-year-old children who should get their first passports with their parents present, mothers with babies and young men to Chechnya: the latter category runs the risk of being stopped at checkpoints as having no passports and sent to filtration camps. These trips may end in death, they are costly and do not guarantee success: in Chechnya passports have long become a source of income. Numerous requests addressed to the Interior Ministry, the government and the president not to send people to the zone of military actions to get a passport have been futile. On one occasion a man from St. Petersburg who went to Chechnya to get a passport, was wounded, many others could not get their passports because there were not enough blanks for them or because they had to wait for a long time.
On November 26, 2000, in Nazran Artur Tigaev (born in 1981) was detained at the checkpoint Kavkaz by forces of the RF Interior Ministry because his identity papers had expired two days before. The young man was going to Chechnya to renew the document. He was last seen when he delivered to the detention center at the military commandant’s office in Assinovskaya.
Since middle 2000 Deputy of the State Duma V. Igrunov has sent several requests to the Passport-and-Visa Administration of the RF Interior Ministry to create a mechanism of issuing documents to the people from the Chechen Republic temporarily living in other regions of Russia in places of their actual habitation. He several times addressed his request to the President of the Russian Federation and every time draw an answer that “there is no need to create different rules of issuing documents to IDPs from the Chechen Republic” (see Appendix 9).
As compared with early 2000 when domestic passports were issued to people from Chechnya in places of their temporal habitation, today it is next to impossible to get a passport. There is a campaign of changing domestic passports going on in Russia. People from Chechnya may be left without documents to face unpleasant consequences. A letter from Arbi Erzanukaev who lives in St. Petersburg is a vivid example of this. When refused a passport in Petersburg he went to Chechnya to get the document. He nearly lost his life in the failed attempt. The inquiry of a State Duma deputy remained unanswered (see Appendix 10).
There are many other minor problems that negatively affect the situation of the IDPs from Chechnya.
It is not easy to restore lost documents confirming the right to abandoned homes needed by those lucky few who have the right to compensation under Decision of the RF Government No. 510 of April 30 1997.
People need to restore marriage and birth certificates to inherit property of their dead relatives.
Finally, there is a problem of birth certificates for newly born. In many cases parents with no registration cannot get birth certificates for many years. At the same time, Art. 15 of the Law of the RF “On Acts of Civil Registration” says: “Civil registration of a birth is issued by an office of civil registration at the place the baby is born or where its relatives (one relative) live.” A registering office in Kabardino-Balkaria (adjacent to Chechnya) refused to issue birth certificates to the children of Fatima El-Barzanzhi born in the place where IDPs are settled until the local authorities received a deputy inquiry and a copy of the law.

III. Employment, Medical Aid, Education, Social Allowances
Realization of the social rights in Russia to a great extent depends on whether people are registered in places of their habitation (permanent registration) without which it is next to impossible to find employment, enroll in educational establishments, register with an outpatient clinic, get pensions and child allowances. This is contrary to the law: Art 3 of the Law of the RF “On the Right of the Citizens of the RF to the Freedom of Movement, Choice of Place of Habitation and Residence” says: “Registration or its absence cannot serve the reason for limiting or a condition for realizing the rights and freedoms of the citizens.” In practice, however, an absence of registration and of documents causes numerous obstacles: a person cannot obtain registration, apply for the status of forced migrant, lodge a complaint in a court or apply against refusal. Therefore violations of the rights of the IDPs described below are mainly connected with the violations described in Part II. At the same time, no IDP can hope that his rights will be observed if he has adequate documents, registration and the forced migrant status.

The Right to Work

Many Russian NGOs try to help the IDPs from Chechnya to find employment. As a rule, this ends in nothing.
Contrary to the Labor Code an absence of registration is an insurmountable obstacle. In Moscow employment of people without registration by enterprises of all property forms (!) incurs large penalties.
In Tver IDPs from the Chechen Republic are not employed because of their nationality. They are thus deprived of the means of subsistence.
The same applies to Briansk where Network lawyer Nikolai Poliakov who tried to find employment for Chechens was refused on the ground of their nationality. Bureaucrats explained that they could not trust them and added: “You should better help the Russians who suffered in Chechnya, not those…”Nikolai Poliakov says that everyday nationalism dominates the city: any Chechen can be insulted in the street or even attacked.
Khadshit Khatueva arrived to Izhevsk from Nazran in 1999 where she had come from Chechnya. She managed to get registration and get the forced migrant status yet she could not find work because she had no work-record book. Her family living on the tiny pension of her disabled uncle is starving.
It is quite often that the officials of the structures of the Interior Ministry intimidate those who were prepared to hire Chechens. In Cheboksary, for example, the head of an enterprise that employed Chechens was invited to the Regional Administration and ordered to sack them. The head of the territorial structure of internal affairs of Chuvashia whom Peter Ayvenov, a Network lawyer, asked for help stubbornly insisted that the only help he could extend to the Chechens was to buy them return tickets.
On March 22, 2001, Aslanbek Beyters wrongfully sacked from work applied to the Moscow reception room of the Migration Rights of the Memorial Human Rights Center for legal assistance.
He was born in 1966, graduated from an aviation college, and until 1995 lived in Grozny, later in Saratov. Between 1997 and 1999 worked as a steward of Askhab Airline that later went out of business. In Moscow he got a job of a freight handler at Vnukovo airport.
On March 19 he tried to find a job there for his younger brother Ramzan. Having finished their business in the personnel department the brothers went to get passes to the airport. When the security learned that the brothers were Chechens they were told that they were no longer employed. The personnel department returned them their work-record book: because of the family name not typical among the Chechens they had not been identified as ones.
Aslanbek’s father got the family name in an orphanage where he was brought when his parents perished during deportation. The four-year-old could not correctly pronounce Beytersolt (the name of his father) and was given part of it as his family name.
Lawyer V. Golovach explained that the administration had violated Art. 16 of the Labor Code related to unjustified limitations on employment.
On the next day the personnel department offered another reasons for sacking: as a strategic object the airport could employ people with permanent registrations only. It is much harder to object to this since the same article permits “limitations typical of particular types of employment.”
Aslanbek Beyters is married with two children, his wage was the only source of income that allowed the family to rent housing outside Moscow not far from the airport. All of them were left without means of subsistence.
In the last two or three years the Chechens with permanent registration have problems with employment: the Russian authorities and the media have thoroughly scared the public. There are people who exploit this by offering lower wages or forcing Chechens work longer hours.

Medical Aid

The IDPs in Chechnya find it hard to get free medical assistance.
In Moscow medical insurance is issued to those who are registered for the period of over 6 months while the police, in violation of the changed rules, register for the period of not more than 6 months. The Moscow City Court ruled that it was illegal to tie together medical insurance and the registration term yet the Moscow City Medical Insurance Fund ignores the court ruling.
According to the rules of compulsory medical insurance in the Volgograd Region endorsed by the administration head on 26.06.2001 (Order No. 542) those who have no registration cannot get free medical insurance or even buy one. This has caused tragedies and deaths. The number of TB patients among the IDPs from Chechnya is growing, people die of the disease: Lechi Azdamirov died in the latter half of 2001 in the village of Soldatskoe-Stepnoe (Bykovsk District). Seven of his children, only one of them of age, were orphaned. In the same village husband of Zulai Jamalaeva, father of eight, is suffering of open tuberculosis.
This applies to many other places. The compulsory medical insurance funds and insurance companies disregard the newcomers altogether.
It should be said in all justice that as distinct from other ministries and departments the Ministry of Health is doing its job in disregard of registration and the status. Practically all requests addressed to the Ministry and health committees are granted. This is amazing because medicine is underfunded while treatment of IDPs who suffer of grave illnesses and wounds is costly.


Starting with the first war in Chechnya the Moscow schools stopped admitting children from other cities whose parents have no registration. In summer 1995 when Shamil Basaev and his detachment occupied a hospital in Budennovsk the Moscow Committee for Education decided to admit children from Chechnya for the term of registration (that did not exceed 45 days at that time). It was also decided that they should not be examined and given marks, and should not expect graduation certificates. In fact it was humiliating. Children from large families were deprived of the privileges extended to children from Moscow families: they did not get money to buy uniforms and travel cards and were denied free meals at schools.
The public prosecutor’s office several times contested the ban on admitting children without registration to Moscow schools but the Moscow Committee for Educations revived the ban in various forms. In March 1999 the Government of Moscow made the ban part of its new registration rules enacted by Decision No. 241-28 as point 5. It was followed by Order No. 567 of 21.09.99 “On Stepping Up Security at Educational Institutions” that said: “Children from other cities can be admitted to schools only if their parents have registration.” The order was issued on the second day of renewed hostilities in Chechnya and applies to children that had to leave homes to escape shells and bombs. In December 2000 the court overruled point 5 of the registration instruction as contradicting the law. In September 2001 NGOs in an effort to translate the court decision into practice demanded that the Moscow Committee for Education informed all school directors about it. The committee sent a circular letter of 12.10.2001 (No. 2-13-15/20) that informed the directors that registration was no longer needed and instructed them to inform the police about parents without registration (see Appendix 11).
Contrary to the court decision and the circular letter, heads of educational institutions still ask parents to present registration documents.
The following children were asked for registration documents in Moscow:
— in September 2001 — Akhmed Mukuev and Liza Satueva whose parents fled Chechnya because of military actions;
— in December 2001 — Malika Tashtieva (b. 1988) who arrived from the zone of military actions;
— in December 2001 — Magomet and Fatima Eltuev (b. 1992 and 1993). Their mother asked a deputy for help when her children had been rejected several times by director of School No. 159 and the supervisor of the education committee of the Northern Administrative District. It was in March 2002 that the chairman of the Moscow Committee for Education having received an inquiry from a State Duma deputy instructed the committee head to admit the children.
Zalina Abdurzakova with hypoacusis, daughter of Aminat from Chechnya, was not admitted into a specialized school for children with hypoacusis (there are no similar schools in Chechnya.) On March 6, 2002, deputy Igrunov received an answer to his inquiry to the Moscow City Committee for Education that said that the girl could be admitted if a Moscovite became her guardian.
The family of Magomed Aydamirov, son of prominent Chechen author A. Aydamirov that lost their home in Chechnya as a result of the military actions, is living in Moscow. There are two children in the family. The 6-year-old daughter is seriously ill and needs to be regularly taken to a clinic for treatment. The mother has nobody to leave the younger boy with while she is absent. Creches refuse to admit him. On December 18, 2001, in reply to the request of admittance in one of the pre-school institutions the Southeastern District Department of the Moscow Committee for Education answered: “The child can be admitted only if his parents have documents to confirm the family status (refugees or temporal migrants) and Moscow registration.” This is strange indeed: the Aydamirovs are citizens of Russia, therefore the refugee status does not apply to them. There is no such thing as the temporal migrant status. The right to pre-school institutions as registered in the RF Constitution does not depend on the status or registration.
The situation in Kabardino-Balkaria is even worse. The Chechen children who came to schools in Nalchik on September 1, 2001, carrying, according to tradition, flowers were stopped at the door. The crowd of parents and children watched with amazement how weeping children were taken out of school the by teachers and returned to their parents. Later, in an attempt to justify this behavior and in response to a deputy inquiry the officials said that the parents did not want to register in the republic. The explanation did not hold water: first, it was unlawful to keep children out of school because of unregistered parents, second, people from Chechnya were denied registration in Kabardino-Balkaria in an attempt to force them back (see Appendix 12).
There are numerous cases of insults of children of migrants. The Mustiats family that lived in the Lipetsk District of the Lipetsk Region is subjected to strong pressure, the children were nearly driven out of school by the teachers and the director who publicly humiliated them and gave them bad marks.


The pension law of the Russian Federation envisages state pensions to all people living in the country—both citizens and non-citizens. The Law “On State Pensions in the RF” does not link the right to pensions with registration. In practice, however, the social security structures grant pensions only to people registered in the given locality. Refugees and forced migrants—holders of corresponding documents are the only exceptions. They draw pensions at places of their residence. Pensions can be paid either in places of habitation or residence (if there is registration in Russia or a pension file.) Those who have no registration cannot get pensions.
As a result the forced migrants have to overcome numerous obstacles.
There are many cases when pensions of people with the official forced migrant status and registration at places of residence are suspended as soon as the registration term expires until they renew their registration. The greater part of the IDPs from Chechnya has no status that makes things even worse. As a rule, they cannot register (because of an absence of housing, local limitations, unwilling owners, etc.) (see Section II). A great number of them live without registration and, therefore, without pensions, for years.
In 1993 the Government of the RF violated the accepted order and agreed to register pensioners from Chechnya with social security structures in other regions of Russia irrespective of registration at the place of residence. This was done because the relations between banks in the federal center and Chechnya had been ruptured. According to the Ministry of Labor and Social Development of the RF about 50 thousand used the opportunity (those who left the republic in 1994-1996 and those who stayed behind).
Late in 1997 the Government restored the old order. Those who had registered with social security structures outside Chechnya before December 1997 were allowed to continue drawing pensions there. All the others, including those who left Chechnya when hostilities were resumed in fall 1999 can register with the social security structures only if they have registration with the police and their pension files.
While fleeing Chechnya few could take their files with them. Combined with a tacit ban on registration for the Chechens this has deprived nearly all pensioners and disabled from Chechnya of their minimal pensions. On March 15, 2000, the Pension Fund of the RF recommended the Ministry of Labor and Social Development to pay minimal pensions to pensioners from Chechnya without pension files. No improvement followed.
The same can be said about social allowances, including child allowances: registration is still needed. Even those registered cannot get the money because local budgets are poor.

Property Rights

Since 1995 Chechnya has been a war zone. The IDPs and the families that received them have exhausted their resources. People need money to rent housing and feed families. It is becoming harder to earn it. Driven to despair people either go back to their ruined houses or try to leave Russia. Emigration earlier totally unacceptable for the Chechens is now seriously considered as the only chance of survival.
During the so-called restoration of the constitutional order in Chechnya (from late 1994 to 1996) the Russian authorities still felt responsible for those who lost their housing. The first document on compensation for lost housing and property appeared in May 1995 to be followed by other documents under which a very small number of people got compensation. Decision of the RF Government No. 510 of April 30, 1997, was the only one valid document according to which people could get compensation. The RF Government tried to limit its term and stop receiving documents yet the Civic Assistance Committee appealed against the attempt in the Supreme Court. The appeal was presented by the committee’s head Svetlana Gannushkina and Margarita Petrosian, consultant of the Migration Rights Network of the Memorial Human Rights Center who supplied the appeal with a legal basis.
Not all officials of the migration structures know that the term has no limits. Here is what the Network lawyer from the Kurgan reception room has to say. In the 1980s Natalia Visingireeva born in the Mishkinski District, Kurgan Region, married a Chechen and moved to Grozny. When she came back it took her a long time to collect the documents necessary to get compensation for the lost housing and property. When she was ready her application was rejected on the ground that the application term had expired.

According to experts, during the second Chechen campaign, 80 percent of the houses in the republic were destroyed; tens of thousands of people are spending the third winter in tents, their only means of subsistence being sporadic humanitarian aid (see Section V).
So far, there is no concrete document about compensation for lost housing and property, yet there is much talk in the official structures about it: when asked by NGOs the government structures reply that a corresponding decision is being elaborated. So far nobody has seen a draft of any such document.
Decision of the RF Government No. 163 of March 3, 2001, “On Funding Upkeep and Food Supplies to the Citizens who Temporarily Left Places of their Permanent Habitation in the Chechen Republic and Living in Places of Temporal Residence, and on Paying for their Transfer to the Places of Habitation in the Chechen Republic in 2001” is neither concrete nor efficient. It was discontinued in 2002 and was not replaced with any other document.
The state has made no attempt to settle the problem of housing for IDPs, the problem that remains the most acute across Russia.
The Decision of the RF Government No. 845 of November 8, 2000, “On Endorsing the Regulations on Housing for Forced Migrants in the RF” applies only to those of the IDPs who got the forced migrant status. There are few of them (see Section II).
The status document is no guarantee of housing since it does not make the state responsible for housing for forced migrants. To be registered in a queue for housing people need registration at places of habitation. The majority of the IDPs do not have it. Registration in a queue for temporal housing includes inspections of the housing conditions of relatives. Those who gave shelter to their relatives should know that they would stay with them forever.
A seminar on “Observance and protection of Human Rights in the Chechen Republic as a Basis of its Democratic Rebirth” organized by the Bureau of the Human Rights Commissar of the Council of Europe took place in Strasbourg on November 26–27, 2001. Among other things it discussed the problem of payments for lost housing and property and protection of the property rights of people from Chechnya.
NGOs pointed out that the country needed a normative document that would specify compensation for lost housing and property for those who suffered in the second Chechen campaign that started in fall 1999 similar to the document issued for the victims of the war of 1994–1996.
The representative of the Department of Regional Development of the RF Government said at the seminar that a draft had been prepared and submitted to the government.
Deputy Igrunov asked the government to let him see the document so that to help improve it.
The government sent his request to the Interior Ministry: presidential decree No. 1230 of October 16, 2001, made it responsible for all migration-related issues.
In January 2002 the ministry informed the deputy that none of the structures had been instructed to draft a similar document and that a draft Rules on Extending State Assistance to the Citizens of the RF who lost their homes and property during the anti-terrorist operations in the Chechen Republic had been drafted in the Ministry of Federation and sent to the governmental commission for restoring the social sphere and economy of Chechnya. The Ministry of Federation was instructed to complete the work; later the Ministry was liquidated and the work on the draft stopped.
From this it follows that there is no hope for those who lost their houses and other property in Chechnya.
There is another important question: the responsibility of the Savings Bank of the RF for the deposits made to its branches in Chechnya. The Savings Bank is a unified state structure functioning across the country, therefore it is responsible for its closed branches and deposits in them.
In 1995 the Government of the RF stopped payments on deposits. This was accompanied by repeated assurances that the Central Bank of Russia would renew payments if the banking system in Chechnya would not be restored in the nearest future. This has not happened yet.
There were several cases when people got their money back through courts with the help of Network lawyers who had to work hard to make this possible. I regret to say that the courts stopped this practice even in places where positive decisions had been passed. In Volgograd one of the judges said that he was instructed “to leave the Savings Bank alone.”
There was an inquiry to the government; the Ministry of Federation answered that on October 25, 2001, the governmental commission for restoring the social sphere and economy of Chechnya approved a draft order compiled by the Savings Bank and coordinated with all interested structures.
On January 15, 2002, the order “On Organizing Work to Compile Lists of Depositors of the Former Chechen Bank of the Savings Bank of Russia who Left Chechnya” was signed by Deputy Interior Minister A. Chekalin and Deputy Chairman of the Board of the Savings Bank G. Melikian and sent out to all ministers of the interior, chiefs of state departments of the interior of the subjects of the Russian Federation, chairmen of the territorial banks of the Savings Bank of Russia.
To be included into the list the citizen should present:
— a savings bank book issued by one of the departments of the former Chechen bank of the Savings Bank of Russia;
— a passport or other identity document;
— a document that confirmed that the citizen lived in Chechnya;
— registration at new place of residence or habitation.
The branches had to compile lists, authenticate them and present to the migration structures.
Conciliatory commissions that included officials of migration structures, the ministry of the interior and the Savings Bank were set up in the subjects of the Russian Federation to consider applications and resolve disagreements.
The work was expected to be finished in two months (from January 21 to March 22, 2002).
It was clear from the very beginning that the mechanism was too complicated to allow the structures involved to complete the task in two months. Our apprehensions proved to be correct. The Network was flooded with complaints: people were not included in the lists because they had no registration, no stamps in the newly issued passports about their previous addresses in Chechnya, no passport, etc. Since many people from Chechnya have no registration at place of their present residence they are deprived of any hope to recover their money. Some of them who found housing in new places, got new passports there and were registered are unable to prove that they lived in Chechnya where all archives were destroyed. Those of the migrants from Chechnya who left Russia cannot get their money back because the Savings Bank has no foreign branches.
To be included in the lists and to get money back are two different things: nobody knows when the bank will start payments.
This shows that restoration of the property rights of those who used to live in Chechnya is stalling.
So far all attempts to recover compensation for material losses and moral damage through courts according to Art. 53 of the Constitution of the RF and the Code of Civil Procedure proved futile. Not infrequently courts reject such claims. Still, the Network lawyers managed, with great difficulties, to start several hundreds of such court cases. The Russian lawyers elaborated a special form of claim. The claims are legally well founded yet the courts rarely side with the claimants, they prefer to reject their claims.
In Pskov the head of the Chechen diaspora Z. Okunchaev asked the state structures to compensate for the lost housing in Grozny. He was refused and went to court. His claim was rejected, the regional court supported this decision.
Alievtina Doronina, 60-year-old teacher of Russian from Grozny, was kidnapped, managed to escape, and reached her friends in Moscow. After a lot of trouble she got the forced migrant status yet all branches of power refused to compensate for her losses and to give her housing because she had left Chechnya after military aclions. Today she is employed by the Civic Assistance Committee, draws a small salary and teaches Russian to Chechen children and children of other migrants. She is still living with friends.
There were two typical court cases of famous attorney Abdula Hamzaev and Hamidov brothers (see Appendix 13 and Appendix 14).

IV. Discrimination

Framed-up Cases

Chechens are framed-up en masse and this is the most cruel and cynical form of discrimination. Between fall 1999 and spring 2000 there was a veritable campaign of falsification that engulfed the country. The wave returned, on a lesser scale, in August 2000 after a blast in the passage under the Pushkin Square in Moscow. It has not yet subsided. The pattern was more or less the same: the police planted drugs, shells, hand grenades or explosives during personal searches of Chechens or searches in their flats. The victims were taken to precincts to extort confessions from them. This was crude work yet none of the accused was acquitted. At best defense lawyers managed to insist on further investigation or suspended sentence. Light or suspended sentences are sort of an admission that the accusations were false. Still, some of the accused were sentenced to 7 to 10 years in prison. Today, framed-up cases are fairly rare yet the practice is still alive.
M. Batyrov sent a letter to the Memorial Human Rights Center in which he told his story and asked for help. Since September 2001 he has been kept in Investigatory Isolation Ward No. 1 of Nalchik where he was placed on a false (as he claimed) accusation of keeping firearms at home (parts of a pistol and hand grenades). It seems that the accusation is indeed false because there is not much sense in keeping this sorts of things at home and because such accusations are rubber- stamped in huge numbers. His case was brought to court twice because of procedural violations. The court decision remained in force and violations continued. In his letter Musa Batyrov vividly described how the police treated the Chechens, how they acquired evidence, and what sort of defense a person can count on in courts.
There were cases when arms and drugs were planted at flats of those who had already been victims of criminal persecution of Chechens in 1999–2000. In September 1999 drugs were planted on Sayd-Emin Ismailov who lived in Moscow. He was persuaded to admit that the drugs belonged to him. The police convinced his wife Tatiana that possession of drugs was a much lighter crime than possession of explosives. In 2000 he had to bribe officials to clear himself of an accusation of forging a page confirming Russian citizenship that is glued in passports. (Indeed, does a Russian citizen need a forged page?) Early in September 2001 he was invited to the precinct for an identification procedure in a criminal case connected with trade in stolen cars. The victim did not identify Ismailov as the crime perpetrator. At that point he heard an officer saying to a colleague: “So what: should we apologize and let the Chechen go? No, never! They should be killed in their cradles. I’ll send him to prison — anyway all of them are thieves and bandits!” They kept him under lock in the precinct for three days, then he was handcuffed, and drugs were planted in his pockets (though his wife had wisely turned them out) and called attesting witnesses. Having registered the crime they let him go under recognizance not to leave. Later on the same day Sayd-Emin and his wife learned from TV program Petrovka 38 that a certain Chechen had been detained in the street without documents and registration and heroin was found on him. The police officers were sure that the detainee was involved in grave crimes in Moscow and the Moscow Region. The viewers were invited to identify him and call certain phone numbers. This program saved Sayd-Emin: D. Lomakin, Network lawyer, got the tape from people in TV who helped willingly. The lie was exposed and the criminal case closed. None of the officers was punished.
The Cheremushki Municipal Court of Moscow has a case against Marat Galaev (born in 1976 in Grozny) who stands trial as a drug user. He worked in Moscow and lived in a hostel in Miklukho-Maklay Street. On August 2, 2001, he was stopped at the hostel by a police officer from the department of Konkovo. Having checked the documents and having found no registration they took him to the precinct. On the way there they tried to plant drugs on him—Marat got rid of the small cellophane packet.
In the office on the second floor the officers tried the same trick again with the same result. Then they announced that his nails should be clipped to be checked for drug traces. Being sure that there were no drug traces Galaev agreed. The nail clippings were taken away unsealed. Some time later the officers returned with two attesting witnesses who were shown two sealed envelopes and told that one of them contained the nail clippings, the other drugs carried by Galaev. Later he said that the witnesses had treated the officers as friends and signed the documents without objections. They paid no attention to Galaev who said that nobody had confiscated drugs from him.
Then he was offered a glass of water. Having drunk is he felt dizziness and nausea. Medical examiners found him under effect of drugs.
Galaev was charged and put into the Butyrka prison where he spent 8 months.
On March 27, 2002, the court met for the fourth time. The officers who had arrested Marat and were called as witnesses did not come. When interrogated one of the attesting witnesses said that nothing had been found on Marat in his presence and that he had been frequently called as an attesting witness and always signed what he was offered without questions. When Marat was arrested the attesting witness was under recognizance not to leave as accused of theft. He insisted that the police officers had threatened him with arrest if he refused to sign the protocol.
The court will sit again on April 5.
There are hundreds of Chechns sentenced to terms in prison on framed-up charges. They are still serving the terms being exposed to all cruelties of the Russian penitentiary system. Late in December 2001 Khabibula Minazov, who was 22, died in prison in the Tver Region. In 1999 he was a first-year student of the Department of Economics of the Friendship of Peoples University in Moscow. Equally afraid of the militants and the federal troops, his mother had sent him away to study in Moscow. He was arrested and sentenced to three years in prison on frame-up charges of possession of drugs and arms. He entered prison as 20-year-old healthy young man. In two years he died of tuberculosis.

Detentions, Searches, and Unlawful Demands

In many all regions of Russia the police practices unlawful searches, checks and detentions of Chechens. At best they are fingerprinted, at worst they are beaten and locked up.
In Daghestan the riot police regularly raids the villages and districts populated by the Chechens who are humiliated and subjected to violence.
In the Kaliningrad Region all Chechens, including women and children, are subjected to forced fingerprinting in violation of the document “On State Fingerprinting in the Russian Federation.”
I have written about similar practices in Moscow in Section II.
In Cheboksary officials of the district department of the interior without a court decision forced R. Mairukaeva to vacate the flat she was living in with her 12-month-old baby within in hour an winter. This scandal occurred after she had complained to the police about a fraud of which she was victim.
N. Belokhoroeva with two small sons fled to Briansk when her husband was killed in a “mopping-up” operation in Chechnya. She was denied the status and was pestered by the local nationalists. Her small house was plundered, children were regularly beaten up. The perpetrators were brought to court and acquitted.
In the Saratov Region local authorities cannot reconcile themselves not only with the Chechens but also with Russians who used to live in Chechnya. As soon as they see in a passport that the person was born (or lived) in Chechnya they flatly refuse to deal with requests.
In the Pskov Region the head of the local Chechen diaspora Sharip Okunchaev and his family are persecuted by the structures of the Ministry of the Interior, the Federal Security Service and tax police. He sent an open letter to President Putin in which he offered his plan of a settlement in Chechnya. People from the Federal Security Service warned him that continued efforts in this direction would bring troubles to him and his relatives. They also tried to persuade his commercial partners to disrupt business and personal contacts with him.
His public address to the people in the Pskov Region to help those who had to leave Chechnya caused a call to the tax police in which they explained to him that he might be charged with collecting money for Chechen militants.
In the Volgograd Region there were pogroms of the Chechens that escaped from the war. On the New Year eve somebody spread a rumor that Chechens were planning to blow up the hydropower station. The local authorities used the rumor to repress some of the local Chechens and announced that this allegedly prevented an act of terrorism. In the Kletski District (Volgograd Region) a murder of a Russian by a Chechen started an epidemic of pogroms and arsons in Chechen houses.
In Tambov B. Avkhadov and V. Edilsultanov who had no registration were regularly detained. They were saved from repeated fines by a Network lawyer and the head of the local public organization of those who came from Chechnya V. Verolskaia. The police explained that they were detained for identification procedure.
In Tver Musa Dadaev was detained without legal reasons at a petrol station, beaten up and locked up for 24 hours in Torzhok.
On May 29, 2001, a group of investigators of the public prosecutor office together with the local anti-organized crime department (about 150 people in all) searched nine houses where the Chechens who fled from the war were living in the Lukhovitsy area (Staritsa District, Tver Region). One of the officers threw a boy of 12 on the floor and pretended firing at him. His mother rushed to him and was hit with a rifle butt. This was an action of intimidation caused by an application of one of the villagers about a theft of a sewing machine. Such things happen frequently and bring to mind notorious mopping-up operations in Chechnya.
There is another example. A small group of Chechens settled in an abandoned village of Spirovo (Vyshni Volochek District) where they tilled land and used the forest. The Civic Assistance Committee regularly send them medicine, writing materials, and small sums of money. Its leader Akhmat Arsamakov and the elected mullah are closely supervising the community to avoid any possible conflicts with the locals. Still, the local police refuses to register the group. It is pestering the members with framed-up criminal cases that cannot stand in court yet maintain tension among the community members. From time to time, the police detains some of them to extort money. The leader was subjected to pressure and provocations in a hope that he would transgress the law. His son was framed up and brought to a happy end by defense lawyer Stanislav Markelov hired by the Network.
An ethnically mixed family of Sadykov from Grozny (the husband was a Chechen and his wife, a Russian) applied for help to N. Vaskovskaia who works with the Samara reception room of the Migration Rights Network. They came to the wife’s parents (in the Samara Region) and wanted registration for the wife. Sadykov went back to Chechnya leaving his pregnant wife behind. He preferred to face the threat of death in Chechnya than to face humiliations in Russia where he was constantly detained, searched, and locked up.
The Civic Assistance Committee has a copy of registration document issued to Roza Azieva who is living with her friends. The document is marked with “Chechen” written on top of it for each and everyone to see and act as they see it fit. She runs the risk of being brought to police offices, locked up for hours or be subjected to extortions.
In Moscow it is impossible for a person “of Caucasian extraction” to avoid policemen stationed at entrances and exits of the underground or on the platforms. As is known, they are obliged to check so many documents and collect so much money for absent registrations though the Moscow authorities deny this. The policemen have their own aim much closer to their heart — to collect bribes. This is a well-known fact.
The Memorial Human Rights Center and the Civic Assistance Committee published an account Discrimination by the Place of Habitation and Ethnic Affiliation in Moscow and Moscow Region (Zvenia Publishers, Moscow, 2001).
There is one of the latest examples. On April 14, 2002, Chechen Umar Javtaev who heads the SOS-spasenie organization in Khasaviurt (Daghestan) came to Moscow on business. He was refused accommodation in the Vega Hotel (105187, Moscow, Izmailovskoe shosse, 71, 3B) and was told to go to a police office to get permission there. The reception clerk demonstrated a certain instruction yet refused to give Javtaev a copy. When Umar refused to go to the police and presented his card of a State Duma deputy assistant the clerk called the local precinct and spent much time discussing the course of action. Javtaev promised a press conference in the hotel hall. This convinced the policeman and the clerk that he could be accommodated.
We have already demonstrated in Section III how the structures of the Ministry of Education are forced to obtain information about the pupils’ families. A circular letter of the Moscow Committee for Education instructed the school directors to inform the police which families of their pupils had no registration (See Appendix 11). Obviously, this has nothing to do with education and will inevitably create a hostile atmosphere in which the newcomers will have to live — it should be said that the children find it hard to adjust to new life as members of migrant families.
People working with the Network in Gudermes (the Chechen Republic) informed us that in March 2002 in certain schools the pupils and students of the forms 2 to 11 were asked to write compositions about their families. These were, in fact, questionnaires in which the children had to supply information about the size of their families, occupations of each member, the income the family gets. The pages used by the students were stamped.
In School No. 5 the director explained to indignant teachers that it was request from a certain structure and an official order from the city department of education.
We asked Duma deputy V. Igrunov to send an official inquiry to the Ministry of Educations.
By way of an answer we got a letter of April 19, 2002, signed by First Deputy of the Minister of Education G.A. Balykhin:
“According to the letter of RF Ministry of Education of 17.01.2002 (No. 1045/13-13) “On Preparations for and conducting the All-Russia Population Census” and the “Methodological recommendations on participation of educational establishments of Russia in the Children Census project” secondary schools (2 to 11 forms) in some of the districts in the Chechen Republic were recommended to organize compositions based on the census questionnaires.” The first deputy minister added that the children could ignore the questions about the family members’ occupations. One doubts that the children were aware of this freedom of choice.

Discrimination in the Media

It is high officials that started a campaign of creating negative image of IDPs. The President of the Russian Federation threatened the militants without of court reprisals in terms used by the criminal community. The mayor of Moscow is fond of talking about the “Chechen trace” in all terrorist acts. Meanwhile the only trace found so far in a prevented terrorist act in Riazan points to different perpetrators. On one occasion the mayor of Moscow speaking in front of TV cameras threatened the “Chechen diaspora” with eviction from Moscow.
The Memorial Human Rights Center tried to start criminal proceedings against him and failed — the prosecutor’s office did not find criminal offence in what Luzhkov said.
Throughout 2000 the media in Briansk nearly every day called, in the name of the Migration Service of the Briansk Region, on the Chechen families to move back to Chechnya. When so-called “cargo 200” (dead bodies of the riot police officers) arrives to Briansk, the highly placed police officers renew nationalist propaganda. They bring detachments of the riot police out, they vow over the dead bodies to “kill off all the accursed animals-Chechens.” The executive structures of the region are treating the Chechens with badly concealed disapproval.
The election campaign in Perm was the most graphic example of negative treatment of the Chechen migrants. The mayor of the city of Ocher Vladimir Mokrushin who ran for the next term said in one of his leaflets: “Dear people of the city of Ocher! Thanks to your efforts I managed to cancel the decision of the migration service to place the refugees from Chechnya in the Ocher migration center.” This fact started a court case against Mokrushin with an aim to annul his registration as a candidate. The court refused.
In the Perm Region much is done to create a negative image of the Chechens. On March 12, 2002, the local newspaper Zvezda carried on the front page an article by Eduard Travitski called “The Foreign Legion” that said: “Chechens are worst of all. There are only 800 of them in the Kama region yet they lead other, even more numerous groups of Tajiks, Azerbaijanians, and Georgians. This is explained by their cruelty: they shoot before talking.”
Regular and freely circulated anti-Chechen slogans have established in the minds a steady association between refugees, bandits, and Chechens. This is confirmed by a public opinion poll run by one of the TV programs. When answered whom people preferred to see evicted from Moscow (citing Chechens and criminals as possible answers) the viewers selected Chechens being firmly convinced that there would no criminals.

V. The Situation in the Centers of Temporal Accommodation

andthe Ingushetia Tent Camps

The Centers of Temporal Accommodation serve home to a very small number of those who fled Chechnya when armed actions had been resumed in 1999. Even they are in a very difficult situation mainly because they cannot get the forced migrant status. Without the status they have no legal right to remain in the center under Point 18 of Decision No. 53 of the RF Government of January 22, 1997, “On Approval of the Standard Rules about the CTA for Forced Migrants.” Those who head such centers have found themselves under fire from those who live in their centers and have to leave them and from their bosses who insist on following the instruction.
I have already described above how the rights of the “second-wave” migrants from Chechnya who live in the CTA are infringed upon for ethnical reasons when they are denied the forced migrant status. The adults are denied the status while their children are denied humanitarian aid within the Children of Russia program. They are given foodstuffs with expired dates; in February 2002 they were denied meal coupons (see Appendix 16).
Early in February 2002 the IDPs from Chechnya in the CTA Serebrianniki (Vyshni Volochek District, Tver Region) were deprived of free meals (that were never too abundant — 15 rubles per day per person.) Similar information comes from other places. The CTA inmates have panicked — they are facing starvation because locally there are no jobs to be found.
In 1999 when the second large-scale military operation was launched in Chechnya the Republic of Ingushetia proved the only Russian region that accepted forced migrants. The borders were opened to them by a personal decision of the Ingush president. As a result within a short span of time the republic’s population increased by over 1.5 times: 200 thousand forced migrants joined 310 thousand local people.
By way of comparison let me say that 2200 people managed to reach North Ossetia, 5000, the Stavropol Region and 2200, the Republic of Daghestan.
The following document from the Nazran office of the Migration Rights Network describes the situation in which the IDPs from Chechnya have found themselves in April 2002.

Spring 2002

This is the third spring in the lives of those who fled war to Ingushetia. Spring breeds hopes. The main hope of these people is to return home. In fact, they have been nurturing it since their first day in Ingushetia. Security is the main condition of their return yet there are still no guarantees of it in Chechnya.
Spring is the time when people living in tents can stop thinking about heating them. They have to face new problems. This spring presidential elections in Ingushetia are one of them. All of them are aware of the role Ruslan Aushev played in their lives—all of them fear that the newly elected president may succumb to pressure from above and send them home against their wishes.
On March 22 the humanitarian organizations and the local structures of the Ministry for Emergency Situations resumed their consultations after a long interval. Many of the former reported their readiness to continue working in spring and summer though many others have problems with distributing humanitarian aid. Neither the Migration Service nor the Danish Council have verified lists of the forced migrants living in Ingushetia; many organizations prefer to use the lists supplied by the Danish Council as more complete. For example, at one of the latest meetings the chairman of the Islamic Relief organization said that they were working with the Danish Council’s lists that included all children born to the refugees in Ingushetia. The Migrant Service does not include them in their lists of those needing its attention. The difference between the two lists is about 20 thousand people yet the Danish Council said that their lists contain fewer names than the lists of the Migration Service. The Interior Ministry that is handling the migration problems started registration on February 5, 2002, but showed no haste. Many of the IDPs believe that this lack of diligence is caused by the fact that temporal registration had become a paid service (48 rubles from each registered.) On March 18, 2002, Akhmed Pogorov, the Interior Minister of the Republic of Ingushetia, halted registration of migrants in places of temporal habitation. The ministry explained that registration would be resumed after the presidential elections in Ingushetia. The new rules require a photograph (which explains why people will have to pay for registration) and will apply to all migrants over 14. It is planned to complete the work by 1 June, which is highly improbable. New registration is needed because there are many false registration documents; some people have even two or three sets of them. Akhmed Barkhinkoev, an official of the Passport and Visa Service of the Republic of Ingushetia, said one out of fifteen old registrations was false.
Meanwhile, migration is still going on. According to the UN HCR in January 2002, 1000 people came to Ingushetia from Chechnya, while only 400 went back. The corresponding figures for February are 750 and 500; for March — 300 and 200. Even this information is not complete: it includes the cases known to the humanitarian organizations. One should say that, on the whole, those who already left Ingushetia for Chechnya are coming back because of the “territory cleaning” operations or under threat of death for themselves and their relatives. This explains why many people live in camps without registrations on the aid their relatives receive from humanitarian organizations. In this way all of them go hungry.

Time has come to replace old tents. In winter the UN HCR was doing the job, it is sill going on. No tents were changed in the Alina and Bela camps: commissioned in early 2000 they were considered to be new. Early this year people started complaining that the tents were leaking.
By early April 756 tents were replaced by UN HCR in Ingushetia and 65 new tents added. The International Salvation Committee is also actively involved in improving accommodations: it renovated 800 rooms. The Charity Corps prepared for habitation 224 rooms.
The migrants are also actively involved in improving their housing conditions: they patch over tears in their tents yet this cannot resolve the problem. Old tents are literary falling apart.
The problem of new tents is especially acute in small camps. For example, in the Goskhoz camp (Iandar) the majority of tents have to be replaced yet the camp was not even listed among those needing help. The head of the camp managed to replace part of the tents but this is far from enough. The “Medicines sans Frontiers” from the Netherlands are expecting 400 tents that will go to Aki Iurt. Half of them will arrive by the end of April and will be immediately installed.
The tents are not the only problem: people in the Bart camp (Karabulak) complain that they received no mattresses, the old ones have not been replaced either.

Humanitarian Aid

Since November 2001 there has been an acute shortage of foodstuffs. It was at that time that food deliveries were cut down. For example, the Islamic Relief that works in the Alina camp gives out monthly a carton containing 1 kg of sugar, 1 kg of pearl-barley, 1 kg of rice, 1 packet of salt, 2 packets of pasta, matches, 3 candles, 1 packet of tea, and 1 liter of oil to a family of four.
Besides, people in the same camp receive 5 kg of flour per month per person from the Islamic Relief working according to the Danish Council’s lists. In late autumn and early winter 2001 the migrants received humanitarian aid from the Danish Council. It consisted of 13 kg of flour, 1 liter of oil, 500 grams of sugar, 100 grams of salt, and 10 kg of rice per person for one month. Besides, the International Red Cross Committee and the Ministry for Emergency Situations were also working there.
Recently, the Danish Council concentrated on the migrants who rent housing in private houses in Ingushetia and is also very active in Chechnya. The Ministry of Federation stopped bread deliveries in early March 2002 for the old reason: it has run into debt with bakeries in Ingushetia. The ministry delayed payments and the bakeries had to stop working.
The Russian Red Cross tried to sort out the problem but cannot provide all migrants with bread: it can deliver it to slightly over than 32 thousand. In the MTF camp (Karabulak) one loaf is given to three people, in Alina two people share one loaf. Some camps do not get bread every day, which means that the migrants are deprived of this basic foodstuff.
The Russian Red Cross announced that early in May it would run out of money.
In December, the Zia Bazhaev Fund distributed 1 packet of tea and 1 kg of sugar per family in large camps.


There are schools in every camp and people are satisfied with them yet teaching aids are barely enough to give children elementary knowledge. UNISEF and an NGO Center for Peace and Development are actively helping schools: they have organized five Omega schools in the majority of large camps. Until last January there was a problem of receiving complete secondary education in the camp of Goskhoz in the village of Iandar. On January 25 UNISEF and the Center for Peace and Development opened another Omega school for 250 students. Today, schoolchildren from MTF are facing a similar problem: their school offers five-year education; older children have to attend the local school in Karabulak while the majority go on foot to another camp four kilometers away — parents are too poor to pay for transport. Public organization Druzhba has taken the primary schools in Bart and MTF under its wing. It is continuing what the Salvation Army was doing. Starting with November 1, 2001, every pupil gets a bun and a yogurt during school hours. Druzhba offers other aid. There is an Austrian organization Hilflwerk (HWA) that is working in large camps, such as Alina and Bela where children at school are given soft drinks, bread and porridge. The teachers say that the children are not overenthusiastic about the porridge that is normally based on water and is flavored with sunflower oil of an inferior quality.

Gas, Water, Electricity

Water supply causes no problems yet gas and electricity are a headache because of debts.
In the camps in the village of Sleptsovskaia electricity is regularly cut out for an hour a day; sometimes (not frequently though) there is electricity at night. Meanwhile, even when electricity is supplied the voltage is too low which is one of the problems. The main reason of it is a very bad state of the electrical equipment in the camps. In Bela one out of four transformers is functioning. In Goskhoz the transformer causes constant problems making the situation even worse than elsewhere. Late last year the only working transformer failed and people started stealing electricity form the village transformer. The villagers naturally did not like this. Constant conflicts followed.
In the same camp the tents are falling apart and have to be heated in winter and spring, something that impossible because of faulty gas supply caused by low pressure in the pipeline.

Medical Aid

The doctors working in the camps tell the following. The tents and other places where the migrants have been living for three years now are little suited for habitation and produce bad effects on the migrants’ health: the premises are crowded, the conditions are anti-sanitary; people are pestered by dampness and cold, absence of conditions for personal hygiene spreads infections such as pediculosis, scabies, enterobiasis, etc.
Infections easily develop into epidemics.
In the camps and over crowded premises the air is infectious; it causes and spreads infectious diseases.
Even a single case of influenza, enterobiasis, dysentery, salmonellosis, and infectious hepatitis spreads infection quickly. One can say that all the migrants at one time or other fell prey to many of these diseases. There are carriers of infections in their midst. During spring and autumn when the outside temperature fluctuates sharply the number of colds increases and turns into an epidemics.
The social and economic situation of the migrants is worsening with every day and is gravely affecting the health of children and old people, two more vulnerable groups.
The children, especially those under 3, suffer from rickets, hypotrophy, and anemia.
Doctors explain that these conditions are caused by the weakened immune systems of the migrants who cannot resist the diseases of upper respiratory tracts especially when living among chronic sufferers.
The adults are also vulnerable: they suffer of nervous-emotional disorders, anxiety, all sorts of phobias (obvious and concealed), and depressions. In children psychics suffers on three levels: individual family, and social.
There are medical rooms in all camps that are ready to provide first aid and are coping with the task. In large camps there are polyclinics ran by the Islamic Relief and the Doctors of the World organizations. Seriously ill people can be placed in hospitals of the Republic of Ingushetia; some of the local polyclinics run medical rooms in camps.

VI. How People are Forced to Return to Chechnya
From the very first days of the second Chechen campaign the federal authorities have been doing their best to push the IDPs back to the republic.
Throughout the military operation the upkeep of the forced migrants in Ingushetia was obviously underfunded; several times the financial trickle stopped and people were facing a catastrophe.
Yet the IDPs do not want to go back for the reasons that everybody knows: no guaranteed security, illegal actions of the federal troops especially obvious during numerous “mopping-up” operations (sweeps). Every day every woman locks her house for the night with a hope that no military will come to take her son, brother or husband away. Those who receive their relatives back in a day or two crippled or those who can buy them out for money are lucky. After several days of absence the relatives can only hope to get the dead bodies of near ones to be buried decently. In fact, people disappear in Chechnya every day. According to the lawyer and the monitor of the Migration Rights Network in two months the office received 23 applications about missing relatives. Investigation revealed that 1 person was dead, 1 was killed by a landmine, 9 people were set free, the rest disappeared without trace. An elderly man who was recently set free misses an ear — there is a fresh scar on its place. Order No. 46 of the Prosecutor General of July 27, 2001, “On Tightening Control over Observation of Human Rights during Operations of Checking Registration at Places of Domicile and Habitation in the Chechen Republic” and the Order of the Commander of the Combined Formation of July 27, 2001, “On Measures to Increase Involvement of Local Authorities, Population, and the RF Law-Enforcement Bodies to Fight Violations of Law and to Increase Responsibility of Officials for Breaches of Law and Order during Special Operations and Other Measures Conducted in the Settlements of the Chechen Republic” are ignored.
Appendix 4 contains a description of one of the latest “mopping-up” operations in the village of Alkan-Kala on April 11–15, 2002.
The local people are convinced that curfew (that military prefer to call it “limitation of movement across the city” because there is no emergency situation) is useless and does not help maintain order. Indeed, people cannot respond to calls for help and get out of their homes to witness the situation or oppose illegal actions of any side.
It is practically impossible to move around the republic because of numerous checkpoints that openly collected tribute of 10 rubles per capita. The people are too poor to pay everybody.
The composition of the courts is not full therefore they cannot investigate serious crimes (such as violence by soldiers) or large-scale claims (such as compensation for ruined houses.) The courts sit far away from the people they are supposed to help to: the Staropromyslovskiy Court of Grozny sits in the Nadterechny District; the October Court of Grozny sits in Shali, the Lenin Court, in Gudermes.
People have no money to travel to these places, there is no chance to return before curfew. Besides, they are afraid of contesting the military and, on the whole, do not trust the judicial and legal system.

Water, gas, and electricity supply is unstable. The population of the capital has increased — this causes sewage problems that threat with epidemics. Toilets are mostly placed outside houses: in the conditions of curfew a visit there may end in death.
The authorities call on people to come back or even insist on it. Meals in refugee camps are discontinued — the federal authorities permanently owe the Republic of Ingushetia from 300 to 500 million rubles. At the same time, no favorable conditions are created for those who are bold enough to go back; the military still defy all rules and orders. Starting with 2001 free meals were stopped several times in those few CTA to which people had been sent in 1999. The migration structures are continuously restructured that does not add clarity to the situation. Today they belong to the Interior Ministry that has complicated the situation still more.
Late in May 2001 Akhmad Kadyrov, the Head of the Administration of the Chechen Republic, announced that he intended to return to Chechnya all forced migrants living in Ingushetia before winter colds. After a working meeting on the problems of developing the production forces of Chechnya held by the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs Kadyrov said that heads of district administrations promised to accommodate up to 50 thousand forced migrants. Schools, rest homes, kindergartens were transformed into hostels that can house up to 15 thousand.
There is an active campaign going on in the region to persuade Chechen families to move back. The territorial structures of the Federation Ministry of Russia are prepared to pay the fare yet few agree to return to face armed actions and cruel and senseless “mopping up” operations.
Direct and indirect pressure in the form of liquidation of camps and discontinuation of meals applied to people who were forced to abandon their homes because of the anti-terrorist operation is inhuman and unconstitutional, it goes against international laws and the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.
Appendix 17 contains Evidence of the Human Rights Center Memorial and Civic Assistance Committee about the life of Chechens in Russia. Memorial members are monitoring the situation with the victims of armed actions in Chechnya and other regions of Russia where there are offices of the Migration Rights Network.
Regrettably, Russia offers no security to people who had to leave Chechnya: there is no safety, no jobs and no chance of a dignified life.

The lawyer of the Penza office of the Migration Rights Network quotes a letter Amant Akhaeva addressed to the Governor of the Penza Region V. Bochkarev:
“I am Amant Akhaeva, mother of three little children, the younger is barely 12 months old. I am a Chechen. I have lived through two wars. During the first war I lived in cellars. On January 28, 1995, I tried to find shelter under bombs with a two-month-old baby in arms. In August 1999 I had to leave home because of the danger of war. I came to Penza. I immediately registered with the migration service but got not status. It is for three years now that I have been traveling from one instance to another, from one court to another. This is a vicious circle: I still have to face my problems unaided. I have no home, no work. One of my children is ill. We all are trying to survive on child allowances (54 rubles, or $2 per month per child). Sometimes people help us. I don’t know what I have to prove to whom to get help from the state… I lost a two-room flat, everything that had been collected through years. I left with my children in what I stood. Are these arguments not enough? As soon as I came here I got a letter in which neighbors told me that my house had been hit by a shell. This meant sure death for us should we stay behind. I, a citizen of Russia, saved my children. They say that nobody persecuted me: whom did I flee then?
“There is no way out for us: my children are hungry, our clothes are falling apart. The man who owns the room we are living in warned us that in spring we should vacate it because we have no money to pay the rent. Where can I go? Whom should I ask for help?”
Many other Chechen women are asking themselves the same questions.
I want to complete my report with this letter and these questions.

VII. Appendices

Appendix 1

List of the "Migration and Law" Program law centers
city and region
Address, phone, fax, e-mail
Astrakhan region
414000 Astrakhan,
Lenin st. 8-20
e-mail: gjgeufq@astranet.ru
Lawyer: Tatiana E.Zharova
Altai region
656011, Barnaul, A/ß 1866
e-mail: mpn@dcn-asu.ru
Lawyer: Maria V. Naumenko
Belgorod region
308007 Belgorod,
Schorsa st. 8
e-mail: memorial@bel.ru
Lawyer:Vassily N. Popov
Voronezh region
Borisoglebsk, Voronezh region,
ul. Narodnaya, 70A
e-mail: iolant@icmail.ru
Lawyers: Iolanta A. Agababovyan
Irina V. Sherbakova.
Bryansk region
241011 Bryansk,
Oktyabrskaya st. 16
e-mail: ns@polyakov.bryansk.ru.
Lawyer: Nikolay S. Polyakov
Northern Ossetia-Alania
362013 Vladikavkaz, RSO-A, Nikolaeva st., 71,
tel/fax: (8672)76-84-94
e-mail: bjannetta@mail.ru
Lawyer: Zhanetta I. Bachieva
Vladimir region
600017 Vladimir,
Lunacharskogo st. 3, Krasny Korpus, office 90.
tel.: (0922)33-31-63
e-mail: mglazik@rambler.ru
Lawyer: Marina A. Beloglazova
Volgograd region
400074 Volgograd,
Barrikadnaya st.19
tel./fax: (8442)33-93-62,
e-mail: nadezhda@advent.avtlg.ru
Lawyers: Lidia F. Naumova
Svetlana I. Tarasova
Julia V. Abramova
Vologda region
60001, Vologda,
Cheluskintsev st. 3, office 7
tel.: (8172)72-01-72
fax: (8172)25-39-25
e-mail: lvslta@vologda.ru
Lawyer: Tatyana A Lyndrik
Voronezh region
Nikitinskaya st. 19, ap.13. Community reception (CR)
tel./fax: (0732)52-04-66 e-mail: memory@comch.ru
Lawyer: Vyacheslav I. Bityutsky
Chechen Republic
364000, Groznyi,
Maiakovskogo st., 84
tel: Nazran point.
Lawyer: Lidia M. Uysupova
Gudermes, Chechen Republic366900, Gudermes,
Lenina st., 3
e-mail: isaslanbek@mail.ru
Lawyer: Suleiman Muzaev
Ekaterinburg, Sverdlovsk region 620014 Ekaterinburg,
Vaynera st. 16a
tel.: (3432)51-36-59.
e-mail: nekra99@mail.ru
Lawyer: Irina Yu. Nekrasova
426023, Ijevsk, Krasnogvardeiskaya 18, room 5,
tel.: (3412)52-43-36
e-mail: nina@mp.udm.ru
Lawyer: Galina A. Gasanova
420015, Kazan,
K. Marks st. 51
tel.: (8432) 38-89-14
e-mail: yuldash@ipian.kazan.ru
Lawyer: Eduard R. Valeyev
Kaliningrad region
236000, Kaliningrad,
Sovetskyi avn 16, office 32
tel/faxñ: (0112)27-24-32
e-mail: smeyan@kaliningrad.ru
Lawyer: Nikolay M. Smeyan
Kaluga region
248001, Kaluga, Kirova st.1, “Kaluga” hotel, office 626
tel.: (08422)4-90-54
e-mail: migrant@kaluga.ru
Lawyer: Nina S. Lunina
Rostov region
Kamensk-Shahtinsk, Volodarskogo st. 14
tel.: (86365) 522-02
Lawyer: Elena S. Kleimanova
Kirov region
610000, Kirov,
Engels st. 41
e-mail: egida@dgc.nnov.ru
Lawyer: Tamara N. Akulova
Krasnodar region
350000, Krasnodar,
Mira st. 29, room 5
tel/fax: (8612)59-13-15,
e-mail: lcrkrd@kuban.net
Lawyer: Eugeny A. Gaidash
Kurgan region
640027 Kurgan,
Dzerzhinsky st. 35-8
Mail address 640008, Kurgan, postal box 3543
e-mail: cbc@zaural.ru
Lawyer: Sergey V. Salasyuk
Kursk region
Dzerzhinskogo st. 49
tel/fax: (0712)56-70-64,
e-mail: fedor@pub.sovtest.ru
Lawyer: Fyodor L. Gerasimenko
Lipetsk region
398000 Lipetsk,
Plehanova st. 1
tel: (0742)72-74-70
e-mail: guriev@rambler.ru
Lawyers: Aleksandr A. Guriev,
Pavel V. Belyj
Moscow region
103030 Moscow, 33
Comitee “Civic assistance”
Dolgorukovskaya st., building 6
tel. (095)973-54-43,
e-mail: ccaserver@mtu-net.ru
    Head: Svetlana A. Gannushkina
    Substitutes: Elena Yu. Burtina,
    Liudmila Z. Gendel

    Lawyers: Maya I. Orlova
    Tatiana K. Dolbneva, Dionisy Lomakin, Natalia V. Dorina
    Valentina E. Golovach

    Republic of Ingushetia
    Ingushetia, Nazran,
    Mutaliev st. 36
    tel./fax: (87322)289-57
    e-mail: sam@southnet.ru
    Lawyer: Sacida A. Muradova
    Republic of Kabardino-Balkaria
    360000 Kabardino-Balkaria, Nalchik, Lenin ave 8
    tel/fax: (8662)44-13-40
    e-mail: dari@kbsu.ru
    Lawyer: Albert Kh. Ketov
    Nizhni Novgorod,
    Nizhni Novgorod region
    603001 Nizhni Novgorod, Rozhdestvenskaya st. 2
    tel./fax: (8312) 60-87-68
    e-mail: ivlev@mts-nn.ru
    Lawyer: Nikolay A. Ivlev
    Novgorod V,
    Novgorod region
    173000 Novgorod V.,
    Sankt-Peterburgskaya st. 24/2
    tel./fax: (8162)138-268,
    e-mail: deep@au.ru
    Lawyer: Margarita I. Babichenko
    Orel region
    302030, Orel,
    Novosilskaya st. 5
    tel/fax: (0862)42-68-83
    e-mail: ïîõ@rekom.ru
    Lawyers: Alexander A. Yerin
    Anatoliy A. Zaitsev
    Orenburg region
    460051, Orenburg,
    75 liniya st. 1
    tel/fax: (3532)70-79-04
    e-mail: pokrow@mail.esoo.ru
    Lawyer: Aleksey G. Gladkikh
    Ocher and Perm,
    Perm region
    617140 Perm region, Ocher, Sovetskaya st. 26
    tel/fax: (34278) 222-51
    e-mail: bivp@mail.ru
    Lawyer: Boris I. Ponosov
    Penza region
    440008 Penza,
    Kulakova st. 7
    tel/fax: (8412)63-03-01e-mail: svetoch@penza.com.ru
    Lawyer: Nina F. Efremova
    Lawyer: Natalia B. Semenova
    Stavropol region
    357538 Stavropol region, Pyatigorsk, Moskovskaya st. 84, office 6
    tel/fax: (8793) 97-43-72
    e-mail: vnl@kmv.ru
    Lawyer: Olga A. Plykina
    Rostov region
    344007 Rostov-on-Don, Pushkinskaya st. 104/32, 4th floor
    tel/fax: (8632 )40-35-83
    e-mail: dam@ic.ru
    Lawyers: Svetlana G. Dubinina,
    Oleg V. Sozinov
    Ryazan region
    390000 Ryazan,
    Kostyushko sq. 3
    tel. (0912)77-51-17
    e-mail: sv@svetlana.ryazan.ru
    Lawyer: Svetlana V. Kolbneva
    Samara region
    443099 Samara,
    Kujbysheva st. 111, office 35
    tel/fax: (8462)32-00-03
    e-mail: memorial@samaramail.ru
    Lawyer: Natalya I. Vaskovskaya
    St. Petersburg,
    Leningrad region
    191011 St. Petersburg,
    Fontanka river bay 23, 2nd floor
    tel: (812)314-28-30,
    fax: (812)314-29-30
    e-mail: oosipova@hotmail.com
    Lawyers: Olga P. Tsetlina,
    Tamara A. Ter-Karapetyan
    Saratov region
    410031 Saratov,
    Chernyshevskogo st. 88
    tel/fax (8452)25-98-05,
    e-mail: rtn-elena@yandex.ru
    Lawyers: Zhanna A. Biryukova,
    Valentina M. Molokova
    Smolensk region
    214025 Smolensk,
    Bagrationa st. 3
    tel/fax (0812)52-02-00
    e-mail: abm-947@sci.smolensk.ru
    Lawyer: Mikhail I. Solyanikov
    Stavropol region
    355006 Stavropol,
    Karl Marx st., 60
    tel/fax: (8652) 26-8032.
    e-mail: statut@avn.skiftel.ru
    Lawyer: Vladimir I. Tretyakov
    Rostov region;
    347900 Taganrog,
    Gogolevsky per., 27, office 8
    tel. (86344) 6-51-98
    e-mail: trof@pbox.ttn.ru
    Lawyer: Nikolay I.Trofimov
    Tambov region
    392000, Tambov,
    Sovetskaya st. 182, office 16
    tel/fax: (0752)35-63-11,
    e-mail: vash@pub.tmb.ru
    Lawyer: Valentina A. Shaisipova
    Tver and Vyshni Volochok,
    Tver region
    170000 Tver,
    Novotorzhskaya st. 12b, off. 42
    Lawyer: Anatoly M. Vojcekhovsky
    Tula region
    300041, Tula,
    Kasnoarmeiska avn. 29
    tel/fax: (0872) 27-75-09
    e-mail: anmich@rambler.ru
    Lawyer: Dmitrii A. Michailyukov
    Urus-Martan ;
    Chechen Republic
    Chechen Republic,
    Urus-Martan Lenina st. 1à
    Tel: telephone number
    of Nazran’s point
    Lawyer: Lidia A. Timirgaeva
    Dagestan, Hasaviurt,
    Musaiasula st. 40
    tel.: (872310)43-21
    e-mail: jovta@rambler.ru
    Lawyer: Rassiyat Yu. Yasiyeva
    428032, Cheboksari, Leningradskaya st. 16
    tel/fax: (8352)42-47-88
    e-mail: ayven@cbx.ru
    Lawyer: Petr A. Aivenov
      Rostov region
    Shahti, Proletarskaya st. 171
    tel/fax: (86362) 5-01-05
    Lawyer: Vasiliy G. Litvinov

    Appendix 2

    The Ministry of Federation,

    National and Migration Policy of the Russian Federation

    123995, Moscow, GSP-5, Trubnikvosky per., 19.

    Tel. 203-10-88; fax 202-44-90
    09.12.2001 # 09/1-9317

    State Duma of Federal Assembly of RF
    Committee for CIS and relations with compatriots
    For attention of Deputy Head of Committee
    Igrunov V.V.

    Deputy Minister,
    Blagovidov A.P.

    on the citizens from the Chechen Republic that were granted with
    the forced migrant status, and their distribution among various regions
    of the Russian Federation during the period
    of January 1, 1999 — October 1, 2001
    Regions Namber of families Namber of people
    The Russian Federation 5964 12464
    Northwest Federal District 391 901
    Republic of Karelia 10 21
    Republic of Komy 9 29
    Arkhangelsk region 6 24
    Nenets Autonomous Area. 1 1
    Vologda region 4 7
    Kaliningrad region 38 101
    Leningrad region 98 201
    Murmansk region 8 15
    Novgorod region 20 48
    Pskov region 8 21
    St. Petersburg 189 433

    Central Federal District 1036 2097
    Belgorod region 116 197
    Briansk region 16 43
    Vladimir region 29 76
    Voronezh region 103 169
    Ivanovo region 12 20
    Kaluga region 25 47
    Kostroma region 4 11
    Kursk region 31 62
    Lipetsk region 32 64
    Moscow region 89 162
    Orel region 32 82
    Ryazan region 24 47
    Smolensk region 21 41
    Tambov region 316 687
    Tver region 61 117
    Tula region 18 42
    Yaroslav region 36 73
    Moscow 71 157

    Privolzhsky Federal District 601 1451
    Republic of Bashkorkostan 73 217
    Republic of Mary El 4 15
    Republic of Mordovia 4 5
    Republic of Tatarstan 25 69
    Udmurt Republic 11 46
    Chuvash Republic 15 46
    Kirov region 16 51
    Nizhni Novgorod region 32 72
    Orenburg region 43 104
    Penza region 39 55
    Perm region 20 40
    Komi-Permyak Autonomous Area 0 0
    Samara region 33 57
    Saratov region 271 627
    Ulyanovsk region 15 47

    Southern Federal District 3525 6807
    Republic of Adygeya 34 96
    Republic of Daghestan 279 889
    Republic of Ingushetia 20 89
    Kabardino-Balkarskaya Republic 65 155
    Republic of Kalmykia 4 18
    Karachaevo-Cherkeskaya Republic 13 45
    Republic of North Osetia-Alania 161 259
    Chechen Republic 0 0
    Krasnodar region 71 986
    Stavropol region 1865 3250
    Astrakhan region 180 430
    Volgograd region 109 186
    Rostov region 224 404

    Ural Federal District 142 359
    Kurgan region 34 121
    Sverdlovsk region 9 22
    Tumen region 6 17
    Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Area 57 127
    Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Area 25 42
    Chelyabinsk region 11 30

    Siberian Autonomous District 210 692
    Republic of Altai 4 16
    Republic of Buryatia 23 74
    Republic of Tyva 0 0
    Republic of Khakassia 0 0
    Altai region 37 115
    Krasnoyarsk region 28 77
    Taimyr (Dolgano-
    Nenets) Autonomous Area 0 0
    Evenk Autonomus Area 0 0
    Irkutsk region 8 19
    Ust-Orda Buryatsky
    Autonomous Area 0 0
    Kemerovo region 56 213
    Novosibirsk region 5 12
    Omsk region 8 26
    Tomsk region 36 133
    Chita region 5 7
    Žgin -Buryat Autonomous Area 0 0

    Dalnevostochny Federal District 59 157
    Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) 1 5
    Primorsk region 23 72
    Habarovsk region 15 41
    Amursk region 2 3
    Kamchatka region 5 10
    Koryak Autonomous Area 2 6
    Magadan region 2 2
    Sakhalin region 4 5
    Jewish Autonomous Area 5 13
    Chukotka Autonomous Area 0 0

    Appendix 3

    For attention of the Minister of the Interior of the Republic of Ingushetia
    Lieutenant-general of police Gusteriyev H.S.
    Filed by assistant of Deputy of the State Duma of the RF
    Baysayev Usam Vakhayevich, temporarily resident at address:
    Nazran, Nasyr-Kortskaya street, 7

    According to the questions that were posed to me I can tell the following. On March 24 I flied to Moscow from Ingushetia. I were to fly from Moscow to Geneva on March the 25th (the next day) at 5.40 p.m. Moscow time to participate at 57th session of UN on the human rights. I had an official Invitation sent to me by the “Amnesty International” organization, from its London headquarters. I’ve been sent the invitation as a full-time worker of Memorial Human Rights Center that has direct contacts with the Special Representative of the President of the RF on Human Rights in Chechnya Mr. Vladimir Kalamanov.
    After arriving in Moscow I phoned my aunt, Zaynap Baysayeva, who is registered in Moscow at the address of Bakuleva street, 4–25. I intended to spend the night at her apartment but I didn’t know how to get there. Zaynap told me that I was to leave the underground at the Akademicheskaya station, then take the taxi-bus No 29 and get off at the “Textile factory Moscow” stop. She promised to meet me there.
    I did as I was told. At about 8 p.m. I got off from the taxi-bus and discovered that my aunt and another woman living in Moscow, by the name of Muslima Allamova, were waiting for me on the corner of Bolshaya Cheremushkinskaya and Vinokurova streets. My underage niece, Maydina Baysayeva, as I was to find out later, was with them but entered the nearby shop to buy some food.
    I approached the people meeting me and put my bag on the earth. At the same time a police car (model “UAZ-469”, state registry number E 493 MM 77/rus) stopped nearby.
    Two police officers left the car (there was a third, but he was always sitting at the car as he was the driver) and told me to present my IDs. I presented them with my internal passport, then showed them my foreign passport with Swiss visa and my ID of assistant of a State Duma Deputy, as well as the air ticket from Ingushetia. While the officers checked the documents, I told them that I have just arrived in the capital and was to leave to Switzerland on the day after.
    One of the officers (as far as I can tell he was a lieutenant) was quite satisfied with my words. Yet the other one began to insult and abase me, telling me that he didn’t spend the time in Chechnya destroying Chechens for nothing, “I was killing them there not to allow them to travel abroad”. These were his exact words. Then he threatened me with incarceration in the place he called “bum-house” where I would be in detention at least for a week. During that time my voyage, he told me, “will go to hell.” All his words were interspersed with grave insults for me personally and for my nation.
    The lieutenant, who, as I thought at first, was quite sympathetic with me, told me that I would have to accompany them to the local police station for verification of my person. I asked him to explain the reasons for my arrest, as my documents were in order. He answered me that I was a Chechen and shrugged his shoulders.
    My aunt, Zaynap Baysayeva, and Muslima Allamova tried to prevent my arrest. Yet the second officer pointed to the assault rifle he had and threatened to use it. He told that he put it to use quite often in Chechnya. Then he told the women to show their IDs.
    No questions were asked as for Muslima Allamova’s documents. When the officers demanded the documents from my aunt, she told them that they were in the bag of my niece, Madina Baysayeva, who was in a shop located in a couple of tens of meters from the place we were standing at. My aunt proposed either to wait till she would bring the documents or to accompany her to the shop and take the documents out of the bag.
    Yet the officers put this fault of my aunt to use – they caught her by the arm and forced her into the car, ripping her overcoat in doing so. They also told me to sit in the back of the car, the area usually used for those arrested.
    At the same time Muslima Allamova, leaving her bags on the sidewalk, ran to the shop to bring the documents of my aunt. She asked the officers to wait, I also asked them to wait, yet the car began to move. I think that they chose not to wait for return of M.Allamova to have some grounds for our arrest.
    I haven’t got a watch, so I didn’t know for how long we were driven around the city, I also know the place where the car stopped. Yet I was always hearing the officers insulting and threatening my aunt.
    After the car stopped, I heard the officers extorting money from a certain man, something about 200 rubles. Probably this was staged to make me more obedient when they would begin to extort money from me. I cannot tell if this was true, yet I definitely heard them extorting money.
    The lieutenant opened the door and asked me to go out of the car. I have never seen the place where we were. Probably we left the area of main streets. The place looked like a park.
    The lieutenant told me that they could, as he said, “put me for a long time in the bum-house”, notwithstanding the documents that I had showed them. He stressed the fact that the only punishment they would get for this would be a “well done, guys” from their bosses.
    Then he asked if I had money. I told him that a man who was going abroad cannot be without some. The lieutenant proposed me to give him five hundred rubles and resolve this conflict “amicably” in this way.
    I told him that this sum was too big for me. Yet the officers refused to “lower the price” of our freedom. They only agreed to bring us back to place from where they had taken us.
    There was a Ukrainian guy with me also in the back of the car; he told me that he was arrested when he went out to buy cigarettes.
    The officers brought me and my aunt back to the corner of the Bolshaya Cheremushkinskaya and Vinokurova streets. There were no signs of either Muslima Allamova or Madina Basayeva. As we found out afterwards, they went back to the apartment of my aunt and tried to call the local police precinct.
    I also found out that the officers forced my aunt to pay too. She wasn’t aware that I’ve already paid the ransom.
    After letting us go, the officers entered the same shop in which my niece had been when we had been arrested and bought some spirits there.
    During their walk to the shop, the lieutenant walked with me and asked me “as a friend” to avoid the police in Moscow.

    Staff member of Memorial Human Rights Center
    Usam Baysayev/signed /
    Approved by
    Order of the Government of
    Chechen Republic of 30.05.01, No 22
    Lawyer of “Migration and Law” network
    M. Petrosyan
    Head of the “Migration and Law” Network
    S. Gannushkina
    Representative of the Memorial HRC in the City of Grozny
    N. Estimirova

    109240, Moscow,
    Verkhnyaya Radishchevskaya street, 4, build. 1
    Passport and Visa department of RF Interior Ministry
    To Chief of Department Kikot V.Ya.
    To Deputy of State Duma of Federal Assembly
    Igrunov V.V.
    Appendix 8

    A letter of State Duma Deputy V.V.Igrunov to Head of PVD of RF

    InteriorMinistry V.Ya. Kikot of 19. 10. 2001, NoàÉ / 2924

    October, 19, 2001
    109240, Moscow, Verkhnyaya Radishchevskaya street, 4, build.1
    Passport and Visa Department RF Interior Ministry
    To Chief of Department Kikot V.Ya.

    Dear Vladimir Yakovlevich,

    My assistant, S.A. Gannushkina, received an application by a famous Chechen writer and journalist Tamara Chagaeva, as of now resident of Kabardino-Balkaria.
    She is very concerned with the situation related to the issuing of foreign passports to forced migrants from the Chechen Republic that settled in Kabardino-Balkaria.
    The situation is very serious as the people have to wait for several months for replies for their application filed to the Passport and Visa Department of Chechnya in order to finally get the reply that the Interior Ministry Department for Chechnya has no records for the people that filed the application as these records were destroyed during the military actions in Chechnya.
    The latest development made the situation even more serious, as the Passport and Visa Department officers of Kabardino-Balkaria, willing to speed up the replies, handle the applications for the replies in sealed envelopes to the applicants themselves. The applicants, on their own, carry these envelopes to the Passport and Visa Department of Chechnya, yet, as the order in Chechnya is far from stable, such voyages may lead to deaths or maiming of people. For example, to quote T. Chagaeva, not so long ago M. Muskiev, visiting Grozny, has been nearly shot down, his companion was wounded in the leg and the car they traveled in was heavily damaged by grenade splinters.
    I am also more than troubled by the situation. I think that the solution to it may be the following. The Passport and Visa Department of RF Interior Ministry has to gather the information from Chechnya about the existence of the Interior Ministry archives and compile a list of such Departments the archives of which are destroyed and send this list to all the regions of Russia. Doing this will prevent the unnecessary job of sending the request to Departments that haven’t got archives.
    I kindly ask you to voice your opinion on the issue.

    Igrunov V.V.

    «Request for a write-off»

    There is no other word but “nonsense” suitable for description of exchange of letters in which Passport and Visa Departments of Kabardino-Balkaria and Chechnya engage lately. Here is an example.
    Every citizen of the RF, if he is of age, may be issued a foreign passport. Such a citizen prepares the necessary documents, handles them to the Passport and Visa Department and waits. Sometimes he waits a month and a half, sometimes he waits for three, or four, or five months. All in all, the authorities render the necessary replies and a citizen receives his foreign passport.
    Until the recent time all went like this, except for unexplainable bureaucratic delays, which look yet like nothing compared to what goes on now.
    It’s only a month ago that the Passport and Visa Department of Kabardino-Balkaria received an order prescribing the department to send the requests of citizens (i.e. refugees) who are to receive their passports in Nalchik to Passport and Visa Departments of Chechnya (where no passports are issued yet). Naturally, the citizens that were to receive their documents in near future, are shocked: usually, such requests wait their fulfillment for months, and requests sent to Chechnya even longer.
    The people see their plans ruined, and the Passport and Visa Department of Kabardino-Balkaria, seeing this, decided to handle these requests out to applicants themselves, in a special sealed envelope. The applicants take these envelopes to Visa Department of Chechnya and receive a reply. It is always the same: «In reply to your request of so-and-so date we inform you that we have no records for the citizen so-and-so and we cannot check our records because they have been destroyed during the military actions in Chechnya. The Central Passport and Visa Department of Chechnya also has no records for these people». This is the reply to the letter. There are hundreds of such replies by now, because without such “important” reply no passport will be issued.
    Nobody cares that people subject their life to difficulties and danger when they fare for such a reply. There are long checks on every block-post, it is dangerous to walk about the streets in the city, and one cannot even reach the building of the Passport and Visa Department in Grozny. The people travel, wait at turnstiles for hours. If one is lucky one will be let in, if no – one will have to come the next day and wait again. And the bribes are everywhere. The people are more than willing to describe in the tiniest details – to the first person who asks – everything they have to suffer in order to get this reply, – which doesn’t mean anything, as it appears. But still one won’t ever get the passport without it.
    Every day people bring from Chechnya these “write-offs”, and every day they travel there to get them. And nobody wants to take on the responsibility to explain the foolish situation. This person could be the Head of the Passport and Visa Department of Kabardino-Balkaria. How? – The reasonable way would be to write to the upper authorities. It would be quite enough to send such a sample reply and everything will get clear – because the reply will tell that no such information may be got because it is destroyed. It won’t be resurrected, no matter how many replies will be sent! What the sense to torment the people by making them to give up their last money? What is the sense in subjecting them to mortal danger if one knows beforehand that the document requested is a “write-off”?
    The Head of the Passport and Visa Department of the Chechen Republic could show mercy too. If you haven’t got any database, why not tell so to your bosses? And by doing so to end the mockery at once?

    T. Chagaeva, member of the Union of Journalists of the RF.

    Appendix 9

    A letter of State Duma Deputy V.V.Igrunov

    to President of RF V.V. Putin

    of 14. 06. 2000, No àÉ/ 810

    Dear Vladimir Vladimirovich,

    I’d like to draw your attention once again to the state of affairs of issuing documents for inhabitants of the Chechen Republic.
    According to the current order, the inhabitants of the Chechen republic that left the republic due to military actions there are asked to apply for the issuing of temporary IDs, passports, as well as for stapling of new photos in their documents to the authorities located on the territory of Chechnya, and only there. Yet the people that have no documents cannot travel to Chechnya. There occurs a contradiction between the necessity of getting a document on the Chechen territory and the possibility of getting there without documents.
    The result is that in every case one has to apply to the RF Interior Ministry in order to solve the problem of issuing a document if one is a former Chechnya inhabitant.
    I think that it would be useful to develop a special process of issuing of documents for inhabitants of the Chechen Republic that live temporarily in other regions of Russia at the place of their actual residence and to make this process known and used by the local interior authorities.

    Yours truly,
    Deputy, Deputy Head of the Committee
    for CIS and relations with compatriots
    Igrunov V.V.

    Reply to the letter by acting Head of Passport and Visa Service

    of RFInterior Ministry Yu.I. Sharogorov, ‹16-Ê 1404

    For No àÉ/810 of 14.06.2000
    Âhe issue of concerning documents for citizens that were forced
    to leave the territory of Chechen Republic

    Dear Vyacheslav Vladimirovich,

    Your letter, addressed to the Office of President of RF, has been considered.
    The issuing of documents for citizens that temporarily left the Chechen Republic is performed by the interior authorities according to the effective legislation.
    Issuing of passports instead of lost ones is performed in due order by the local interior authorities at the place of permanent residence.
    The citizens that do not have registration at the place of permanent residence are to apply for issuing of passports at the place of actual residence.
    The RF Interior Ministry considers it thus unnecessary to develop a special process for issuing of documents for citizens that were forced to leave their permanent residence in the Chechen Republic.

    Acting Head
    Sharogorov Yu.I.

    Application of A.Z. Erzanukaev of 08. 01. 2002

    My name is Erzanukaev Arbi Zayndnevich, I was born on June 14, 1972. My permanent residence is in the Chechen Republic, I live temporarily in St.Petersburg. I am registered in police precinct 62, Kalininsky district, the city of St.Petersburg.

    My passport, issued on January 23, 1992, by the interior authorities of Vedeno, has been torn with wear, and so I have to face much difficulties related to finding accommodation, employment, dealing with police officers; all this seriously affects my Constitutional rights. Since 1998, there is a process of changing passports going on in Russia, so I applied to the head of the passport department of police precinct 62 asking to issue for me a new Russian passport instead of old one. Mrs. Shishkina, citing certain by-laws, ensured that there are no grounds for issuing me a passport in St.Petersburg at the place of my actual residence and told me to get one at the place of my permanent residence in Dyshne-Vedeno, where, according to her, the passport services are acting in full and are provided with blank passports. I followed her recommendations and left for the Chechen Republic in order to change my passport.
    The passport authorities of Administration of Dyshne-Vedeno refused to issue me a passport due to the fact that they haven’t got any blank passports. The passport officer told me that even in the most favorable circumstances I won’t get my passport sooner than in 3-5 months. I’ve been sent to PVS of Vedeno Interior Authorities for permission. I found myself in a zone surrounded by barbed wire, looking much like a concentration camp, only later did I find out that this was the Office of Military Commandant of Vedeno. I wasn’t let inside the barbed wire, so I wasn’t able to be received by the Head of PVS, instead they put a registration stamp in my passport and sent me to the City of Grozny to the Head of PVS of the Chechen Republic.
    However, on the road, in the Chechen village of Agishty in which there was a sweep on the run, I’ve been taken from the bus by the military men in masks and only a happy chance allowed me not to become a prisoner of a filtration camp.
    The moment I entered Chechnya my rights of citizen of RF have been constantly infringed, I have been humiliated on purpose by searches, provocative remarks, suspicions, insults related to my nation. I don’t even mention the constant moral pressure by the military and federal officers.
    After I came back to St.Petersburg, the offices of police precinct 62 again refused to issue me a new passport, notwithstanding the fact that I provided them with all necessary documents. When the passport reform began, there was no war in Chechnya and nobody could have taken into account all the circumstances cited by me. The citizens of the RF of the Chechen nation have, according to the RF Constitution, the same rights as all other RF citizens. Why then my life is subjected to mortal dangers? I am no longer going to return to the Chechen Republic, what I suffered once is quite enough.
    I plead to make the authorities to issue me a new passport at the place of registration in the City of St.Petersburg.

    Passport and Visa Department

    Of Russian Federation
    109240, Moscow, Verkhnyaya Radishchevskaya street,4, build. 1

    11.04.02 No 16/ Ê – 629
    for No EA/3378 as of 11.02.02

    To Deputy of State Duma of Federal Assembly
    Igrunov V.V.
    Dear Vyacheslav Vladimirovich,

    Your application concerning the issue of a passport to A.Z.Erzanukev at the place of actual residence of the latter in City of St.Petersburg has been considered.
    According to the Order of Passport Issuing for citizens of the Russian Federation as of July 8, 1997, No 828, issuing and changing of passports for citizens is performed by the interior authorities at the place of residence. Passports may only be issued at the place of actual residence if the applying citizen has no place of residence.
    In the circumstances, it is not possible to issue a passport of Citizen of the Russian Federation to A.Z. Erzanukaev at the place of his actual residence.

    First Deputy Head Smorodin N.M.

    Appendix 11

    October 20, 2001
    Moscow Committee for Education has distributed an order prescribing all schools and other educational to inform the interior authorities about the parents of underage citizens who have no registration.
    Text of the document in question:

    Government of Moscow

    Moscow Committee for Education

    105318, Moscow, Semyonovskaya square, 4
    as of 12.10.2001, No 2-13-15/20
    To Heads of Regional Departments for Education
    To Heads of Educational institutions
    subordinate to the City of Moscow

    On the order of admission of children into

    educational institutions

    According to the rulings of Moscow City Court as of 25.12.2000 and of Supreme Court of RF as of 15.05.2001 that declare null and void point 5 of the Order of Government of Moscow and of Government of Moscow Region “On approval of the regulations for registration and discontinuing the registration of RF citizens at the place of actual residence and at the place of residence in Moscow and in Moscow Region” (excerpt of the Order is enclosed), we inform you that a child must be admitted to an educational institutions according to the “Children” entry in the passport of a parent and a written application of the same parent containing the address of actual residence; no registration documents are necessary and the existence of these is not to be taken into account.
    However, all representatives of the underage persons who are citizens of RF or persons without citizenship yet legally present in RF are to be registered at the place of actual residence and at the place of residence under article 3 of the Law of RF “On the right of RF citizens for freedom of movement, choice of the place of residence and of actual residence in RF”. So, we ask you, when you admit children into the school, to inform the local interior authorities on the cases when the representatives of underage citizens have no registration (boldfaced by us — «C.A.»)
    First Deputy Head of the Committee
    Kurneshova L.E.

    Appendix 12

    List of children

    not let into school ‹8 in Nalchik, September 3, 2001

    5. AISHAT 5 CLASS.
    9. BUSANA 6 CLASS.
    10. MAGOMED 2 CLASS.
    12. ISMAIL 1 CLASS.
    14. ANZOR 3 CLASS.
    15. ALINA 1 CLASS.
    18. MADINA 6 CLASS.
    25. LEILA 9 CLASS.
    26. RAMZAN 7 CLASS.
    29. LOLA 7 CLASS.
    32. IBRAGIM 3 CLASS.
    34. SELIMA 9 CLASS.
    37. LOM-ALI 5 CLASS.
    38. AISHAT 7 CLASS.
    41. AKHMED 8 CLASS.

    These children were driven out of classes under order of the head of the school ‹ 8
    B.Z. Zhangurazov by chiefs of studies A.G. Solovyov and R.M. Japuev.

    Appendix 13

    The Case of Khamidovs

    Khamidov brothers – Khanbatay Abulkhanovich and Jabrail Abulkhanovich – live in Bratskoye village of Nadterechny district of Chechnya. These district is of the so-called “peaceful” one, where there were no and there are no military actions. These men possess as their private property living houses and facilities the firm “Nedra”, founded and run by the brothers legally (it is a mill and a bakery). Both the houses and facilities stand on the same strap of earth that was partitioned for brothers for permanent use by the Administration of Nadterechny district in 1996; all this is confirmed by a registration certificate.
    When federal forces entered Nadterechny on October 13, 1999, Khamidov brothers and their families weren’t in the village; together with many others they left the village out of fear of being bombed or shot down. When they returned, they found out that their property is occupied by OMON. They weren’t even let onto the territory of their property. Filing a complaint to the Head of Nadterechny Interior Department, as well as other consequent complaints to various authorities of various levels – office of prosecutor, Administration of Chechnya, Interior Ministry and Office of President of Russia (Khanbatay Khamidov was as lucky as to get a private audience there, by deputy Head of Office Mr. Medvedev) – were of no avail. All these authorities agreed that the actions of OMON were illegal, yet they did nothing but send various papers to various addresses, while the regiments of OMON kept changing “guard” in the property of Khamidov brothers.
    Together with complaints to authorities, Khamidov brothers waited until the courts began to function in Nadterechny region, and immediately sued for the return of their illegally seized property. The regional court of Nadterechny published a ruling on 14.02.01 that threw out the OMON from the property owned by Khamidovs they seized illegally. However, the issue of compensation of losses incurred due to the seizure was thrown out of court – the judges told the brothers they should apply at the address of the legal entity (i.e. the Interior Ministry). The process of execution began in accordance with the ruling, and the officer of the court made many attempts to execute the ruling, yet OMON never let him further than the threshold. Finally, in the August 2001 the Interior Minister Mr. Gryzlov received a paper from his subordinates and so told Mr. Medvedev that the ruling of the court has been executed and that the territory of Khamidovs was freed. In fact, the ruling has only been executed on paper. Yes, the houses and facilities were freed (another issue is in what conditions they were), yet OMON continues to occupy a building built on Khamidovs’ territory – a building that the OMON illegally built there during the absence of Khamidovs. This building together with earth on which it stands were given into permanent use for the military in May 2001, notwithstanding the fact that the same earth was given to Khamidovs and the pervious title was still effective. Moreover, still a number of military objects function on the freed earth, the territory is covered with trenches. All this has been testified by the court officer in February 2002. So, Khamidovs are still unable to live normally in their own houses and to run their business.
    As the ruling of Nadterechny court didn’t solve the proprietary issues related to return of the Khamidovs’ property from the illegal seizure, and authorities to which Khamidovs applied simply ignored their demand for compensation, Khamidovs did sue the Interior Ministry to which the regiments that performed the seizure were subordinated. The claim was well-founded legally – the actions of the Interior Ministry regiments breached the article 35 of the Constitution (the right of property is under protection of law). According to this article, even enforced seizure of the property for the needs of state – that is, one that is legal – is only possible if the pre-arranged and equal compensation is provided for. In this case the seizure was illegal and called so in the ruling of a court that is effective. Article 15 of the Civil Code states that the person who suffered breach of his rights is entitled to full compensation of his losses: 1) expenses both actually borne by this person and such that will be borne by it for restoring the breached right; 2) real losses (loss or damage of property); 3) income that such person would have normally accrued but didn’t due to the seizure. The fact that all three types of losses have been borne by Khamidovs, as well as amounts of these, is proved by well-founded documents (damage acts, etc.)
    However, the court of the first instance (Zamoskvoretsky court of Moscow) rejected the claim of Khamidovs. The decision of the court stated that the plaintiffs didn’t prove that it was the Interior Ministry who made their property unusable. At the same time, the court didn’t demand that the defendant proved that the property it has seized has already been unusable by the time of seizure, thus ignoring the basic constitutional principle of court running – equality of all the sides before the law (article 19 of the Constitution). The issue of compensation of the losses of the third type (revenues lost) was completely ignored by the court, as well as moral damage compensation. A very characteristic feature of the court ruling is the refusal to base the rejection on whatsoever norm of the Civil Code. The final conclusion of the court – i.e. that during the court proceedings “the claims of the plaintiffs that it was the Interior Ministry that seized their property illegally weren’t proved” – is astonishing due to its loss of logic in the presence of an effective court ruling that stated the fact of illegal seizure and the measures taken, however lately, by the Interior Ministry in order to enforce that court ruling.
    Such court rulings, the illegality of which is obvious, are a very usual thing in the courts of the first instance in property cases where the defendant is the state and the sum of the claim is more or less substantial. The court doesn’t care if its decisions are in any degree legal – its task is to reject the claim. Such rulings may only be taken by a judge who is sure that the appeal court (its decision is final) will support the decision in favor of the state without going into details of the case. In this case this scheme was also realized. The Moscow City Court stated that the decision of the court of the first instance was correct – and it too didn’t base its decision on a norm of law. Moreover, in direct contradiction to the law (article 311 of Civil Processing Code) it didn’t state in its ruling the motives which convinced the court that the claims were unfounded.

    The representative of Khamidovs in the court,
    lawyer of the “Migration and Law» network
    M. Petrosyan.

    Appendix 14

    The decision is illegal, yet natural. The case of Khamzayev.

    For several months the Basmanny court of Moscow examined the civil case of a famous Moscow lawyer, a distinguished lawyer of the RF Abdulla Mayerbekovich Khamzayev, who was suing the Government of Russia, the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Defense for compensation of proprietary and moral damages incurred during the bombings by Russian Air Forces on October 19, 1999 of inhabited blocks of theCity of Urus-Martan, Chechnya.
    The results of the bombing were 6 dead;16 were wounded by bomb splinters,
    20 houses were totally destroyed and 27 were damaged.
    During the bombing A. Khamzayev lost his house (‹ 24‡, Dostoyevsky street) which was his private property, with total space of 184.5 sq.m. This fact made a plaintiff out of a lawyer and allowed him to demand via court the documents he would not be able to come by in another way.
    The documents requested by the plaintiff and judge E. Karpushkina do paint a picture that is very remarkable.
    It appears that in Chechnya “all bombings are performed against the targets that are located more than 2-3 km from settlements; this is due to provide safety measures. Head of the Staff of Air Force of Russia B. Cheltsov. 16.11.2000.
    At the same time “the objects for air bombings during the antiterrorist operation are only predefined targets: groups of armed separatists, ammunition dumps, communication centers, and other military objects. Acting Head of the Staff of Air Force of Russia lieutenant-general A. Ionov and Acting Head of Commander-in-Chief of Air Force of Russia colonel-general V.Mikhailov.”
    The request about the actions in Urus-Martan on October 19, 1999, generated the following reply:
    “The present reply is to inform you that, under my order, the information of the supposed bombing of Urus-Martan on October 19, 1999, has been checked.
    We found out that the military air force didn’t receive any orders for bombing of Urus-Martan, and so didn’t bomb it.
    …during the antiterrorist operation the army didn’t receive any information about groups of armed separatists, ammunition dumps, cars, staff, communication centers, bandit formations located in Urus-Martan in the district of streets Dostoyevsky, Mayakovsky and Bolnichnaya, as well as in the building ‹ 24‡, on the Dostoyevsky street. The objects located in this district were never listed as targets for bombing. îÒ¯ÚÔ commander of North-Caucasus ¸¯‰¯ÂÙÍÌ district lieutenant-general V. Bulgakov, 23.11.2000.”
    A similar reply came for the request about any orders for bombing of the above-mentioned ˉ¢ÒÎ˚ of Urus-Martan. The reply is dated December 5, 2000 and signed by colonel-general Manilov, First Deputy of the Head of General Staff, under whose orders there was performed “an additional check, a very thorough one”.
    So, no less than five generals, Manilov, Ionov, Cheltsov, Mikhailov and Bulgakov, taking all their responsibility, say that not only there wasn’t any bombing of Urus-Martan, but there could not have been any, because there was no reason to bomb the city, and nobody issued any orders for it.

    However, assistant of the prosecutor of regiment ‹ 20102 captain of justice

    Yu. Milostivy, is of different opinion. On April 7, 2000, he rejected a claim to initiate criminal case, telling the plaintiff that “the result of precise bombings was the destruction and damage of houses, including the houses in the streets Dostoyevsky, Mayakovsky, Bolnichnaya and Pervomayskaya.”
    The head military prosecutor of the Department of Control of Law Enforcement during the investigations of military crimes of the Main Military Office of Prosecutor
    Mr. S. Bykov also doesn’t express any doubts about the fact that bombing did take place. His reply states that “according to the data from the register of military actions of the Staff, the front air force did bomb these targets on October 19 and 29, 1999.”
    As the high brass of the military say that there was no bombing of Urus-Martan on October 19, there are local checks going on. No later than on July 21, 2000, the results of such checks allowed the Office of Prosecutor of Chechnya to initiate a criminal case under article 105, part 2, points (a) and (e) (premeditated murder of two or more persons committed by universally dangerous means), and article 167, part 2 (premeditated destruction of property committed by universally dangerous means, with grave consequences) of the Criminal Code of the RF.
    Among others, A.M. Khamzayev was granted the status of injured party on March 1, 2001 under the said criminal case and according to his complaints.
    A representative of the Office of Prosecutor-General, of Office of Main Military Prosecutor and of the Office of Prosecutor of Chechnya, Mr. V. Ten have acknowledged, during the hearing of the case on March 16, 2001, that there was actually a bombing of Urus-Martan on October 19, 1999, and that the results of the check performed by the military are false. He also acknowledged the existence of the right of the injured parties to compensation of moral and proprietorial damage under condition that during the hearing of the case there won’t be a proof to the fact that the bombing was made under “extreme need” conditions.
    A reference to the notion of “extreme need”, after all the statements of the military, would have been a high cynicism and would look like nonsense. General Manilov and others would then have to explain – how it may be that the commanders do not know what actually happens in Chechnya.
    The hearing of the civil case of A.M.Khamzayev, due to absence of a representative of the Government of RF and Ministry of Defense, were postponed until May 11, 2001.
    When the hearing began on May 11, it became clear that the judge, Eugenia Karpushkina, is determined to reject the claim of the plaintiff. She hurried the plaintiff, overruled most of his questions to the defendants, was considering another case at the same time, and demonstrated her disinterest in the process in every way she could. This behavior of E. Karpushkina was quite different to the ones that were there in other hearings, when the court was very interested and requested the necessary documents from the offices of prosecutors and even data on average price of a square meter of property in Russia. All this made the plaintiff believe that the decision of the court will be in his favor.
    Miracles are, however, rare in this world. So judge Karpushkina, who rejected many a case of a plaintiff left without a roof over his head, denying them even minimal compensation, doesn’t look like a miracle maker.
    The demand of Abdulla Khamzayev of professional hearing of the case and of stopping to write the decision beforehand was rejected by Karpushkina in a very bold way – she said that she is writing a decision for another case. This astonished even the veterans of the court, who were quite used to Mrs. Karpushkina peacefully snoring through the passionate speeches of many a plaintiff.
    Contrary to the situation of previous hearings, there were present two representatives of the Government and Ministry of Defense, Mr. D. Mityurich and
    Mr. I. Yevdakimov. Neither of them was able to answer even the simplest question, it seemed that neither of them have ever read the case. The representative of the Ministry of Defense denied that there were bombings of Urus-Martan on October 19, 1999.
    The representative of the Office of Prosecutor-General, of the Office of Head Military Prosecutor and of the Office of Prosecutor of Chechnya, Mr. V. Ten have again acknowledged that there were bombings of Urus-Martan on October 19, 1999. Yet he made a bold suggestion that the air forces that bombed the city belonged to another state, and even suggested that it was possible that the air forces that bombed the city belonged to separatists. It is general knowledge, however, that separatists have no air force. And at the same time V. Ten supported the claim of A.M.Khamzayev to overrule the rejection of a decision of the assistant of military prosecutor of regiment ‹ 20102, captain of justice Milostivy, dated April 7, 2000, to initiate a criminal case concerting the bombing of Urus-Martan on October 19, 1999.
    The court rejected the claim. Moreover, E. Karpushkina stated in the decision that she has got no authority to overrule the decisions of military prosecutors.
    Abdulla Khamzayev is going to sue in the European Court.

    Head of the “Migration and Law” network
    S.A. Gannushkina

    Appendix 15

    A letter of M.A.Batyrov to the Memorial HRC

    My name is Musa Alaudinovich Batyrov, I am a forced migrant.
    I plead you to aid me in protection of my rights and in restoration of justice in my case, because, as I am a Chechen, I was treated unlawfully and unjustly. I lost my home, all my property and all my relatives as a result of military actions in Chechnya, and I then found refuge in Kabardino-Balkaria, in the city of Nalchik. On arriving to Kabardino-Balkaria I was met with constant humiliating checks performed by police. All persons checking me always said: “You are all bandits and you should all be in prison». At every search they tried to frame me by putting incriminating evidence on my person. At last, they were successful in bringing stealthily to my house some parts of a gun and a grenade.
    When the search occurred, the searchers treated me as a Chechen and not as a citizen of the RF, they threatened my civil wife and forced her to sign a protocol of search and give evidence against me.
    Since September 22, 2001, I am in The Investigatory Isolation Ward 1, twice participated in a court hearing (for a criminal case initiated against me) that went with flagrant breaches of the Criminal Code of the RF. The court rejected my pleas to hear all the witnesses in court, they only read aloud their evidence given during preliminary investigation. This evidence was enough for them to sentence me to 2.5 years of prison.
    I sent an appeal to the Supreme Court of Kabardino-Balkaria. The court supported my case, overruled the sentence and sent the case to re-hearing in the same court of the first instance. Yet the second hearing went the same way, as the court rejected the evidence of the only witness that came to court and testified that he only signed the paper given to him by the investigator, and he wasn’t actually present at the search.
    The court upheld the same sentence. I wrote a second appeal to the Supreme Court of Kabardino-Balkaria. I also asked a delegation of the IRC in the North Caucasus, and they told me to contact you.
    My last hope is your aid in protection of justice, in restoration of my rights as a citizen of Russia. I plead you to support my case.
    Yours truly,
    Musa Alaudinovich Batyrov
    24.04.2002 (signed)

    Appendix 16


    This is a letter of Chechen families living in Orenburg Center of Temporary Accommodation for Forced Migrants (CTAFM). We ask, at last, to pay attention to the problems of people that are victims of dirty and cruel policy in Chechnya. In the end of 1999 a number of families running from the war arrived in CTA of Orenburg. We were thinking of only one thing then – how to save our children from bombings and famine. We were granted accomodation and state support, together with free food. After three months of living in CTAFM the Chechen families were rejected the status of forced migrants. No other status was granted to us. The result was that Chechens that run from the war as did Tartars, Jews, Russians and others, became “temporarily displaced persons». But what does that mean, what rights does this status give? For three years on we receive nothing but 15 rubles per day in the form of food coupons. Our children were denied the humanitarian aid via the “Children of Russia” programme. What nonsense! Chechnya is an integral part of the Great Russia. But Chechen children the parents of which are denied any status – they are not children of Russia. That means that Russia only cared for the scrap on land that is Chechnya, and not for its people. We sent complaints to the Government of the RF, but received no reply. Since May 2001 we were getting food with expired “best before” terms instead of food coupons we should have received. We were forced to feed our children with meat, porridges, rice and oil the “best before” terms of which expired in 2000. The assortment was also scarce. Taking into account the fact that we cannot find any employment, it is not difficult to image what we had to suffer to survive. After six months of such treatment we again received coupons – as the food stores were emptied. And now, on February 20, 2002 they again stopped to give us coupons. The administration of CTA tells us that there is no special order from Moscow to offer free food for people registered under Form ‹ 7 and not having the status of forced migrants.
    Again 22 Chechen families were thrown out of lists and registers. We cannot fight for justice and protect our rights. But this we know for sure – we did not merit such injustice and indifference of the state. The war in Chechnya didn’t stop and there seems to be no end for it in future. Our once blossoming motherland is now a huge graveyard of houses and human lives. So we refuse to go back there – because by doing so we will ruin our health and rob our children of the right to live normally. So why the Chechen citizens who flew from Chechnya to Orenburg are denied the status of forced migrant? The lack of this status results in our children being thrown out of lists of children for which there are New Year parties, exhibitions, theater performances, etc. The stores of CTA are bursting with children clothes, shoes, office supplies, but Chechen children are denied access to such aid – because the use of such aid by Chechen children is “use for wrong purpose” under Russian humanitarian laws. We are nothing but simple people, but we ask – who makes such laws? We are going to plead with all human rights protection organizations to aid the Chechen families – those who are Russian citizens but who were unable to taste what it is to be a Russian citizen.
    We are forced to demand attention and help, because the absence of free food puts us on the verge of survival. Everybody knows that one cannot find employment without a registration.
    We are desperate. We have small children, old men, disabled people.
    We ask you to exercise some influence on the authorities. The administration of CTA says that they will give us coupons at the moment the decision from Moscow comes. If our need is compared with needs of a whole state, it seems to be a small and not a pressing one, but for us each day is a trial. It is very difficult, and sometimes impossible, to make a child understand that there is nothing for him to eat. We have waited for a month and a half for decision, but it doesn’t come and the administration only shrugs its shoulders.
    From the very beginning we understood pretty well what is the base of the policy towards Chechens in Russia at the present time. All attempts of the authorities to put us back in Chechnya where everything may happen are and will stay completely fruitless. We don’t care where will we die – whether will be killed in Chechnya or die here from hunger. Let those who decide our fate know this well. We didn’t save our children from the war only to kill them with famine. We ask for urgent measures; we ask to decide at last who are these people registered under Form No 7 but have no status, and so are denied the right for benefits and state aid. If our state will continue to ignore us as citizens of Russia, as people whose rights are protected by the Constitution, we will be reduced to the only action allowed for us – to sue our state in the European Court of Human Rights.

    Forced migrants from Chechnya:
    Saiyevs — 5 people
    Khizriyevs — 4 people
    Alkhazourovs — 2 people
    Saidovs — 2 people
    Musayevs — 4 people
    Makayevs — 7 people
    Losayevs — 3 people
    Atayevs — 2 people
    Timurkayevs — 4 people
    Muradovs — 2 people
    Khushparovs — 6 people
    Magomayevs — 4 people
    Yusupovs — 2 people
    Nasordinovs — 4 people
    Vizirkhanovs — 6 people
    Mutayevs — 4 people
    Abdukhazhiyevs — 4 people
    Babatiyevs — 3 people
    Saraliyevs — 5 people
    Ospanovs — 7 people

    Appendix 17
    The Civic Assistance Commitee:
    A Charity Non-Goverment Organization
    assisting refugees and forced migrants.
    Moscow, Dolgorukovskaya st., 33, building No.6
    tel. 973-54-74, fax 917-89-61
    E-mail: sgannush@glasnet.ru
    Moscow 26.10.01
    Testimonial Concerning the Situation of Chechens in Russia.

    The Memorial Human Rights Center

    and Civic Assistance Commitee

    The Memorial Human Rights Center is one of the biggest human rights organizations in Russia which has with a broad network of organizations with similar concerns throughout the country.
    Since 1995 members of the Memorial have spent a lot of months monitoring the situation in Chechnya. Resulting from information gathered inside the programme “Hotspots” we published the books “Russia — Chechnya: Chain of Mistakes and Criminals” (Moscow, Zvenia, 1998), “Direct Hits” (Moscow, Zvenia, 1999), “The Problems of Victims of Military Action within the Chechen Republic” (Moscow, R.Valent, 2000), “Discrimination Based on Place of Residence and Ethnicity in Moscow and the Moscow Region Aug 1999 – Dec 2000” (Moscow, Zvenia, 2001). Participants in the programme “Hotspots” regularly organize travels to various regions, monitor local situations and prepare statements about human rights breaches. Members of the Memorial constantly observe the situation of victims of military action in Chechnya and other regions of Russia, and gather legal information from some 49 offices of the Migration and Law Network.
    The Civic Assistance Committee also provides office space and support for the Moscow branch of the Migration and Law Network. The Committee is the first organization in Russia to take responsibility in assisting refugees and forced migrants.
    Lawyers from the Migration and Law Network in 2000 made more than 17,000 consultations, wrote 4,500 letters to law enforcement agencies to explain the refugees circumstances (helping many illegally detained refugees to escape police repressions), conducted some 6,000 appeals to government authorities and initiated and followed more than 1,000 legal cases.
    From the beginning of 1995 (that is, from the beginning of military action in Chechnya) many people from the Chechen Republic applied to the offices of the Network. As well as having lost their homes, way of life, and rights of residence, these people were often wounded and had lost relatives and friends. We can testify that the Russian state does almost nothing to compensate their losses. Victims of the period 1994–96 were granted tiny financial compensation but in practice proceedings in receiving the money is very slow. As a result of the collapse of the ruble in Aug ‘98 this compensation became insufficient to buy any place of residence. Other people recieved no compensation at all.
    Compared with the situation in 1991-96 (before and during the first war in Chechnya) war victims in the period of 1999–2000 are seldom granted the forced migrant status. The basis of refusal is “absense of signs and circumstances which are in Article 1. Russian Federation Law regarding Forced Migrants” that is, the authorities today interpret the forced migrant definition differently than in 1996. Mass disorder is no longer recognised as sufficient grounds for status to be granted.It is important to note that the first wave of people fleeing Chechnya were ethnically Russians, whilst ethnic Chechens hid in villages which were not under attack. The victims of the second wave of military action in Chechnya are primarily ethnically Chechens. There is a verbal order to migration services from Moscow not to give these people status, and heads which directors of Migration Services have also indicated this several times in personal talks.
    The state has absolved itself of responsibility for Chechen inhabitants both inside the territory of Chechnya and Russia as a whole.
    Human rights organizations declare that in Russia and first of all in Mosow there is a campaign to falsify criminal cases against Chechens. This was even admitted by a representative of the Moscow Office of Prosecutor during a meeting with representatives of three human rights organization. The pinnacle of this anti-Chechen campaign- despite lack of proof of any connection to any Chechen groups or individuals- was in September and October ‘99 following a series of explosions of buildings in Moscow, Buinaksk and Volgodonsk.
    The anti-Chechen campaign was invigorated again in August 2000 when for several days police arrested Chechens on the grounds of ‘hooligan activity’, performed illegal house searches, planted stolen goods, drugs, weapons and explosives.
    In April 2001 the testimonies of breaches of human rights of displaced persons of the Chechen Republic were collected during a seminar for lawyers of the Migration and Law Network. There was no member of the Network without an example of the new violations. Testimonies of the lawyers were recorded and signed. These documents are stored in the office of the Network’s leader Svetlana Gannushkina. Copies can be given, some of them translated also into German.
    Ethnic Chechens are in the worst situation. They have no possibility to make registration at the offices of the Interior Ministry because they are deemed a ‘danger to society’.
    The Civic Assistance Committee has a copy of the registration document of Rosa Azieva in the apartment of her friends. At the top of the certificate is hand-written «Chechen» in large letters. This is seen by any police officer conducting identification checks and can cause repercussions depending on the police officers particular attitude to Chechens (people have been taken to the police precinct for several hours or ordered to pay money).
    Another woman from Grozny, Maryet Torskhoyeva, was advised she had to pay for registration as a foreigner, the Main Department of Internal Affairs of Moscow feeling no shame in admitting this to the Deputy of the State Duma.
    The Civic Assistance Committee quite often hear complaints about refusals of registration from the passport services of Moscow and the Moscow region because of their nationality. Occasionally the refusals are accompanied by insults specifically related to nationality. These refusals are always made in verbal form, if people obtain a refusal in written form the nationality of the applicant is never stated as the reason for refusal. Higher police officers deny having given instructions that Chechen registration must be limited. It is most likely these orders do not exist in printed form, however there are reasons to state that the behavior of workers in passport services is not purely the result of personal feelings, but the result of state policy.
    The following case clearly confirms this. The inhabitant of Chechnya, Zalva Ayshanova, contacted the Civic Assistance Committee. She is a nurse who had worked in the International Red Cross in Grozny. Several of her colleagues had died tragically and she became unemployed with the closure of Red Cross operations in Grozny. In 1995 her husband was killed during the bombing and her eldest son wounded, becoming disabled. She has four dependant children. In the fall of 1998 Zalva moved to the city of Korolyov, nearby Moscow, to search for work. She started to live in the flat of her friend Halvash Gachaev, who had moved from Chechnya earlier. When Zalva and Havash contacted Karalyov’s police office they were refused registration on the basis that they are Chechens. Zalva reported this to the Civic Assistance Committee on March 15th, 1999. The next day an employee of the Committee called the head of the local passport service, Nadezhda Novichkova, who said she had been previously reprimanded, and her job threatened for registering a Chechen in the past. She had then written a letter to her supervisor, disagreeing with this reprimand as there was no legal basis for refusal of registration. She recieved no reply but lost the possibility for promotion and her annual bonus. She had the idea that her colleagues refused registration because they were afraid of similar repurcussions and told the Chechens directly that their nationality was the reason for their refusal.
    The biggest problem for migrants is the growing xenophobia in Russia which is of primary concern to ethnic Chechens. In 1995 at least 70% of the population were against Russian participation in the war in Chechnya but active propoganda by state representatives and mass media successfully influenced public opinion. Now negative attitudes in broader society deprive Chechens the opportunity to find a place within their new situation.
    The Mayor of Moscow regularly reports there are are ‘Chechen traces’ in all terrorist actions. The President of Russia threatened Chechen rebels they will be “destroyed without any trial”, a common criminal expression. the Memorial Human Rights Center attempted to make a criminal case against the Mayor Yuri Lushkov for the promotion and incitment national conflicts, however the attempt was not successful. Prosecutors did not find evidence of criminality in activities or statements of Mr. Lushkov.
    As a result of anti-Chechen sentiment of the Mayor the small-and middle-scale Chechen businesses is being destroyed, so that by the end of 1999 Umar Temirbulatov was refused the right to rent premises for business despite already having a contract. The owner of the explained his refusal by threats of the police. Temirbulatov did not manage to find a new place and his business folded. Now his family have refugee status in France.
    At the beginning of 2001 a worker from the airport Vnukovo, Aslambek Sultanovich Beyters contacted the Memorial Human Rights Center . He was fired from his work when the police security guards at the airport discovered by chance that he was Chechen with an un-Chechen name.
    Usually Chechens cannot find employment. Employers occasionally contact the Civic Assistance Committee to ask if it is legal to employ Chechen workers. Often they are sure it would be breaking the law. Some people change their opinion but most employers prefer not to deal with Chechens at all.
    On May 29 a group of investigators from the Office of Prosecutor together with employees of the Committee Against Organized Crime (together about 150 people) organized searches of nine houses of Chechens who had moved to the area of Lukovitsky village of the Staritsky district, Tver region, fleeing the war. One of the investigators pushed a 12-year-old boy on the floor and held a pistol to his head and pretended to shoot. The mother of this boy tried to protect her son and was pushed back by the butt of a kalashnikov. This action was only to intimidate, despite claims it was made in repsonse to a report of a stolen sewing machine within the village. This case is quite typical and repeats the behavior of the police and army within Chechnya.
    There is another classic example. A small group of Chechens who had moved to the deserted village of Spirovo of the Vyshnevolotsk district began farming and making work in the forest. The Civic Assistance Committe help them regularly with medicines, basic school supplies and small sums of money. The elected mullah as well as leader of the group Akhmed Arsamakov keep close watch on the behaviour of the Chechens in order to eliminate conflicts with residents of neighbouring villages, but still local police refuse to register the group. Local police regularly organize criminal investigations against local Chechens but never carry them to trial. Nonetheless these investigations create stressful situations. The police regularly arrest people, beat, threaten and demand money. Akhmed Arsamakov was several times under pressure and provoked by the police in attempts to get him to strike back. Now there is a false criminal case against his son.
    The Memorial Human Rights Center and Charity Non-Government Organization Civic Assistance Committee take responsibility for the statement that ethnic Chechens that have left Russia can be defined as refugees according to Article 1 of the United Nations Convention of 1951. Unfortunately there is no place in Russia where Chechens can be guaranteed safety.
    Chairperson of the Civic Assistance Committee and Head of the Migration and Law Network of the Memorial Human Rights Center,
    Svetlana Gannushkina
    Chairperson of the Memorial Human Rights Center ,
    Head of the programme «Hotspots»,
    Oleg Orlyov