Russia

Chechnya: People in Grozny protest against ungrounded arrests

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Ruslan Isayev, North Caucasus - On Tuesday, the inhabitants of the Chechen capital held a small protest rally in the center of Grozny against actions undertaken by the Russian military against civilians. The protesters demanded that unfounded detentions, resulting in people's disappearance without a trace, be stopped.

The rally was provoked by an arrest of three persons living at 23 Rosa Luxemburg street the previous night. Aslan Murzayev (born 1977), Anzhela Shakhmurzayeva (b. 1969), and Khasan Ustarkhanov (b. 1974) were detained during a night raid and taken away by the Russian forces. The participants of the rally say that all of these people were their neighbours, not involved in any illegal acts, and that there was no reason for their arrest. The current whereabouts of the detained as well as the reason for their detention are unknown.

On the same day, January 14, people living near the Petropavlovskoye road in the northern outskirts of Grozny found eight mutilated corpses in a field. According to preliminary information, the dead people were blown up since the upper parts of their bodies were missing. Their remains were transported to the Tolstoi-yurt village.

Many believe that these were the corpses of the inhabitants of the town of Argun detained during the last "mop-up" operation carried out by Russian special forces from January 6. This assumption is supported by an information indicating that some of the corpses have been recognized by the relatives of the detainees. (P/T)

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