Russia

Russian Fed. (Chechnya): Case RUS 100103 - Extrajudicial killings / Impunity

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News and Press Release
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The International Secretariat of OMCT requests your URGENT intervention in the following situation in the Russian Federation.
Brief description of the situation

The International Secretariat of OMCT has been informed by the Human Rights Center of Azerbaijan, a member of the OMCT network, of the extra-judicial killing of seven civilians by the Russian Armed Forces in Chechnya during the last week of 2002.

According to the information received, there have been a series of extrajudicial killings, including abduction and mutilations, of Chechen civilians by the Russian Special Forces during the last week of 2002. In several cases the Russian Forces have left either a severed head or remaining trunk of their victims near to their places of residence, it is thought in order to increase the level of fear already being felt by the Chechen population.

According to the information received, at around 4 am on December 19th, 2002, members of the Russian Armed Forces reportedly abducted three first-year students who study at the Dgeokhar Petroleum Institute: Mr. Dutaev Khizir Mametovitch (born in 1984); his cousin Mr. Dgeabrailov Ramzan Saipievitch (1984) and their friend Mr. Bekaev Bagdan Lemeevitch (1983). The students were at their home at 125 Bagrationa Street and were reportedly engaged in studying for exams at the time of their abduction. They had the habit of visiting their neighbour every day at 9 am and 8 pm in order to signal that they were still alive. They reportedly made the 8 pm visit on December 18th, but did not appear on December 19th at 9 am, prompting their neighbour to come looking for them. She went to their home and found that no-one was there and that it had been ransacked. She then alerted the students' parents, who in turn, reported their disappearance to Mr. Khadimov at the Administration of Kadyrov.

On December 28th, 2002, passengers on a bus travelling along Bagrationa Street reportedly noticed their bodies amongst the rubble of a destroyed building. They discovered that the three students had had their throats slit from ear to ear and had been shot in the head. Furthermore, Dutaev Khizir's left arm had reportedly been severed at the elbow.

Separately, on December 29th, 2002, the passport and severed head of Mr. Ibraguimov Tamerlan Nozhaevitch (born in 1982), a resident of 34 Sakhorozavodskaja Street, was disovered in a plastic bag in Argoun's central market. Agents from Argoun's Russian Military Command Bureau reportedly took the head away with them.

In another incident, at 2 am on December 29th, 2002, there was an explosion around 100 metres away from the Russian No. 23 control post in Dgeakhar. Later on that morning passers-by found the remains of an as-yet unidentified young man, who had reportedly been tied to a tree and blown up at the intersection of Zavety Ilkitcha 17 Street and Clubnaja Street. During April 2002, some 50 metres from this spot, another man had been blown up in a similar way at the "Soviétskaja" bus stop. Our sources indicate that there are strong reasons, including the proximity to the Russian control post, to believe that members of the Russian Armed Forces perpetrated these acts.

Furthermore, on December 31st, 2002, at the "Neftiannik" bus stop (which is also within sight of No. 23 control post), Mr. Isaev Ramzan Jagulbaevitch (a resident of Prolétarskje village, born in 1976) was killed in a drive-by shooting. At around 4:30 pm, Mr. Jagulbaevitch, who was transporting water for people to use, parked his car and headed for a kiosk where his sister worked, in order to accompany her to their home. A black car then reportedly emerged from No. 23 control post and drove past him, while a passenger shot Mr. Jagulbaevitch several times. He was wounded in the chest and died later from his wounds at Hospital No. 9.

The International Secretariat of OMCT is gravely concerned by these reports of extrajudicial killing of civilians that are allegedly being perpetrated by the Russian Forces in order to demoralise and terrorise the Chechen population. OMCT calls on the authorities to immediately halt the use of such acts and to extend an invitation to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on extra-judicial, summary or arbitrary executions, ensuring access is granted to Chechnya. These extra-judicial killings constitute a gross and systematic violation of the right to life and other human rights laws and standards. Not only are they clearly in violation of several of the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and other international human rights law instruments, but they also constitute grave violations of international humanitarian law, notably Article 3 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Action requested

Please write to the authorities in the Russian Federation urging them to:

i. take all necessary measures to guarantee the physical and psychological integrity of Chechen civilians and immediately take all necessary measures to ensure that such cases of extra-judicial killings are not repeated;

ii. guarantee an immediate investigation into the circumstances of these events, identify those responsible, bring them before a competent and impartial tribunal and apply the appropriate sanctions provided by law;

iii. guarantee adequate reparation to the families of Dutaev Khizir Mametovitch, Dgeabrailov Ramzan Saipievitch, Bekaev Bagdan Lemeevitch, Ibraguimov Tamerlan Nozhaevitch, Mr. Isaev Ramzan Jagulbaevitch and the other as-yet unidentified victims;

iv. guarantee the respect of human rights and the fundamental freedoms throughout the country in accordance with international human rights and humanitarian laws and standards.

Addresses

Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, President of the Russian Federation, Kremlin, Moscow, Russia, Faxes: + 7 095 206 8510, Email: president@gov.ru =B7 President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, c/o the Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation, Avenue de la Paix 15, 1211 Geneva 20, Switzerland, fax: + 4122 7344044, e-mail: mission.russian@ties.itu.int

Procurator General of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Ustinov, Rossiyskaya Federatsiya, 103793 g. Moskva K-31, Ul. B. Dimitrovka, d 15a, Prokuratura Rossiyskoy Federatsii, Generalnomu prokuroru Ustinovu V., Russian Federation, Fax: + 7 095 292 88 48

Chairwoman of the Presidential Human Rights Commission of the Russian Federation, Ella Pamfilova, Rossiyskaya Federatsiya, 103132 g. Moskva, Staraya ploshchad, d 8/5, pod 3, Predsedatele Komissii po pravam cheloveka pri Prezidente, Pamfilove, Elle., Russian Federation, Fax: + 7 095 206 4855 =B7 Nikolai Patrushev, Director General of the Federal Security Service, Bolshaia Lubianka 1/3, Moscow, Russia, Faxes: + 7 095 975 2470

Please also write to the embassies of the Russian Federation in your respective country.

Geneva, January 10th, 2003

Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.

Organisation Mondiale Contre la Torture (OMCT) World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) Organización Mundial Contra la Tortura (OMCT) 8 rue du Vieux-Billard Case postale 21 CH-1211 Geneve 8 Suisse/Switzerland Tel. : 0041 22 809 49 39 Fax : 0041 22 809 49 29 E-mail : omct@omct.org http://www.omct.org