Chechnya: Human rights defenders report other cases of people disappearing after detentions

Chechnya: Human rights defenders report other cases of people disappearing after detentions
Human rights defenders can not protect residents of Chechnya, as citizens are afraid to seek help Photo: Elena Sineok / UGA.ru

However, neither the Human Rights Council, nor the Committee Against Torture can establish the accuracy of the information, as the relatives of the missing persons are afraid to contact the police.

The human rights defenders are aware of other cases of detentions in Chechnya, after which people disappeared without a trace. Member of the Human Rights Council and Chairman of the Committee Against Torture Igor Kalyapin told this to RBC. Kalyapin also noted that he had known the information on mass executions of detainees in Grozny before the publication by Novaya Gazeta.

"But those were all rumors, and we can't use rumors as grounds for our work. Moreover, we have information about other episodes in Chechnya, when people were detained and gone missing, but we can not verify them yet," he said.

According to the human rights defender, the Committee Against Torture may get involved in the situation if the relatives of the deceased file an appeal or if the Investigative Committee starts checking into the publication.

"And that's when we will ensure that this check is performed properly," Kalyapin added.

Chairman of the Human Rights Council Mikhail Fedotov reported that the council had neither received any information about executions in Chechnya. According to him, at the moment, human rights activists "only deal with the old story of people with unconventional sexual orientation."

To recall, July 9, Novaya Gazeta published an investigation, in which it reported about the mass shooting of people in January 2017 in Grozny on the territory of the police patrol and checkpoint service regiment's deployment named after Hero of Russia Akhmat-Hadji Kadyrov. The outlet reported that all killed were detained during an antiterrorist operation, however, the Dozhd TV Channel citing its anonymous sources claimed that the detainees were suspected of attacking the patrimonial village of Head of the republic Ramzan Kadyrov in August 2010. Novaya Gazeta published a list of 27 people killed, which contained their full names, dates of birth, and in some cases, the registration addresses. The publication noted that the total number of dead could reach 56 people. After the mass murder, the detainees' bodies were taken to various cemeteries, including Christian ones.

The government of Chechnya called the published information a lie. Minister of Chechnya on National Policy, External Relations, Press and Information Dzhambulat Umarov said the report on the extrajudicial execution of 27 people in Grozny was "a product of the morbid fantasy."

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