Ombudswoman tipped shooting of detainees in Chechnya for examination in Investigation Committee
The Ombudswoman for Russia received information about possible executions in the Republic in March 2017. She also reported to President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin about the facts.
Human Rights Commissioner Tatiana Moskalkova commented on the investigation published by Novaya Gazeta on the mass execution of detainees in Grozny.
Moskalkova specified that she received information, published today, in March 2017. According to her, she reported to President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin about the mass executions in Chechnya, and instructed the members of the Investigative Committee to conduct an audit.
The Ombudswoman added that at the moment the investigators found that two people from the Novaya Gazeta list did not live in Chechnya. The verification of data on other people continues. Moskalkova noted that the check is "slower than it could have been."
"I have this case under control. I have a working group in the office of the commissioner, who keeps this dossier on special control. We are in touch with the Investigative Committee. As soon as there are new data, I am ready to give a comment," Moskalkova told the Moskva Govorit radio station.
In addition, she said that after the completion of the investigation, she would like to meet with the head of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov.
On July 9, Novaya Gazeta published a list of 27 people containing the full name, date of birth, and in some cases the address of registration. According to the publication, all of them were detained and killed in Grozny in January 2017 on the territory of the regiment of the patrol police service named after Hero of Russia Akhmat-Khadzhi Kadyrov. After the murder bodies of the detainees were taken to various cemeteries, including the Christian ones. The newspaper reported that all the dead were detained during the antiterrorist operation, but Dozhd TV channel, citing its anonymous interlocutors, claims that the detainees were suspected of attacking the ancestral village of Head of the Republic Ramzan Kadyrov – Tsentaroy - in August 2010.
Novaya Gazeta noted that the total number of people killed could reach 56 people.
The Government of Chechnya called the published information a lie. Minister of Chechnya on national policy, external relations, press and information Dzhambulat Umarov called information on the execution of 27 people in Grozny "another round and a surge of unhealthy fantasy."
Meanwhile, the Committee Against Torture stated that they are aware of other cases of disappearance of people in Chechnya after detentions. However, neither the Human Rights Council nor the Committee against Torture can establish the reliability of the information, since the relatives of the missing are afraid to address human rights defenders and law enforcement agencies.