Republic reveals tortures during Chechen anti-drug campaign

Republic reveals tortures during Chechen anti-drug campaign
The publication claims people were detained and tortured Photo: Republic

According to the media outlet, the police detained and tortured random people.

Republic wrote about tortures during the anti-drug campaign in Chechnya, announced by Head of the republic Ramzan Kadyrov. According to the paper, in 2017 Chechen policemen doscovered 507 offenses related to drugs. Only in August, in connection with these violations, about 70 people were detained. Some of them were tortured and demanded to confess to the use and distribution of narcotic substances.

Republic tells the story of 31-year-old Magomed-Ali Mezhidov, who was detained on August 14 near his house. In a complaint to the Prosecutor's Office, the text of which is at the disposal of the newspaper, the detainee writes that on August 16 he was "once again" convoyed to the office of the Criminal Investigation Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs for Shalinsky district, where the officers started torture involving electricity. The terminals of the torture device were connected to the thumbs of Mezhidov, and a track jacket was tied to his head. Mezhidov said that he "shouted", while the operatives said that they would torture him until he signed the confession.

Mezhidov was officially detained on August 31. The court decided to arrest him on September 2. He signed confessions on August 20. During the interrogations, during which the detainee was beaten with a steel-plastic pipe, information on who and where sells and buys drugs in the republic was received from him.

Together with Magomed-Ali Mezhidov, his elder brother, Magomed-Sidik, was rounded up. He was also detained near his house and put in a car where his brother sat already. Mezhidov Sr. pointed out in the complaint to the Prosecutor's Office that during the interrogations there were police officers in the office who said that he had no choice: he must give confessions, otherwise a case on Act of Terrorism (Art. 205 of the Criminal Code), or on Participation in an Illegal Armed Formation (Art. 208 of the Criminal Code) would be cooked up against him.

Magomed-Sidik Mezhidov was also tortured until he signed confessions. He was "immobilized with scotch and handcuffs." He was accused of selling a little more than 16 grams of marijuana for a thousand rubles ($17.7) on August 20. Magomed-Ali Mezhidov was accused of storing 128 grams of marijuana.

The defense considers these cases to be concocted, since on August 20 Mezhidov Jr. was already in the holding cell. In addition, during the confrontation that his lawyer achieved, Mezhidov identified Khalid Akhyadov, whom, according to the investigation, he had to sell drugs. According to Magomed-Ali, Akhyadov tortured him in the department with electric current. Khalid Akhyadov himself stated that from the beginning of 2017 he has been an intern in the police.

Republic notes that the police more often pay attention to people who have already appeared on the radar screen of law enforcement agencies. In particular, Magomed-Ali Mezhidov has been convicted trice on 'drug' articles since 2016.

The publication also reviewed 67 decisions taken by Chechen courts on 'drug' cases since August 2017, and found common features in them. According to the case materials, all the defendants cut and dried the leaves of wild hemp. The police found substance when they stopped people to check documents. Due to the fact that they had no documents at that moment, they were detained and drugs turned up during searches. All the defendants gave confessions, their cases were considered according to special procedure. Most of the detainees were forced to say confessions on camera. According to the source of Republic, close to the police of the region, if a detainee refused to speak for the camera, he was tortured. Most of these cases took place in late October and early November 2017.

The press service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Chechnya said that there were no violations during the detention or delivery of suspects in drug offenses to the police, and no complaints were received against police officers. According to the press service, in 2017 507 crimes related to drug trafficking were detected, 304 criminal cases were instituted, 213 of them were sent to court.

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