Human rights violations during anti-terrorist operations in the Republic of Ingushetia Contents Introduction 3

The Dynamics of Rights Violations Practices in the Course of Counter-terrorist Operations in the Republic of Ingushetia: 1999 — 2004

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1. The Dynamics of Rights Violations Practices in the Course of Counter-terrorist Operations in the Republic of Ingushetia: 1999 — 2004

Ingushetia is a small north Caucasian republic2 bordering North Osetia to the west, Chechnya to the east, and Georgia to the south. Until 1991 Ingushetia was a member of the Chechen-Ingush Republic of the RSFSR (Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic). An Ingush Republic as a member of the Russian Federation was proclaimed on 15 September, 1991, in a congress of deputies of Ingushetia from all levels. When a de facto independent separatist regime was installed in Grozny, residents of Ingushetia confirmed in a referendum (30 November — 1 December, 1991) their decision to remain a member of the Russian Federation and to build their own republican state on the basis of the Constitution of the RSFSR. With a 75% turnout, 90% of voters decided in favor of the referendum. Six months later on 4 June, 1992, the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR approved the law "On the Formation of the Republic of Ingushetia as a member of the RSFSR".

Cultural, economic, and family ties with Chechnya, however, remained. On 11 December, 1994, at the start of the first Chechen war, when federal forces were moving through Ingushetia to Chechnya, residents of the republic blocked the roads trying to prevent their progress. When the war had become an inevitable reality, the Ingush took in hundreds of thousands of forced migrants from neighboring republics.

At the very beginning of the second Chechen war, on 25 September, 1999, general Vladimir Shamanov, commander of the "West" group of federal forces, ordered that administrative borders of subjects of the federation contiguous with Chechnya be closed to the people fleeing the shelling and bombing. In defiance of this order, the President of Ingushetia, Ruslan Aushev, opened the border, and Ingushetia took in about 300 thousand migrants from the Chechen Republic.

Because the very presence of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Ingushetia testified to the adverse situation in Chechnya, the federal government brought pressure to bear on them from the very beginning, attempting to force their return. The efforts did not meet with any particular success. The absence of security in Chechnya kept IDPs in Ingushetia — more than two years after the war began, their numbers were about 150 thousand. Despite the hard living conditions, they felt relatively secure.

The frequent "cleanup" operations did not lead to ‘the pacification’ of Chechnya. Federal agencies found an explanation for this — apparently, boeviks were sheltering beyond the borders of the republic — and insisted on the expansion of the zone of "counterterrorism operations" to Ingushetia. However, Ingush authorities successfully resisted these attempts until the end of 2001, thereby supporting the stability of the republic.

1.1. 2002: First Abductions and "Disappearances"

The situation began to change in 2002. Abductees, most of them IDPs from Chechnya, disappeared in the course of the "special operations" which had begun in Ingushetia. The bodies of some of the "disappeared" were later discovered on the territory of the Chechen Republic. In the majority of cases, the circumstances of abduction directly implicated representatives of the federal law-enforcement agencies in criminal acts.

We do not assert that none of the abductees in Ingushetia did not participate in the armed units resisting the Russian state. However, in a civilized state, suspects can be detained or arrested only on a lawful basis, investigations should be carried out within procedural norms, and the guilt of the accused can be determined only by a court. Otherwise justice is replaced by arbitrariness and reprisals, the victims of which are invariably innocent people.

"Special operations" which at times became large-scale "cleanup" operations began in IDP camps around the middle of 2002. This practice was part of a campaign to stimulate the out-migration of IDPs back to Chechnya. In some cases these operations were provoked by the actions of boeviks. For example, the first "cleanup" operation we know of took place in the IDP camp at a Milk Farm (MTF) in the city Karabulak on 6 June, 2002, after the murder of three Ingush police officers. In the majority of cases, however, the motivation for the special operations and abductions remained unclear.

The abduction and murder of the IDPs Danilbek Bataev and Murad Tokaev is a typical episode for 2002.

On 4 February, 2002, in the city Malgobek, armed men in masks burst into building no. 4 on Zyazikova street. They seized Danilbek Bataev, born 1981, and Murad Tokaev, born 1980, IDPs from Chechnya living there, and took them away in an unknown direction. The armed men did not present any documentation, but did administer a beating to Laura Bataeva, Danilbek's wife, who attempted to prevent the abduction of her husband.

On 9 April, 2002, the corpses of Danilbek Bataev and Murad Tokaev were discovered about 1 km from the position of Russian forces, in the Staropromyslovsky district of Grozny in the area of Tashkala. They had had their throats cut, their faces were covered with tape, and their hands were bound behind their backs.

The only instance of a person's disappearance in this period for which we can conjecture a motive for the actions of the federal authorities is the abduction and murder of Naip Idigov.

Around midnight (24:00) on 14 February, 2002, a house on Zarechnoi street in the town Karabulak, where Naip Idigov was living as a forced migrant, was surrounded by a large group of armed men in camouflage and masks. They burst into the house, seized Naip Idigov, and took him outside, having administered beatings to his wife and (female) cousin, who attempted to interfere. The men traveled in several cars along the Rostov — Baku route, taking Idigov with them through the Kavkaz-13 checkpoint into Chechnya.

On 15 and 16 February Russian mass media reported that the boevik Naip Idigov had been killed while trying to install a landmine on the territory of Chechnya in the Achkhoi-Martanovsky district. From that moment, relatives searched for Idigov dead or alive. Referring to media reports, they turned to the office of the public prosecutor of the Sunzhensky district of Ingushetia and to the public prosecutor of the Chechen Republic; however, they could not obtain any information concerning either the whereabouts of Indigov or the source of the reports of his death.

The Human rights center “Memorial” dispatched an inquiry into the "disappearance" of Naip Idigov to the public prosecutor of the Chechen Republic. In addition, the matter was addressed on 28 February, 2002, in a session of the Permanent Working Group4; however, human rights workers still could not obtain any information regarding Idigov's fate.

On 21 October relatives learned by chance that on 18 February, 2002, in the Oktyabrsky district of Grozny, residents discovered the body of an unidentified man and, having made preliminary photographs, buried him in the courtyard of the mosque. The relatives identified Naip Idigov in the photographs. The report in the federal news turned out to be accurate in its assertion that Idigov had been detained and killed — and false in all other respects. Idigov was executed shortly after being taken from his home in Ingushetia on the night of 14 February, 2002. The body showed evidence of beatings: discolorations and bruising, the hands tied with rope behind the back. On the temple there was an aperture from the executioner's bullet.

In the first war, Naip Idigov participated in Chechen armed formations, which may have been the motivation for his detention. However, everything else — his abduction, torture, and murder — undoubtedly lies beyond the boundaries of the law. The falsifications of his abduction — the reports that a "boevik was killed while installing a landmine" — are equally illegal5.

Federal units and subdivisions began deploying to Ingushetia in summer 2002. Subdivisions of the internal forces were stationed next to the tent camps of IDPs, while the 503rd mobile infantry regiment was deployed around the stanitsa Troitskaya. Incidentally, the "reinforcement" was observed along the entire Caucasian ridge from Dagestan to Karachaevo-Cherkessia, since with the opening of the mountain passes it was expected that the detachments of the field commander Ruslan Gelaev would cross over from Georgia. It turned out the preparations were in vain: on 11 September, in the vicinity of the village Olgetti in the Dzheirakhsk district, Gelaev's detachments crossed the Russian border unimpeded. For two weeks they remained unnoticed in the mountainous wooded area not far from the village Tarskoe in North Osetia — perhaps the most militarized republic in the North Caucasus. On 26 September near the village Galashki, where the detachments were crossing the Assinovskaya gorge, their rearguard came into contact with federal forces, but in the end the Chechen detachments escaped into Chechnya practically without casualties.

The result of the belatedly undertaken "operational reconnaissance measures" was the abduction and "disappearance" of a local resident of Ingushetia — the first known to Memorial. It is hard to imagine what attracted the attention of the "law-enforcement agencies" to the 77-year-old beekeeper Sultan Sainaroev, born in 1925, resident of Galashki village, 48 Shosseinaya street. He raised bees in the small place Berezhka, seven kilometers from the village. On 22 October, 2002, soldiers seized him in his bee garden, put him into a military transport vehicle, and took him away in the direction of the village Arshty, after which he disappeared. On 14 November, 2002, the public prosecutor of the Republic of Ingushetia opened a criminal investigation per Article 126 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (abduction).

The human rights center Memorial is in possession of a copy of the response to the inquiry which was directed to the Interior Ministry of the Republic of Ingushetia, addressed to the Commander of the unified military forces. The inquiry was answered6 29 November, 2002, by the commander of detachment no. 74814 (205th mobile infantry brigade), the subdivisions of which were deployed during that period in the vicinity of the Arshty and Galashki villages. The commander of the detachment reported that "Subdivisions of the 205th mobile infantry brigade in Arshty did not detain any citizens on suspicion of participation in an illegal armed unit. The indicated citizen, Sainaroev, was detained by representatives of the Regional Operational Headquarters for the North Caucasus of the FSB of the Russian Federation."

It should seem that the fate of Sainaroev could now be established for investigation without particular difficulty. The matter was forwarded to the military prosecutor. On 1 July, 2005, S. Sainaroev was still listed as missing. The criminal investigation has been stopped "due to the impossibility of establishing the identity of the persons who should be indicted for criminal acts."

Special operations to capture so-called boeviks were often conducted as though in a desert, with no regard for the safety of the civilian population, which sometimes produced unwarranted victims. The attempt by members of Akhmad Kadyrov's security service to detain two residents of the Chechen Republic, Imran Musalaev and Isa Mikailov, alleged combatants, is an example. On 14 November, 2002, members of the security service attempted to ambush Musalaev and Mikailov in their vehicle in the vicinity of the central bus station of the town of Malgobek.

Musalaev, however, escaped. Attempting to avoid his pursuers, he jumped on a regularly scheduled bus with passengers. His pursuers boarded the bus and opened fire, shooting to kill. According to witness accounts, Kadyrov's men saw that Musalaev was holding a live grenade. Nevertheless, they shot him several times at point-blank range. There was an explosion. In addition to the boevik, three passengers were killed and nine wounded by the bullets and shrapnel.

Both of the opposing sides evinced an equal readiness to sacrifice the lives of civilians uninvolved in the conflict.

The actions of the law-enforcement agencies of the Chechen Republic, taken without the agreement of organs of the Interior Ministry or the office of the public prosecutor of Ingushetia, were illegal. It was later ascertained that Kadyrov's men acted, not on their own initiative, but on the orders of the regional operational headquarters. The actions of Kadyrov's security service on the territory of the neighboring republic were only brought to light because of the practical failure of the special operation, the deaths of the passengers, and the following investigation. If there had been no victims, all that would have been recorded was another abduction of two IDPs by "unidentified armed men".

In all, Memorial documented 28 cases of abduction for Ingushetia in 2002 (27 residents of Chechnya, one resident of Ingushetia). Four of them were killed, two were released by their abductors after interrogation and beating, and sixteen went missing. Six of the abductees were soon found in preliminary detainment or temporary detention center. Of these, one was sentenced for participation in an illegal armed unit, four were acquitted in court, and one is still under investigation.

1.2. 2003: Escalation of Violence

The year 2003 saw a significant escalation of violence in Ingushetia. Memorial has documented 52 cases of abduction in the republic for that year. Of these, 38 are residents of Chechnya, 12 are residents of Ingushetia, and 2 are citizens of Armenia. The corpse of one of the abductees was found subsequently, 32 people went missing, and 19 were released after protracted interrogations accompanied by beatings. The released people do not know who interrogated them, or where they were detained. Nonetheless, the character of the questions asked to them in detainment suggests that quite probably they were detained by representatives of one of the security agencies of the Russian Federation.

Those who have disappeared and been killed include not only "victims of abduction by unidentified people" but also people whose detention or arrest was an acknowledged fact.

On 6 January, 2003, at 6:30 in the morning, armed men in masks entered the IDP camp Satsita in six vehicles. They seized Visadi Shokarov, born 1971, and three other men, forced them into a car, and without explanation drove them away in an unknown direction. The women and old men who attempted to prevent the abduction were beaten with the butts of rifles, and shots were fired over their heads.

That same morning relatives appealed to the local office of the Interior Ministry in the Sunzhensk district of Ingushetia. There they unexpectedly received the explanation that the four abducted men were on the premises of the police building, and that they had been detained by members of the local Nadterechnyi office of the Interior Ministry of the Chechen Republic, who would take the detained men to Chechnya. Relatives were still standing in front of the police building when two men in civilian clothes approached Visita Shokarov, born 1966, the brother of the detained Visadi, led him off to the side on the pretext of conversation, and forced him into the yard of the local Interior Ministry office. The Shokarov brothers were taken to the village Znamenskoe, the administrative center of the Nadterechnyi district of Chechnya.

In Znamenskoe, however, as in the local office of the Interior Ministry and in the public prosecutor's office, authorities refused to acknowledge for several days that the detained men had been delivered there. The situation was acknowledged only after seven days, on 13 January, but at that time a member of the FSB informed Visita Shokarov's wife that he had supposedly been freed on 8 January. According to relatives, however, Shokarov did no return to the Satsita camp, and his fate since that time remains unknown.

Visadi Shokarov was accused of involvement in an assassination attempt on the son of the head of the Nadterehnyi district. On 10 February, a man named Pashkov, the investigator for the prosecutor of Chechnya's Nadterehnyi district whose inquiry had resulted in the detentions in the Satsita camp, informed Visadi's wife that she could collect her husband's body from the morgue in the town of Mozdok. According to investigators, on 5 February there was a car accident while transporting the arrested men to Mozdok, and Shokarov died with another detained man, a resident of Chechnya with the surname Baigeriev. The body was brought to the Satsita camp on 12 February, badly burned, with numerous cuts and puncture wounds, with part of the skull cut off, and without a hand.

Relatives of the deceased asked the public prosecutor's office of the Sunzhensk district of Ingushetia to conduct a forensic medial examination. As late as four o'clock in the afternoon, no one from the prosecutor's office in the Satsita camp had appeared; the body was then taken away for burial. Relatives of the deceased subsequently gave up trying to obtain an investigation into the circumstances of Visadi's death.

In 2003, "cleanup" operations accompanied by large-scale violations of human rights began in Ingushetia, not only in the densely packed living areas of IDPs, but in Ingush villages as well. The media regularly reported the detentions or killings in Ingushetia of boeviks and the discovery of weapons caches. There was also a manifest increase in the activity of boeviks in Ingushetia in comparison with previous years. Police officers were attacked and military convoys ran over landmines. An incomplete index of media reports on attacks, shellings, and explosions in Ingushetia in the first half of 2003 is included below.

In January 2003 two police officers on sentry duty were shot and one officer of the commandant's office of the Chechen Republic was killed. In February one police officer was killed while attempting to inspect a car and another was wounded. The attackers were arrested the same day. In March three police officers were wounded while exchanging fire with boeviks around the village Ekazhevo; three Russian soldiers were wounded when an armored vehicle was blown up by a radio-controlled mine near the Ingush village Chemulga, not far from the administrative border with Chechnya. On 1 April four soldiers were killed and one was wounded in a landmine explosions near the village Ali-Yurt. On 21 April three police officers were wounded while detaining boeviks. On 24 and 28 April military vehicles were blown up. On 4 May three soldiers were wounded when their armored vehicles came under fire; on 16 May three were killed and two were wounded. On 30 May police Col. Tagir Bekov, deputy head of the Nazran branch of the Interior Ministry, was killed. On the same day a column of vehicles belonging to federal forces came under fire on the administrative border with Chechnya, two soldiers were killed and five were wounded. On the night of 10 June, two boeviks were killed and three were wounded in an exchange with federal forces near the village Galashki. On 11 June two unidentified people were killed and one officer of the Interior Ministry was wounded in an exchange of fire near the village Ekazhevo. On 17 June boeviks opened fire on an intelligence/reconnaissance group of the commandant's office near the village Muzhichi.

The actions of Russian law-enforcement agencies, in turn, demonstrated that "Chechen-style counterterrorist operations" had come to Ingushetia.

In 6 — 7 June, 2003, a "cleanup" operation was conducted in the mountain village Arshty in the Sunzhensk district of Ingushetia. The village was completely blockaded. The head of the local administration, who had left the previous evening for the district center, was denied entrance back into the village and his car fired upon. Members of the Sunzhensk office of the Interior Ministry were also refused entry to the village until the "cleanup" operation had been completed. There was no representative of the public prosecutor's office present during the course of the operation. The soldiers did not identify themselves and responded to residents' inquiries vaguely with "We're from Khankala."7 Armored vehicles and other military hardware, as a rule, had had their identification numbers smeared out. Several local residents were beaten by soldiers, and in many homes personal property was stolen or purposefully damaged.

The "cleanup" operation in the village Chemulga on 17 — 18 June earned far less reproach: only one local resident was beaten. Although the identification numbers of military hardware were smeared out as before, residents knew that the "cleanup" operation was being conducted by the mobile detachment of the Interior Ministry, based in Karabulak. The surname of the leader of the operation was known and the operation was monitored by the local head of administration and members of the village police force.

Memorial has no primary information on the fights near the village Galashki on the night of 10 June, 2003 (see above). It is known, however, that on the evening of 10 June soldiers killed a local resident and seriously wounded a woman in this same district.

Soldiers fired upon a car in which Tamara Zabieva (born 1938) and her two sons Umar and Ali were returning to their village from their garden plot. The woman was seriously wounded and lost consciousness. The bombardment continued and the sons dragged her from the car and brought her to a gully. Ali then set off for the village for help, while Umar remained with his mother.

In the meantime the third of the brothers Zabiev, Mussa, a major of the Russian Army was at home in Galashki. Having heard the sounds of shooting and having found out that his relatives have not got back yet, Mussa tuned his portable radio transmitter on the militia wave and heard the local policemen report to the Sunzhensky ROVD: “A column of military servicemen, heading in the direction of the village Dattyh, subjected to fire and injured civilians”

The police officers and relatives of the Zabievs who arrived on the site found only the unconscious woman. The corpse of Umar Zabiev was found only the second day, sprinkled with dirt, with signs of gunshot wounds and numerous bruises, abrasions, and fractures. It was obvious that Ali had been seized by soldiers and, having undergone "accelerated interrogation", was liquidated8. A criminal case was opened on the evidence of gunshots, wounds, and the deaths of peaceful residents, but was suspended after a few months "due to the impossibility of locating suspects".

On 21 August, 2003, in the stanitsa Ordzhonikidzevskaya, soldiers seized five men who were apparently suspected of participation in armed formations. The methods of the seizure, however, were also rather thuggish.

Around 15:00 armed men in camouflage and masks ran into the courtyard of the local polyclinic and commenced firing at will. Visitors and medical personnel scattered in a panic. The armed men broke into the surgical ward, where at that moment Rasmbek Saidulaev (born 1984), who had come in with gunshot wounds, was being bandaged up (he told doctors his name was Anzor Suleimanov). Saidulaev lost consciousness after being pistol-whipped on the head. The men continued to beat him. The law-enforcement officers drove the nurses into a corner and held them at gunpoint, then ordered them to bind Saidulaev's legs. In the corridor the soldiers savagely beat Lom-Ali Shaipov (born 1982), who had accompanied Saidulaev to the polyclinic. According to witness accounts, his arms were broken in several places. The bloodied Saidulaev and Shaipov were then dragged into the street and thrown into a car (the make was Gazel) with tinted glass. Medical personnel, mostly women, tried to interfere and heard in response: "Get lost, prostitutes, these are not people, they're animals."

Also detained in the polyclinic were the IDPs from Chechnya Adam Patsuev (born 1984, living temporarily at stanitsa Nesterovskaya, 113 Leonidov street), Salam Kerimov (born 1985, living temporarily in stanitsa Ordzhonikidzevskaya, 81 Komsomolskaya street), and Ibragim Idigov (born 1983, living temporarily in stanitsa Nesterovskaya, 78 Lenin street). Idigov came to have his wounds dressed; Patsuev and Kerimov accompanied him. When the soldiers burst into the polyclinic's courtyard, Idigov was being bandaged by Dr. Magomed Khashiev, while Patsuev and Kerimov waited for him on a bench in the courtyard. Khashiev and Idigov became scared after they saw soldiers beating a patient in a neighboring office. They ran outside along the corridor. The soldiers opened fire on them from behind and wounded Idigov in the shoulder. They were seized by soldiers outside as they ran out of the building and were kicked and beaten with the soldiers' rifle butts. Patsuev and Kerimov rushed to Idigov, but they too were kicked and beaten. The three young men were handcuffed and put into a car (Gazel). The solders left Dr. Khashiev lying on the ground.

According to witnesses, soldiers dragged one man onto the steps of the polyclinic and shot him at point-blank range. Several witnesses reported that the wound was fatal and the man died.

All five men taken from the polyclinic disappeared without a trace. On 25 August, 2003, IDPs from Chechnya blocked the Rostov — Baku road on the administrative border of Chechnya and Ingushetia and demanded to know the fate of the abductees.

A criminal case was opened in light of the kidnapping, but investigations were later stopped "due to the impossibility of establishing the identity of the perpetrators"

On 15 September, 2003 a building of law-enforcement agency was for the first time attacked in Ingushetia. A GAZ-53 truck loaded with explosives cut through a vacant lot, broke through a barrier, and exploded 15 meters from the building of the local branch of the FSB around noon in the city Magas9. Five people were killed including the two suicide bombers in the cab of the truck; 29 wounded were taken to the hospital.

Meanwhile, abductions and "disappearances" in Ingushetia continued.

Around 15:00 on 18 February, 2003, in the center of the town Karabulak was abducted Bashir Mutsolgov, born 1975, resident of Oskanova street, a school teacher of mathematics.

According to relatives, Bashir took his sick mother to RSO-Alania that morning, where she was undergoing treatment. Returning to Karabulak, he left the car at his parents' house (35 Ordzhonikidze street), took from his father the keys from his house and a laptop computer (which was brought to him for repairing the night before), and set off for his own house on the opposite side of Oskanov street. On the way he met his former pupil and stopped by to talk with him. Suddenly, two cars with tinted glass came to a stop by the nearby phone booths — one car was a white 5-door Niva VAZ-2131 (the number plate was covered with dirt but the region code (26) was clearly visible); the other car was a dark blue Lada VAZ-2106. Armed men in camouflage and masks jumped out of the cars, kicked the teenager and fell upon Bashir, striking him in the gut and pushing into one of the cars. All of this happened in the plain view of many eyewitnesses. The attackers were also responsible for an automobile accident near the scene, when two Gazel minibuses collided.

The cars with the abductors left Karabulak on the federal Rostov — Baku road. It was later established that they stopped at a GIBBD OVD checkpoint for Karabulak, presented a special pass from the regional operational headquarters, and drove off in the direction of the city Nazran.

Relatives of Bashir Mutsolgov appealed to the Karabulak public prosecutor's office, the republic's federal security service, and the Interior Ministry. They were told that members of these offices had not been involved in Mutsolgov's detention or arrest.

As of September 2005 the whereabouts of B. Mutsolgov are still unknown.

1.3. 2004: The "Chechenization" of Ingushetia

In 2004 permanent residents of Ingushetia began to "disappear" more and more often as a result of special operations. In all, Memorial documented 47 abductions in 2004: 19 residents of Chechnya and 28 residents of Ingushetia. The copses of three abductees were later discovered, 21 abductees went missing, and 20 were ransomed by relatives or were freed by their abductors after lengthy interrogations accompanied, as a rule, by torture. Four abductees were later "discovered" in provisional detention facilities.

In many cases the criminal involvement of federal law-enforcement agencies was plainly adduced by the circumstances of abduction, witness testimony, and indirect evidence.

The problem of abductions in Ingushetia attracted public attention in March 2004. At that time the republic was gripped by a wave of notorious and violent disappearances: deputy prosecutor of the Republic of Ingushetia Rashid Ozdoev, who submitted a report10 on human rights violations to the local branch of the FSB of Ingushetia several days before his abduction; network administrator Timur Yandiev; member of the extra-departmental guard service of Ingushetia for the Interior Ministry Rasukhan Evloev; and Ibragim Izmailov, a farm watchman in the village Ali-Yurt11. In all, 10 people were abducted on the territory of Ingushetia in March 2004.

In June 2004 there was a unique occurrence in Ingushetia: the involvement of the FSB in the abduction of people was unequivocally documented.

On 15 June, 2004, around 20:00, Adam Medov, a permanent resident of Ingushetia (born 1980, registered in Karabulak, 4 Chkalov street; living temporarily in Nazran on Nasyrkortskaya street), left his home in his car. He did not return that day.

The night of 16 June Adam Medov called his brother Magomed and said that his car had broken down and he could not come home. There was no time for his brother to ask any follow-up questions; the line was disconnected immediately.

On the evening of 17 June, Medov's relatives were informed that their son was in the Sunzhensk office of the Interior Ministry of Ingushetia. They arrived around 20:00 and learned what had happened to their son from some police officers with whom they were acquainted. That day, Ingush border guards at the Ingush GIBBD (GAI) station next to the Kavkaz-1 checkpoint had stopped two vehicles heading into Chechnya for inspection, a green Volga GAZ-3110 and a Zhiguli VAZ-21099. They heard a knock from the trunk of the Volga, opened it, and saw a tied-up man who said: "I am Ingush! They want to take me away!" This was Adam Medov. The second car quickly drove off into Chechnya12. The armed men in the Volga declared themselves to be agents of the FSB, claimed the Ingush police had no right to detain them, and attempted to resist. The Ingush police detained the abductors anyway. It turned out there was another bound man — Aslan Kushtonashvili — lying on the floor of the back seat. They were all taken to the Sunzhensk office of the Interior Ministry. Under questioning there, Adam Medov said that on 15 June in the city Karabulak, armed men had stopped his car — four Chechens and four Russians. There was also a passenger in his car. Both men were taken to the FSB building in the city Magas, where they were tortured. On 16 June, Adam was forced to call home and say everything was fine so that his relatives would not mount a search for him.

Police officers allowed relatives to bring food for Adam, and even offered to let his brothers Magomed and Usman see him. When the brothers entered the Interior Ministry building and came to the staircase leading to the second floor, someone shouted from above: "No meeting! Get them out of here!" The brothers were then shown out of the building.

Around 23:30, police officers informed relatives that Adam had been put into a car and would now be taken away, and soon after, that Medov and Kushtonashvili had been put into a UAZ truck in the rear courtyard and taken away to Chechnya. A member of the Sunzhensk office of the Interior Ministry and a member of the local branch of the FSB of Ingushetia (who had come to the Interior Ministry office) accompanied them to the Kavkaz-1 checkpoint.

On 21 June, 2004, B.M. Bekov, deputy prosecutor of the Sunzhensk district, sent replies to the appeals of Adam Medov's brother and M.D. Ozdoev, a deputy of the People's Assembly of Ingushetia. From the replies it seems A. Medov was detained by agents of the local branch of the FSB operating in the Chechen Republic, under the leadership of Lt. Col. V.V. Beletskii13. From other replies of officials it was established that, in addition to Beletskii, A.G. Shurov (an official of the criminal investigation department), Ensign D.A. Panferov, and Sergeant I.Yu. Minbulatov took part in the detention (practically speaking, the abduction) of A. Medov14.

On 9 July, 2004, Sunzhensk district prosecutor G.M-G. Merzhuev confirmed all of the above facts in a conference with O.P. Orlov (member of the Human Rights Commissioner of the RF's expert commission and Chairman of the Board of the human rights center Memorial) and S.A. Gannushkina (member of the President of the RF's Commission on Human Rights and board member of the human rights center Memorial). The prosecutor expressed doubt only that Medov had in fact been transported in the trunk of the car. The prosecutor reported that the agents of the local branch of the FSB for Chechnya were in possession of documents empowering them to detain suspects. According to the prosecutor, however, Medov's detention was carried out with the most flagrant violations of the legislative norms of the RF.

Why were agents of the local branch of the FSB in such blatant violation of the law allowed to take Medov and Kushtonoshvili into Chechnya? The Sunzhensk district public prosecutor contacted the Sunzhensk office of the local branch of the FSB of Ingushetia on 17 June and received the explanation that the actions of the detained FSB agents were correct and the men should be released immediately. In the face of the obvious illegality of the FSB agents' actions, the prosecutor allowed them to leave with the two detainees for Chechnya15.

The four agents of the FSB traveled with their two detainees through the Kavkaz-1 checkpoint and into the territory of the Chechen Republic. All the public prosecutor could do was send inquiries on the following day (18 June, 2004) to the public prosecutor of the Chechen Republic and the military prosecutor of the Combined Military Forces A.V. Mokritskii asking where Medov and Kushtonoshvili had been taken, where they were being held, and what accusations they were charged with. The reply from the military prosecutor's office said the following: after checking it was found that the names V.V. Beletskii, A.G. Shurov, D.A. Panferov, and I.Yu. Minbulatov were not contained in a list of agents of the local branch of the FSB in Ingushetia, and the fate of A.K. Medov was unknown16. Thus, we are presented with a crime covered by Article 126 of the criminal code of the RF (abduction). The crime was committed by men identifying themselves with documentation from the FSB who were able to freely cross the Kavkaz-1 checkpoint, and the de facto accomplices of these men were the acting Minister of the Interior of Ingushetia, members of the office of the public prosecutor of Ingushetia, and the leadership of the Sunzhensk office of the local branch of the FSB for Ingushetia.

A criminal case № 04600045 of July 28 2004 was opened by the Sunzhensk district prosecutor of Ingushetia in the matter of the abduction of A.K. Medov. The case is still open. Evidently the Sunzhensk district prosecutor's office is incapable of investigating this matter, and the case should be passed to the military prosecutor. The military prosecutor's office, however, will not accept the case since, from its point of view, there is no unequivocal evidence that the abductors were agents of the FSB if "they were not on the list".

The investigation was halted "due to the impossibility of finding the perpetrators", then was reopened under pressure from relatives and their representatives, then was halted again. According to the information of Zalina Medova, the wife of one of the abductees, the record of her husband's interrogation "disappeared" from the Sunzhensk office of the Interior Ministry17. She then turned to the courts with an action against the district prosecutor's office, inasmuch as it was this office which rejected her petition for the interrogation of a series of agents of the local branch of the FSB of Ingushetia and the Interior Ministry of Ingushetia; for the interrogation of soldiers at the Kavkaz-1 checkpoint; for the review of the registration logs of that checkpoint; and so forth. The investigator refuses to share with her information regarding the progress of the criminal investigation. On 25 January, 2005, Mrs. Medova's action was rejected by the court because, according to representatives of the prosecutor's office, "all necessary investigative actions were being carried out". The investigator's refusal to acquaint Mrs. Medova with materials from the criminal investigation was declared lawful. The court considered it unnecessary to require the prosecutor's office to provide evidence of the claims of its representatives.

On 16 June, 2004, the human rights center Memorial sent a petition from Medov's relatives to the European Court on Human Rights, with a request to apply Article 39 of the Court's charter to the case. According to this article, if there is information on a direct threat to the life of a person held by the government, the Court is empowered to require the government to remove the source of the threat immediately. The Court accepted the petition (no. 25385/00) on the same day. The Court declined to apply Article 39. The President of the Court House decided, however, in accordance with Article 41 of the Court's charter, to assign a high priority to the petition's review.

No new information was obtained in the course of correspondence between the Strasburg court and the Russian government. In July 2005, however, the Russian government is obliged to present a detailed memorandum on the matter of A. Medov to the Court. However, upon request of the Representative of Russia the deadline on Medov case was extended for three months. A memorandum of the Prosecution General of the Russian Federation stated that in the framework of investigations personnel of MVD and FSB of Republic Ingushetia had been interrogated/ However, the content of the interrogations was not specified. Memorandum makes it clear that investigations were carried out in an unhurried manner. Thus, for example, interrogations of such important witnesses as militiamen, who stopped the car at the checkpoint of traffic police, as well as of Mr. M. Kodzoev, the head of Sunzhesky FSB in RI, and his deputy M.A. Korgov, were carried out only in September-October, i.e. 2-3 months after the criminal case into abduction was instigated. None of the Chechen FSB servicemen or FSB and MVD servicemen at the checkpoint “Kavkaz-1” were not interrogated at all.

The Memorandum states that the investigations received responses from the prosecution of the Chechen Republic and FSB of the Chechen Republic which indicate that no criminal cases were instigated in respect of Kushtanoshvili and Medov and that officially their detainment was not carried out.

The European Court was denied copies of the materials of the criminal case. The Delegations of the European Court were offered to read the materials (excluding the parts which contain military secret or confidential evidence) during their visit to the Chechen Republic without the right to copy or pass this information over to other people.

In the meantime, starting 2005 Mrs. Medova was receiving threats. Unidentified people, apparently speaking for agents of the FSB, have proposed that Zalina Medova withdraw her petition from the Court for the sake of her own life and the safety of her relatives.

Representatives of HRC “Memorial” have received interesting information on the matter of Medov during conversations with staff of the public prosecutor's office of Ingushetia. The latter expressed their dissatisfaction with the fact that many law-enforcement agencies and services (the FSB, the military intelligence division of the 58th army, the mobile division of the Interior Ministry in Ingushetia, the GRU, and others) were conducting operations on the territory of the Republic of Ingushetia without any coordination between themselves and without coordinating with the Interior Ministry of the Republic of Ingushetia. Agents of these agencies and services carry out detentions and arrests without informing the Interior Ministry or the public prosecutor's office of Ingushetia. Moreover, there are cases when representatives of these agencies have operated in the North Caucasus under pseudonyms, with documents containing false surnames. As a result, relatives of detained individuals do not know whether those individuals have been detained by representatives of the government or abducted by bandits. Staff members of the public prosecutor's office acknowledged that there are cases where people who have disappeared were detained by representatives of government agencies. Criminal investigations are opened for these cases, but investigations are then halted "due to the impossibility of establishing the identity of perpetrators". The staff members of the public prosecutor's office further asserted that they had repeatedly expressed, during coordination meetings in the presence of representatives of law-enforcement agencies, the necessity of ceasing to detain and arrest people on the territory of the Republic of Ingushetia without informing agencies of the Interior Ministry or the public prosecutor's office — to no avail. One of those who spoke with us on this matter was Rashid Ozdoev, who was abducted in March 2004.

The definitive spillover of the Chechen variant of "counterterrorism operations" to Ingushetia took place following an attack of boeviks on the night from 21 to 22 June, 2004. At this time a large detachment of boeviks (from 200 to 600 men), whose ranks comprised many ethnic Ingush, infiltrated Ingushetia and temporarily took control of a series of settlements, including the cities Nazran and Karabulak. The only resistance to the boeviks was shown by officers of the Interior Ministry of Ingushetia, as a result many of the latter were killed or wounded. The Ingush police force received help from neither the army nor the internal military forces during the course of events. For instance, a small unit of boeviks was able to blockade an entire military subdivision, the 503rd mobile infantry regiment, which was deployed near the stanitsa Troitskaya, and cut off any attempt at the advancement of armored vehicles.

In the course of the operation, the boeviks carried out extra-judicial executions of many agents of law-enforcement agencies whom they had captured. Official figures on the number of killed and wounded were contradictory18. In all, at least 79 people were killed as a result of the attack, including 43 agents of law-enforcement agencies, and at least 88 people received wounds of varying seriousness.

For 48 hours after the attack, there were no operations of any kind carried out in Ingushetia, and the boeviks quietly left. Only then did law-enforcement agencies begin "active searches" for participants in the attack. In many ways, the events of 21-22 June were a turning point. If before the attack law-enforcement agencies of Ingushetia were occasionally suspected in flagrant violations of human rights, after the attack such cases became the norm.

Cleanup operations were conducted first and foremost in the compact settlements of IDPs from Chechnya. In the course of special operations in the villages Altievo and Nesterovskaya and the IDP cities Logovaz, Tsentr Kamaz, and SMU-4, a total of around 70 people were detained. The harshest cleanup operation took place in the IDP settlement at the milkfarm “Altievo”: on 23 and 25 June, the camp was blockaded for several hours by agents of the Interior Ministry of Ingushetia and the mobile detachment of the Interior Ministry of the RF. Men were forced to undress and lie on the ground; they were then beaten. Women were threatened with violence if they did not return to Chechnya within three days. According to the commandant of the camp, more than 50 people were taken from the camp Altievo.

Due to the coordinated efforts of Russian and international human rights organizations, it was possible to put an end to the wave of indiscriminate violence, and most of those detained were freed. Nine were criminally charged. Seven of the latter were freed: thanks to the efforts of the lawyer the criminal cases were closed due to the absence of evidence connecting the suspects with the actions of the boeviks. Two young people — Alikhan Ibragimov and Magomed Tsakhigov — had no well-off relatives who could try solve their problem- and so after being beaten and tortured they stood in court charged under articles 205.3 (terrorism), 208.2 (participation in illegal armed units), 209.2 (participation in a gang), and 222.3 (unlawful possession of firearms) of the criminal code of the Russian Federation (see chapter 3 below).

During the summer of 2004, Memorial received appeals from relatives of permanent residents of Ingushetia who were victims of the arbitrariness of law-enforcement agents.

Following are a few examples.

On the morning of 6 July, 2004, in the city Karabulak, armed men in camouflage and masks took from their homes, in an unknown direction, several permanent residents of Ingushetia: Zaur Mutsolgov (born 1981), Mairbek Gaparkhoev (born 1984), Aliskhan Pugoev (born 1978), Adam (born 1974) and Magomed (born 1978) Aushev, and Abubakar Barkinkhoev (born 1982).

The armed men presented no documents; neither did they identify themselves or explain the reason for their actions. They behaved quite crudely, performing searches without witnesses and in the absence of the owners of the houses. In several of the cited cases, homeowners discovered some of their valuables were missing after the termination of the illegal searches.

According to the testimony of neighbors, armed men in camouflage and masks, in a large number of automobiles without number plates, approached house no. 60 on Revolyutsionnaya street, where the Aushev family was living. They broke into the courtyard. At this time there were five people in the house: Aina Ausheva, her sons Adam Aushev and Magomed Aushev, and two of her young grandsons. The attackers presented no documents, did not identify themselves, and considered it unnecessary to name the motive for their actions. A search was conducted in the living spaces and other parts of the house and grounds without witnesses and in the absence of the owner of the house. The armed men then demanded the passports of everyone located in the house.

"Who are you, and what do you want from us?" asked Aina Ausheva. One of the armed men answered: "We're from the FSB." Then he asked: "Where were your sons on the night from 21 to 22 June?" Aina answered that her sons were at home and that neighbors would confirm this. The men then departed in an unknown direction with Adam and Magomed Aushev. After the abductors were gone, Aina Ausheva discovered that two mobile phones and 1000 rubles were missing from the house.

The story was much the same in house no. 10 on Ozdoeva street, where the Gaparkhoev family lives. Here the armed men sealed off not only the Gaparkhoev courtyard but the adjacent houses and grounds as well. They then began to pound on the gates of the Gaparkhoev household, shouting "Open up, assholes!" The men burst into the courtyard and immediately put all the residents of the house against the wall. The father of the family was beaten when he tried to ascertain the grounds for the intrusion. Muslim Gaparkhoev, who came to his father's aid, was forced to the ground. After the search, which was conducted without observing the lawful procedures, the armed men left the premises, taking with them Mairbek Gaparkhoev in an unknown direction.

There were both Russians and Ingush among the armed intruders. When the mother of the family, M. Gaparkhoeva, began to cry and asked in Ingush "Why are you taking my son?" one of the intruders answered in Ingush: "Don't worry, they'll check him and let him go." Another of the men then sharply reprimanded the first: "Don't even think about saying another word in your language!"

That same morning, a large group of armed men comported themselves in an analogous manner in house no. 20 on Komarova street, where the Pugoev family lives. Here they stole an album of Pugoev family photographs, the passports of Aslan Pugoev and his brother Aliskhan Pugoev, who was at work. Most of the armed men had Slavic features and spoke in unaccented Russian; there were, however, several Ingush among them. One of them, in a conversation with Maret Pugoeva, said that his surname was Mamilov and that he worked for the Interior Ministry of the Republic of Ingushetia. Mamilov did not present any documentation of his identity. When the search was finished, the arm men wanted to take Aslan Pugoev with them, but one of them said that Aslan was not on the list, and the men left him in the house. The armed men demanded to know, however, where his brother Aliskhan worked.

A short time later, armed men came to the workplace of Aliskhan Pugoev and took him away without explanation in an unknown direction, having first drawn a t-shirt over his head.

In the Mutsolgov home (86 Oskanova street), when Aset Mutsolgova asked "Who are you and on what grounds have you burst into my home?" it was rudely indicated to her that she had better shut her mouth. Her children Zaur, Rustam, Yusup, and Zarema were made to lie on the ground in the yard. When Yusup was lying on the ground one of the men struck him on the head and left him with a bleeding cut. After some time Zarema was allowed to stand, but Rustam and Yusup were ordered to crawl into the vegetable garden.

When Aset Mutsolgova tried to protest the actions of the armed men, they threatened to execute her on the spot. Among themselves the armed men spoke in Russian and Ingush. During the search, one room had its floor ripped up, furniture and possessions were overturned in the rooms, and one door was destroyed. Naturally, no record or report of the search was presented to the owners of the house. The intruders took away Zaur Mutsolgov in an unknown direction. They also took the passports of five members of the Mutsolgov family.

After the armed men had left, the Mutsolgovs discovered that some of their possessions and money were missing from the house, in particular the pension payment that had been lying on the windowsill (1100 rubles), 2200 rubles which were lying elsewhere, and also 14000 rubles which had been set aside for household expenses and groceries delivered to the Mutsolgov family store. Also missing from the house was a mobile phone. About 15 boxes of mineral water and juice, cigarettes, and about 2000 in earnings were also taken from the back room of the store, which is situated alongside the house.

That same morning, under analogous circumstances, Abubakar Barkinkhoev was detained in his home at 40 Balkoeva street, Karabulak. In the course of the special operation unidentified people seized an automobile and a mobile phone from the Barkinkhoevs without presenting any sort of documentation.

Deputy prosecutor of Karabulak A.Z. Khashegulgov told O. Orlov and E. Musaeva, representatives of Memorial who appealed to him the very same day, that the prosecutor's office of Karabulak had not been informed of any operations conducted in Karabulak in the Mutsolgov, Gaparkhoev, Pugoev, Aushev, or Barkinkhoev households. On the evening of 6 July the Karabulak prosecutor provided no information on the location of all the above-mentioned detainees.

On the morning of 7 July, Aliskhan Pugoev and Adam and Magomed Aushev were freed. According to their relatives, they had been held during this time in the building of the 6th division of the Interior Ministry of Ingushetia. The location of Zaur Mutsolgov, Mairbek Gaparkhoev, and Abubakar Barkinkhoev, however, remained unknown. The prosecutors’ offices of both Karabulak and the Republic of Ingushetia were unable to provide information on the fate of these people to their relatives, to human rights workers from Memorial, or to S.A. Gannushkina, a member of the Commission on Human Rights for the President of the RF.

Only on 9 July, three days after the detentions, did relatives of Z. Mutsolgov receive notification in the Karabulak prosecutor's office from M.N. Lapotnikov19, investigator of the General Prosecutor's Office of the RF, that Zaur Mutsolgov had been detained on suspicion of criminal activity covered under Article 205 of the criminal code of the RF (terrorism).

Relatives of M. Gaparkhoev and A. Barkinkhoev learned the fate of their detained relatives even later. All detentions (which were, practically speaking, abductions) which took place on the morning of 6 July in Karabulak were carried out as part of an investigation by the Administration of the General Prosecutor of the RF for the North Caucasus (for a recounting of the methods used during the investigation, see below). In April 2005, Gaparkhoev and Barkinkhoev were found guilty in court on Articles 205 (terrorism) and 209 (banditism) of the criminal code of the RF and were sentenced to thirteen and a half and fourteen years imprisonment, respectively.

On 15 July, 2004, the human rights organization Memorial made the following observations in its statement:

"While it is not in doubt that law-enforcement agencies had to undertake measures to identify and detain the participants, organizers, and accomplices in the attack on the Republic of Ingushetia on 21-22 June, it is equally undeniable that such measures should have been undertaken strictly according to the laws of the RF. The operation in question was conducted in a way strongly reminiscent of a bandit attack. Moreover, organs of the public prosecutor's offices have demonstrated that they are incapable and/or unwilling to end the basest of human rights violations, and to bring the guilty to justice. The problems of arbitrariness and lawlessness are today becoming just as relevant for Ingushetia as for the neighboring Chechnya, and the social consequences of this are dire indeed."

Unfortunately, acting Minister of the Interior of Ingushetia B.T. Khamkhoev evidently does not share this viewpoint. Thus, in reply to O.P. Orlov20, Chairman of the Board of Memorial, he asserted that M. Gaparkhoev and Z. Mutsolgov were members of armed groups and took part in murders (note that this was said before proven in court).

The acting Minister prefers not to acknowledge the fact that such lawlessness is unaccepted even when dealing with participants of armed groups. The assertion of the acting Minister that "measures for their detention were carried out in accordance with the relevant laws and under conditions of an emergency situation" is highly surprising especially for a jurist. We are presented here with the basest of crimes, and references to an "emergency situation"21 can have nothing to do with this. Even more incomprehensible is the fact that the acting Minister apparently believes that the suffering from lawlessness of many residents of his republic uninvolved in the attack of the boeviks is unworthy of his attention. The similar attitude of high officials toward the upholding of the law has created an atmosphere in which the threat to the lives and security of peaceful, law-abiding citizens comes not only from bandits, but from the very people who, one should think, were sworn to uphold law and order.

On 20 July, 2004, unidentified armed men, mostly Ingush, burst into the yard of Bashir Velkhiev (Barsuki village, Dzhabagieva street) without presenting any sort of documentation. Without explanation they seized Bashir and his brother Bekkhan. During the seizure a large sum of money disappeared from the house. The Velkhiev brothers were taken to the Directorate for the Fight against Organized Crime (UBOP) of the Ingush Interior Ministry, where they were beaten and tortured, including electric shocks22. The torture was administered by both Ingush agents of UBOP and members of the Interior Ministry who had come on business from other regions of Russia. The police first ascertained from the brothers their whereabouts on the night of 21 to 22 June. Then, when the brothers had proven their alibi, the police began coercing them to work secretly with law-enforcement agencies. Bashir Velkhiev died in room no. 1723 as a result of his beatings and torture. Bekkhan Velkhiev was released the next day in serious condition.

The Nazran public prosecutor opened criminal investigation no. 04560079 in response to the death of Bashir Velkhiev and Bekkhan Velkhiev's testimony on the illegal violent coercion they had undergone, concerning the unidentified agents of the Russian Interior Ministry and UBOP of the Ingush Interior Ministry, according to Article 286.3, paragraph C (Exceeding one's authority with serious consequences). As of 1 July, 2005, those responsible for the death of Bashir Velkhiev had not been identified. The preliminary criminal investigation has been halted.

The same day on 20 July 2004, Beslan Arapkhanov, a tractor operator, was beaten and executed in his own home in front of his wife and seven small children, at dawn, around 4:00 in the village Galashki in the Sunzhensk district of Ingushetia. It seems it was a case of mistaken identity. Law-enforcement agents were trying to detain the boevik Ruslan Khuchbarov, who had lived at 11 Partizanskaya street some years before. Instead, they shot the tractor operator Arapkhanov, who was living at 1 Partizanskaya street. Immediately after the murder, an officer and two soldiers (in the capacity of witnesses) entered the house. The officer identified himself as Kostenko, an investigator for the FSB who was sent from Zheleznovodsk, and presented a search warrant for the house of Ruslan Khuchbarov: 11 Partizanskaya street.

This crime adduces the most unequivocal and convincing evidence that such "simple" methods are dangerous not only for those who fall into the "counterterrorism" meat grinder, but for society at large as well. The "law-enforcement agents" let Ruslan Khuchbarov slip away. This man, known by his handle "Colonel", led the group of terrorists who seized School no. 1 in Beslan on 1 September, 2005.

From the lawyer of another suspect, the resident of stanitsa Sleptsovskaya Solsbek Gelogaev, Memorial received a copy of a petition to hold criminally responsible the law-enforcement agents of Ingushetia who tortured his client. On 20 August, 2004, unidentified law-enforcement agents detained Gelogaev and held him for four days. First they demanded ransom money from his relatives while they tortured Gelogaev: they administered electric shocks, suspended him upside down from the ceiling, and beat him with sticks and rubber truncheons at the kidneys and on his head and arms. Then they demanded that he confess to participation in illegal armed formations and sign a statement asserting that several residents of his village were members of illegal armed formations. They threatened to rape Gelogaev's wife and send his daughter to an orphanage in Russia under a Russian surname. As a result, Gelogaev "confessed" to blowing up a car next to the house of the deputy head of the administration of the Sunzhensk district and signed a statement to this extent in the FSB building in the city Magas.

The forensic medical expert Shadyzheva characterized Gelogaev's bodily injuries as "light injuries". As a result of her conclusions, the investigator for the Sunzhensk district prosecutor's office Dobriev refused to open a criminal investigation into the source of Gelogaev's injuries.

In the end of 2004 another abduction was carried out in Ingushetia. At night of December 4/5 at about 1:20 in the town Malgobek from the house at Gagarina street, 24 representatives of unidentified security agency abducted Bersanov Adam, born 1977.

The military servicemen arrived to the house of Bersanov by two minibuses “Gazel” of white color and two YAZ cars (‘tabletka’) of grey color and a “Niva” car of white color. All cars had no state registration numbers. A large group of armed servicemen in camouflage and in masks broke into the house, grasped Adam Bersanov and forced him out of the house barefoot in thin sport trousers and a T-shirt. The mother tried to give her son warm clothes, but the military servicemen, pointing at her with guns pushed her in the back room.

Bersanov was put in a car and driven in the direction of Nazran. The mother of the detained immediately turned to the ROVD of Malgobek region, but her application was not accepted and she was sent to the prosecutor’s office, where she filed a complaint to the regional prosecutor Cherbezhev.

In the meantime, according to the information of Ingush website the caravan with the military servicemen, who detained Bersanov was stopped at one of the checkpoints at the exit of Malgobek area. The servicemen presented the militiamen the IDs of FSB and announced that they were taking the detained to the town of Magas.

On December 5, the mother of Bersanov Adam turned for help to the republican prosecution office, where she was told that her son was detained by the personnel of FSB in the Republic Ingushetia. However, when she turned to FSB, she was told that they had nothing to do with the detainment of her son and they did not have such a person under their custody.

As of September 20, 2005 the relatives have no information of Adam’s whereabouts.

It should be noted that December 5 was not the first detainment of Bersanov. The personnel of security agencies of Ingushetia detained him in the summer of 2004, after the raid of boeviks at night of June 21-22. Having interrogated Bersanov they released him on the day of the detainment. He was again detained in September after hostage-taking in Beslan. This time again, he was released shortly after a rather superficial interrogation.

The regional prosecution of Malgobek district of Republic of Ingushetia instigated a criminal case № 04540072, however, within 6 months the investigation was unable to establish the kidnappers of the whereabouts of the kidnapped. On June 14, 2005 Bersanova’s complaint to Malgobek municipal court about the inefficiency of prosecution was rejected. The cassation of the Malgobek court decision was not satisfied by the court collegium.

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