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

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4. Recommendations

Using the material included in this report as a basis, the Human rights center “Memorial” recommends the following.

4.1. To authorities, ministries, and other government agencies of the Russian Federation:

4.1.1. The General Prosecutor of the RF must conduct a comprehensive examination of the actions of law-enforcement agencies and the work of agencies of the public prosecutor's office on the territory of Ingushetia and North Osetia-Alania; an examination of the activities of the North Caucasus division of the General Prosecutor of the RF in these republics; an examination of all cases of illegal armed formations which were investigated in these republics in cases where it is asserted that suspects were tortured and pressured, and in these cases to reexamine these cases with consideration of the new circumstances; and to bring to responsibility those who have treated detainees and arrestees in an unlawful manner.

4.1.2. The practice of the temporary "disappearance" of detainees and arrestees must be ceased at once. In order to reduce the chances of torture and other unlawful methods of coercion being applied to detainees and arrestees, and also in order to provide for the lawful interests of their relatives, the General Prosecutor of the RF must inform relatives of detainees and arrestees as quickly as possible of the locations where the latter are being detained.

4.1.3. The leadership of the FSB, Interior Ministry, and Ministry of Defense must formulate normative documents regulating special operations35 and covering, in particular,

  • readable identification numbers on military vehicles,

  • government registration numbers on transport vehicles,

  • chest-mounted tags with readable identification numbers on persons conducting special operations,

  • when conducting a check and inspection of a household, the introduction of the senior member of the group, who should provide his name and rank to the owner of the household and present him with the relevant documents;

4.1.4. The leadership of the FSB, Interior Ministry, and Ministry of Defense must formulate normative documents for operationally deployed groups which regulate special operations for the detention of participants in illegal armed formations and those suspected of terrorist activity, which should cover:

  • the necessity of protecting the civilian population located on the territory where the special operation is conducted,

  • the necessity of applying the force and means commensurate to the threat,

  • the necessity of compensating the damage done by the operation.

The situation in Ingushetia merits the particular attention of:

4.1.5. — state human rights agencies: the apparatus of Plenipotentiary for Human Rights of the RF and the President of the RF's Council on the development of civil society and human rights;

4.1.6. — the President's representative in the southern federal region.

4.1.7. The highest executive authority of Ingushetia must approve a list of jury candidates for Ingushetia in order to guarantee the right of defendants to a fair trial.

Inasmuch as the problems discussed in this report (following the law in detention facilities during interrogation and investigation) concern not only Ingushetia but other regions of the Russian Federation as well, Memorial recommends:

4.1.8. — that the Interior Ministry and the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation cooperate with nongovernmental human rights organizations working to establish civilian control in detention facilities;

4.1.9. — that representatives of international humanitarian organizations, including the Red Cross, be given access to detention facilities in order to visit detainees under conditions acceptable to the organizations;

4.1.10. — that, in correspondence to the recommendation of the Red Cross, members of families of the disappeared be helped in their struggle for their right to know the fate of their relatives.

4.2. The situation in Ingushetia merits the particular attention of international intitutions of which the Russian Federation is a member, in particular the Council of Europe:

4.2.1. –in the analysis by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe of the situation in the armed conflict in the North Caucasus;

4.2.2. –in the monitoring by Council of Europe of Russia’s compliance with its obligations as a member of the organization;

4.2.3. –in the analysis of the problem of enforced disappearances by the Commission for Human Rights and Legal Issues;

4.2.4. –during inspections on the territory of the Russian Federation by the Commission for the Prevention of Torture of the Council of Europe. A special attention should be paid to detention facilities in Ingushetia and North Osetia such as the preliminary detainment facility in Vladikavkaz, the UBOP in Republic North Osetia-Alania and Ingushetia, the Ingush Interior Ministry, the Ingushetia municipal police department, and the Ingush branch of the FSB in the city Magas.

4.2.5. Memorial recommends that the European Court on Human Rights in Strasburg assign a high priority, according to Rule 41 of the Court's charter, to a review of the cases of people who have disappeared after their detention by law-enforcement agents of the Russian Federation and Ingushetia.

To the United Nations:

4.2.6. The situation in Ingushetia must be accounted for by special organs of the UN in reviewing the Russian Federation's reports of its compliance with a series of international agreements on human rights, in particular the Convention Forbidding Torture and the International Pact on Civil and Political Rights.

4.2.7. The staff of the UN special rapporteur for enforced disappearances should apply available urgent procedures in cases of people who have disappeared after being detained by members of Russian and Ingush law-enforcement agencies.

4.2.8. It is all the more obvious that official observers must be deployed to the zone of armed conflict in the North Caucasus to review cases of torture, extrajudicial executions, and the disappearance of people. In this context, they should give particular attention to events in Ingushetia.

List of Abbreviations
APC – Armed Personnel Carrier

GUVD – Municipal Department of Internal Affairs

UPOB – Department for Combat of Organized Crime

FSB – Federal Security Service

MVD –Ministry of Internal Affairs

OMON –Unit of Militia of Special Assignment

RSO-A – Republic of North Osetia-Alania

1 Fighters who oppose the federal and local security services in the North Caucasus

2 Area 36 000 square kilometers; population according to 2002 census 472 500, of these a little more than 300 000 are permanent residents, while the rest are forced migrants from the Chechen Republic (at the time of the census, about 150 000 people) and the suburban area of Northern Osetia

3 The large-scale Kavkaz-1 checkpoint is located on the administrative border of Ingushetia and Chechnya and is operated by federal authorities, including the FSB. No car traveling on the road into or out of Chechnya can pass without inspection.

4 The latest meeting of representatives of human rights organizations with the leadership of Chechnya's law-enforcement agencies. Similar meetings, organized on the findings of the Civic Forum (2001), took place in the village Znamenskaja and in Grozny from January to July 2002.

5 Incidentally, similarly bloody "additions" to the truth were not the exception. They were also to be found in Chechnya. For instance, around noon on 2 March, 2002, soldiers from the 34th brigade of the operation division of the internal forces of the Russian federation arrived in armored vehicles, seized and left in an unknown direction with four residents of the city Argun: Apti Bargaev, Beslan Bekhaev, Shamil Idrisov, and Alikhan Muzaev. According to relatives, three were sized in their homes, while Idrisov was taken at the neighboring intersection. Relatives immediately turned to the municipal administration with written statements, to the regional office of internal affairs and to the local military commandant's office, but were unable to learn anything about the fate of the abducted. Two days later, on 4 March, it was learned that there were four bodies in the courtyard of the commandant's office. They were the bodies of the abducted. Soldiers declared that the four were Chechen fighters who had, on the night of 3 to 4 March, attacked the 34th brigade and had been killed by return mortar fire. It was not only the discrepancy in the dates of abduction and the "battle" which discredited this explanation. First, the light shoes of the deceased — three in clogs and one in sandals — were not designed for running in darkness through the March mud. Second, their clothes are suspect: the thin jeans of one of the deceased were not meant for running, while his bright white t-shirt would have been too noticeable. The light shoes of all the deceased would have been appropriate for a sunny fall day, but absolutely unacceptable at night, when the temperature dropped below zero. Finally, in the last hours of life the deceased were tied up: on the wrists of each body were indications of chaining or binding while they were still alive. They were killed by bursts of submachine-gun fire in the back at point-blank range. However, in the reports of the 34th brigade of the operational division of internal forces, the men were named as Chechen fighters and were killed during a night attack.

6 Letter 2303, 29.11.2002

7 Khankala is a settlement near Grozy where the largest Russian military base in the Chechen Republic is situated.

8 The circumstances of this crime resemble the infamous matter of Ulman.

9 Magas is the capital of the Republic of Ingushetia.

10 The report was sent to General Prosecutor of the Russian Federation V.V. Ustinov, Director of the FSB of the Russian Federation N.P. Patrushev, and Head of the UFSB of Ingushetia S.B. Koryakov.

11 Rashid Ozdoev, Timur Yandiev, Rasukhan Evloev, and Ibragim Izmailov have also disappeared without a trace.

12 The Kavkaz-1 checkpoint is located immediately beyond the Ingush border post and is controlled by federal agencies, including the FSB. Every vehicle going into or out of Chechnya on that road is inspected.

13 Replies no. 15-5-04 from 21.06.04 to M.K. Medov and no. 15-167 o/e-045-04 to the appeal of Deputy M.D. Ozdoev.

14 Reply from Deputy General Prosecutor of the Russian Federation F.N. Fridinskii no. 40/2-2918-04 from 18.08.04 to the Commissioner of Human Rights in the Russian Federation V.P. Lukin.

15 According to reply no. 40/2-2918-04 on 18.08.04 from deputy general prosecutor S.N. Fridinskii to the Human Rights Commissioner of the RF, the order to release the FSB agents with the men they had detained came from acting Minister of the Interior of Ingushetia A.S. Kostoev (who died 21.06.04).

16 The Human Rights Commissioner of the RF received similar replies from deputy general prosecutor of the RF S.N. Fridinskii and from A.A. Bragina, first deputy head of the FSB of the RF's Service for Defense of the Constitutional Regime and Fight with Terrorism.

17 See complaint of Z.A. Medova to the General Prosecutor of the RF dated 15.09.04.

18 Various figures were put forward by various sources citing official law-enforcement agencies. In the course of one week, the local newspaper Ingushetia had the following: 90 dead, among them 62 agents of law-enforcement agencies, and 93 wounded (no. 83, 3 August, 2004, citing the RBK agency); 79 dead, among them 43 agents of law-enforcement agencies, and 105 wounded (no. 85, 5 August, 2004, citing and deputy general prosecutor S. Fridinskii); 91 killed, among them 23 civilians, and 88 wounded (no. 87, 10 August 2004, citing V. Pechkalov's article in the newspaper Izvestiya.)

19 Investigator Lapotnikov joined the ranks of the investigative group of the General Prosecutor of the RF tasked to the North Caucasus to carry out criminal investigation of the attack on Ingushetia which took place the night from 21 to 22 June, 2004.

20 Reply no. 34/1-1439 from 22 July, 2004.

21 The notion of an "emergency situation" is contained in the federal law "On the defense of the population and territories from emergency situations of a natural and man-made character". By this is understood "a situation on a certain territory which has arisen due to an accident, a dangerous natural phenomenon, a catastrophe, a natural disaster or other adversity which could result in or have resulted in human death, damage to health or the surrounding natural environment, significant material losses, or disturbance of people's living conditions".

22 The numerous signs of beating and torture found on Bekkhan's body are detailed in the report of the forensic medical examination.

23 Bashir's place of death was indicated in the Decree on the Confession of the Victim of his brother, Bekkhan Velkhiev, which was signed by investigator of the Nazran public prosecutor's ofrfice R.Yu. Albakov. According to the forensic medical examination, Bashir's death was caused by sharp cardiovascular collapse. Numerous signs of beating and torture were found on the corpse.

24 Department for combat of organized crime

25 Appointed by investigation according to article 51 of the Criminal Procedural Code of the RF

26 Decree on the appointment of forensic medical examination, 23 May 2005.

27 Svetlana Gannushkina, the head of the Migration and Rights network of Memorial, telephoned the intensive care unit of the hospital and spoke with Dr. Kokaev, the doctor on duty.

28 Reply no. 41-2/139-05, 22 June 05.

29 The Gorchkhanovs did no see any witnesses at the search. Moreover, the written record of the findings of the search was not given them to sign. This search cannot be considered lawful.

31 He took the case on 15 October, 2004.

32 Vainakh is an ethnonym for Chechens and Ingush

33 Petition to Prosecutor General of Ingushetia Kalimatov from attorney Tsoroev, 23 June, 2005

34 Record of Kholukhoev's questioning, 23 June, 2005

35 In relation to special operations conducted in the Chechen Republic, such a requirement was established by the order of the Commander of the Combined Forces V. Moltenskii no. 80, 2002.

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