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CHECHNYA LINKS LIBRARY

October 19th 2001 · Prague Watchdog / Ruslan Isayev · PRINTER FRIENDLY FORMAT · E-MAIL THIS · ALSO AVAILABLE IN: RUSSIAN 

Chechnya - a territory of lawlessness and despair

Ruslan Isayev, North Caucasus – People in Chechnya, especially those living in the foothills and mountains, claim that their living conditions have recently become desperate. People are not only scared to go to their fields or woods to pick brushwood but also hardly leave their houses at all as Russian soldiers and other military forces gratuitously detain people right on the streets. The detained often disappear without any trace or are found dead along roads and around villages.

A few days ago, Russian soldiers detained two brothers, Nokha and Bislan Zukhairayev, in the village of Serzhen-Yurt, southeast of the capital Grozny. About two hundred villagers came to the district military commandment in Shali to ask for immediate release of both men. The commander promised to see to the matter but did not free anyone.

On October 1, Russian servicemen attacked Khamzat (20) and Imran (25) Bolatkhanov near the Betti-Mokhk settlement in eastern Chechnya. An eyewitness of the attack reported that the soldiers have beaten the youths up and dragged them to the neighbouring woods. On the next day, the bodies of both young men, bearing traces of torture (cut ears, crushed arms and legs, numerous cuts and incisions), were discovered near the place of their detention. A few days after the bodies had been buried, representatives of the local commandment and military attorney arrived at the place, exhumed the bodies and promised to “investigate the case and punish the perpetrators of the crime.” No reports concerning the results of the investigation have been released.

On October 5, federal soldiers detained schoolboy Ibragim Abubakarov during one of the “mopping-up” operations in the village of Dubay-Yurt, southeast of Grozny. The boy’s relatives claim soldiers coming to their house fobbed drugs in the yard. Except Ibragim, all the detained villagers have already been freed. Nobody knows what has happened to the boy.

In the district town Sali, southeast of Grozny, Russian servicemen killed Ramnat Usmanova (35), a pregnant mother of four children. When Usmanova was being transported to a maternity hospital, the car was stopped at a checkpoint where Russian soldiers checked documents and then allowed the driver to proceed. But when the car was about one hundred meters away from the checkpoint, the soldiers suddenly started to fire against it, which claimed the life of the pregnant woman.

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