People from Avtury protest against 'mopping-up operation'
Ruslan Isayev, North Caucasus - On Monday Russian forces removed their
four-day seal-off of villages Avtury, Serzhen-Yurt, Mesker-Yurt,
Germenchuk and Novye Atagi in the Shali district. Taking opportunity of
going out of their settlement, about 400 Avtury villagers have set off
to stage a protest rally against Russian soldiers' abuses, blocking the
road between Avtury and Kurchaloi. The protesters demanded the release
of the people illegally detained in their village.
On December 2 Russian soldiers conducted a ‾mopping-up operation" in
Avtury, detaining some 60 villagers and taking them to an unknown place.
70-year-old Badruddi Khizriev, his three sons and his sister were among
them. Brothers Bilal and Abdulbek Abdulvakhabovs were also taken from
As Avtury villagers claim, a number of human rights abuses occurred
during the ‾mopping-up operation" in their village. A member of the
Memorial human rights centre reported no identity checks took place in
Avtury. Instead, the soldiers carried out searches in local houses,
cellars and farm buildings, shouting, threatening and demanding money.