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December 4th 2001 · Prague Watchdog/Ruslan Isayev · PRINTER FRIENDLY FORMAT · E-MAIL THIS · ALSO AVAILABLE IN: RUSSIAN 

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 their house.

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.

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