Mop-up in Nazran-based Chechen NGO
Timur Aliyev, North Caucasus - On January 12, members of the Ingush branch of the Federal Security Service (FSB) carried out a “cleansing operation” (zachistka) at the Press Center of the Council of Non-governmental Organizations (SNO), an umbrella organization of Chechen NGOs, which is situated in a private apartment in Nazran, Ingushetia.
At around 2pm several men in camouflage and masks, armed with sub-machine guns and shields, broke into the Center’s premises on Nazran’s Moskovskaya Street. Making the male journalists lie down on the floor and the women stand against a wall, they began to insult them.
As they held the journalists at gunpoint, pending the arrival of an investigator, the FSB men checked and photographed the documents of the Center’s staff.
The person who arrived was dressed in civilian clothes and introduced himself as Kirill Shvedov, an investigator from the FSB Directorate for the Republic of Ingushetia. According to him, the “cleansing operation” in the Press Center was being carried out on the basis of intelligence which alleged that a group of bandits was located in this apartment.
After checking the documents, the FSB personnel took away two of the Press Center’s computers, also for checking.
SNO's Press Center publishes information about human rights violations concerning the Chechen Republic. It has been operating for about three years.