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Russian Federation (Chechen Republic): Fear of torture or ill-treatment /arbitrary arrest / incommunicado detention

, رقم الوثيقة: EUR 46/018/2000

Four Chechen civilians: Visita Vakhidovich Arsanukayev, Vakha Alievich Titayev, Maerbek Didayev, and Valid Alievich Arsamerzoyev, are all thought to be detained incommunicado in "filtration camps", where they are at great risk of torture or ill-treatment. Their state of health and whereabouts are unknown.

PUBLIC AI Index: EUR 46/18/00
UA 68/00 Fear of torture or ill-treatment / Arbitrary arrest / Incommunicado detention 23 March 2000
RUSSIAN FEDERATION: CHECHEN REPUBLIC
Visita Vakhidovich Arsanukayev, 29
Vakha Alievich Titayev, 39
Maerbek Didayev, 42
Valid Alievich Arsamerzoyev, 40
The four Chechen civilians named above are thought to be detained incommunicado
in "filtration camps", where they are at great risk of torture or ill-treatment.
According to information available to Amnesty International, the four men were
arrested by Russian forces on 13 January, at the Russian checkpoint in the
Chechen village of Duba-Yurt. According to Ruslan Titayev, the brother of Vakha
Alievich Titayev, they were taken to the “filtration camp” in the Chechen village
of Chernokozovo. Ruslan Titayev, who lives in Moscow, went to Chernokozovo
on 28 February after the Russian forces promised him that he could bail the
four out for US$10,000. Ruslan Titayev reportedly paid the money, but the
Chernokozovo prison authorities later told him that the four had already been
moved to somewhere else. Their whereabouts and state of health are now unknown.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Russian forces are reported to be constantly detaining people in Chechnya at
checkpoints and in the territories under their control, either during so-called
“cleansing operations” in newly-occupied towns or during identity checks on
civilian convoys travelling from Chechnya to neighbouring Ingushetia. People
are most often detained for not having proper registration and a residence
permit, or on suspicion of belonging to armed Chechen groups. Women are also
detained on suspicion of being related to Chechen fighters. Although the Russian
forces claimed to have rescinded the order announced on 11 January 2000 which
allowed them to detain any Chechen male aged between 10 and 65 on suspicion
of being a fighter, witnesses claim that children as young as 10 continue to
be detained during “filtration”.
People detained by Russian forces are then sent to various secret “filtration
camps”. These camps are now reported to include the pre-trial detention centre
(SIZO) known as the “White Swan”, (Beliy Lebed) in the city of Pyatigorsk,
in Russia’s Stavropol Territory; the SIZO in the city of Stavropol; a makeshift
detention facility in a school in the Chechen town of Urus-Martan; and other
makeshift camps in various locations, including a fruit warehouse in the Chechen
village of Tolstoy-Yurt, three train carriages parked in the Chechen village
of Kadyr-Yurt, a poultry processing plant and the basement of the “Chekhkar”
café in the Chechen village of Chiri-Yurt. Other "filtration camps" are reported
to be in Chernokozovo, in the towns of Mozdok and Grigorievsk in Stavropol
Territory, and in the Chechen capital, Grozny.
Amnesty International has the names of 31 people known to be currently detained
in the train carriages at Kadyr-Yurt, who were transferred from the Chernokozovo
"filtration camp", and the names of a further 30 men and women allegedly
transferred from Chernokozovo to the train carriages and from there to the
prison hospital at the SIZO in Pyatigorsk. One of this second group, Movladi
Idrisov, reportedly died after he was moved to the Pyatigorsk prison hospital.
Amnesty International is concerned that people arbitrarily detained in such
camps, without access to their relatives, lawyers, or the outside world, are
especially at risk of torture and ill-treatment. Former detainees at the
Chernokozovo camp gave testimonies that have recently come to light, alleging
that they were tortured and ill-treated in the camp. Amnesty International
has documented reports of the following methods of torture being used in
“filtration camps” during the current conflict: rape of men and women detainees,
electric shocks, beatings with hammers and sticks, tear gas, sawing off the
detainee’s teeth, and beating detainees so that their ear-drums burst.
2
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/faxes/express/airmail letters in
Russian if at all possible, otherwise in your own language:
- urging the Russian government to immediately make public the whereabouts
and state of health of Visita Vakhidovich Arsanukayev, Vakha Alievich Titayev,
Maerbek Didayev and Valid Alievich Arsamerzoyev, and to explain the legal basis
for their arrest and detention;
- urging the authorities to grant them immediate access to their families,
lawyers of their own choice and appropriate medical care;
- asking the authorities to release them, unless they are officially charged
with a recognizably criminal offence;
- asking the authorities to initiate an investigation into their reported
incommunicado detention and for those responsible to be brought to justice;
-urging the Russian government immediately to make public the names,
whereabouts, current state of health and the charges brought against everyone
detained in the various "filtration camps" - please list the locations of the
"filtration camps" named above in your appeals.
APPEALS TO:
Acting President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir PUTIN
Rossiyskaya Federatsiya, g. Moskva, Kreml
I.o. Prezidenta Rossiyskoy Federatsii, Russian Federation
Telegrams: PUTINU V., Kreml, Moskva, Russia
Faxes: + 7 095 206 6277
Salutation: Dear Acting President
Director General of the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation
Nikolay PATRUSHEV, Rossiyskaya Federatsiya, 101000 g. Moskva
Bolshaya Lubyanka 1/3
Federalnaya Sluzhba bezopasnosti Rossiyskoy Federatsii, Russian Federation
Telegrams: Generalnomu direktoru FSB, PATRUSHEVU N., Moskva, Russia
Faxes: + 7 095 975 2470
Salutation: Dear Director General
Acting Procurator General of the Russian Federation, Vladimir USTINOV
Rossiyskaya Federatsiya, 103793 g. Moskva K-31
Ul. B. Dimitrovka, d15a, Generalnaya Prokuratura Rossiyskoy Federatsii
Russian Federation
Telegrams: I.o. Generalnogo prokurora, USTINOVU V., Moskva, Russia
Faxes: + 7 095 292 88 48
Salutation: Dear Acting Procurator General
COPIES TO:
Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation, Igor Ivanov
Rossiyskaya Federatsiya, g. Moskva 121200, Smolenskaya-Sennaya pl., 32/34
Ministerstvo inostrannykh del RF, Ministru IVANOVU I., Russian Federation
Faxes: + 7095 230 21 30
and to diplomatic representatives of the Russian Federation accredited to your
country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 4 May 2000.

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