The Committee Against Torture has learnt about the resumption of criminal proceedings instigated in connection with Alikhan Akhmedov’s tortures by Chechen Special Police Task Force (OMON) officers.
On November 10, 2011 Joint Mobile Group lawyers received an application from Grozny resident Alikhan Akhmedov asking for a public investigation and legal assistance in connection with his beatings by officers of the Special Police Task Force under the Chechen Interior Ministry in November 2007.
Alikhan Akhmedov’s story is, unfortunately, the sad Chechen reality which local authorities are trying to ignore.
Since September 2004 Alikhan had been working as an operative criminal investigator at the Zavodskoy District Department of Internal Affairs of Grozny, dealing with grave and especially grave offenses. In November 2007, while investigating into the murder of R.S. Khatayev, squadron commander of the 1st Patrol and Point-Duty Police Service regiment under the Chechen Interior Ministry, he detained a certain Said-Emin Mazayev. Unluckily for Akhmedov and his colleague Imran Arsamerzuyev, he appeared to be an OMON officer and at the same time distant relative of the almighty Chechen OMON commander – Alikhan Tsakayev.
Further the situation developed in accordance with the standard scenario. Akhmedov and Arsamerzuyev were detained in a cafe with the use of violence and fire weapons, taken to the Chechen OMON base and subjected to tortures. In his explanation Akhmedov wrote: “Two OMON officers took me by the arms and dragged me to the trees. They tied my hands behind my back with a rope, put a cloth into my mouth. Then they hitched the rope over a bough and started pulling it so that I found myself hanging in the air. After that all OMON officers started beating me. The tortures were accompanied by curses and lasted around 3 hours. I fainted 3 or 4 times, they swilled me with cold water so that I regained consciousness. During the beatings one of the officers twice extinguished his cigarettes against my neck”.
In must be added that Alikhan Akhmedov and Imran Arsamerzuyev, as well as another colleague of theirs, were found guilty of Said-Emin Mirzayev’s abuse and given suspended sentence. As for the real victims, on October 11, 2008 senior investigator of the Leninsky Interdistrict Investigation Department Madayev suspended the pre-trial investigation into the allegations of Akhmedov’s and Arsamerzuyev’s ill-treatment by OMON officers on the grounds that all possible investigative steps had not led to identification of perpetrators.
However, on December 21, 2011 the JMG appealed against suspension of the pre-trial investigation to the deputy prosecutor general of the North-Caucasian Federal Territory, specifying that the Chechen Investigative Committee had not taken all required investigative steps under that case.
The investigation had not checked all the fact of the case, and namely, the victim’s statement that he had been kidnapped by the Chechen Special Police Task Force. Besides, the investigation had gathered a number of proofs of Akhmedov’s abduction and ill-treatment by the Chechen OMON at their base, however, in the opinion of the JMG, it intentionally evades identification of persons in charge of Akhmedov’s abduction and subsequent unlawful detention. At the same time, the mere fact of Akhmedov’s enforced taking to the OMON base with the use of violence is already an offense.
The Joint Mobile Group believes that the decision on resumption of the proceedings issued by Chechen law enforcers was impelled by the fact that attention of the Russian Prosecutor’s Office for the North-Caucasian Federal Territory had been drawn to the case.