For the 17th time the Investigative Committee resumes the check based on MMA wrestler Murad Amriev complaint against torture in the Chechen police

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30 October 2018

After over a year, the Investigative Committee resumes the check based on Murad Amriev complaint against tortures in Grozny police for the seventeenth time – before that all the seventeenth rulings to dismiss the criminal case were declared illegal, however, no one was brought to disciplinary action for years-long red tape.

As we have previously reported, in 2013 Murad Amriyev applied to Joint Mobile Group of human rights defenders working in the Chechen Republic (JMG), for legal assistance, and complained of apprehension and tortures by Chechen law-enforcement officers.

According to Murad, on 25 August 2013 his car was car was blocked by a black “Lada-Priora” in the center of Grozny. Three men ran out, pushed Murad into their car with his T-shirt pulled over his face and drove him to nearby Department of the Interior. Mr Amriev asserts that for two days he was kept there handcuffed: police officers were beating him up, torturing him with electricity and hanging him up to the ceiling and humiliated him. According to Murad, one of the kidnappers was a high-ranking Chechen police officer who suspected his elder brother of attempt on his life. But it was impossible to get to his brother as he moved to Germany.

According to Amriev, two days after, when the police officers brought him to his parents for “negotiations”: the Amriev family was told that if the elder brother does not return to Chechnya, Murad will have to take full responsibility. The next day he was told to come to police. Due to fear for his life he had to leave Chechnya, and then Russia.
Mr Amriev continued his sports career abroad and became MMA World Champion according to World Mixed Martial Arts Federation.

On 28 August 2013, before leaving Chechnya, Murad applied to the Grozny hospital, where he was registered with bodily injuries: bruises on the head, body, upper and lower limbs.

On 5 September 2013, Amriev applied with a crime report to the Investigative Committee. Since that time the investigators issued seventeen «refusals» were issued in relation to this case, which were subsequently quashed as illegal.

Last “refusal” was issued over a year ago – on 29 August 2017. Lawyers with the Committee Against Torture, representing the interests of Amriev, attempted to insist on quashing this ruling of the investigator, having appealed against it to Head of the First Department for Major Cases Investigation of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation for the Chechen Republic Aleksandr Kargalev. However, at first, his deputy, and later on Kargalev himself declared the investigator’s refusal to be legal.

Then the human rights defenders applied with a complaint directly to the Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation for the Chechen Republic. As a result, on 3 October of this year, Deputy Head of the Department Igor Sobol satisfied the complaint of Amriev’s representatives and declared the investigator’s refusal to initiate criminal proceedings based on Murad’s complaint as well as the refusals of the superiors of the department to satisfy previous complaints of human rights defenders to be illegal – today lawyers with the Committee Against Torture received a copy of this ruling by Mr.Sobol.

“It is evident that if for five years so many illegal rulings are issued, it can be declared that it has become a usual practice. With regard to this, we don’t expect any results from another check of Murad Amriev’s complaint against torture. For seventeen times now the investigators demonstrated their stance, expressed in either reluctance of inability to efficiently investigate such incidents, – lawyer with the Committee Against Torture Albert Kuznetsov commented. – We don’t see any pre-requisites that anything changes on the eighteenth time. However, after each illegal ruling we think it’s necessary to raise the issue on imposing disciplinary action on the Investigative Committee officers in order to fight this practice, that is why we will be putting forward a motion to punish the investigators and their superiors who committed red tape”.