The Chairman of the Interregional NGO «Committee Against Torture» and a member of the Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights, together with a team of lawyers, started a public investigation into situation of Ruslan Kutaev, a Chechen public figure who is reported to have been beaten by the police. The police has also allegedly planted drugs on him.
Igor Kalyapin: «Yesterday, after some technical problems, I at least managed to meet with Ruslan Kutaev and to look at him. It turned out that the appointment was possible only together with the Vice-Minister of the Interior of the Chechen Republic Apti Alautdinov. General Alautdinov is a very interesting person. I would prefer to have a separate appointment with him, but the choice was not mine. Our examination revealed large bruises on Mr Kutaev’s shoulder and leg, but no injuries that could have been dangerous for his life. Answering to our questions about the injuries, he stressed that he had fallen down BEFORE THE DETENTION. It would have been naïve to expect a different answer before Mr Alautdinov and the head of the police department, so I didn’t put any awkward questions. During subsequent conversation with Mr Alautdinov my sincere efforts to put the information from the case file logically together with the general’s explanations led to nothing. The whole situation resembles a sort of a puzzle, and its elements obviously don’t match.
Here are the facts:
On 18 February a scientific historical conference took place in Grozny Central Library . The event was dedicated to the 70-th anniversary of Chechen – Ingush deportation. Chechen WW2 veterans, members of the Chechen Parliament and scientists participated in the conference. The Deportation date (February 23) has been for many years annually commemorated in Chechnya, but this year it for some reason appeared under a ban.
On 19 February the almighty head of Kadyrov’s executive office Magomed Daudov, well-known in the Chechen Republic under his alias – call signal «Lord», called several hosts of the conference on the carpet. Mr Kutaev as well received this request, but refused to go. He relied on the irrefutable fact that he was not Lord’s subordinate.
On 20 February Ruslan Kutaev called me and informed about the talk with Mr Daudov. He supposed he could be arrested. Two hours later he was apprehended at his relatives’ place in Gekhi town. The servicemen provided explanations neither on charges, nor on where they were taking the man. During the whole day relatives knew nothing about his whereabouts.
On 21 February we found out that Ruslan Kutaev was being kept under detention in the temporary isolation ward of Urus-Martan Department of the Interior. Officials maintained that he had been arrested for 3 grams of heroin found with him DURING THE ARREST.
This is the official information.
Thus, according to this account of events, after the unfriendly talk with Daudov, who possesses practically unlimited authority in the Republic, realizing that they could be going to arrest him, Ruslan Kutaev placed into his pocket quite a lot of drug (evidently, to take pleasure in it under detention). Then, police officers, who had somehow learned about his weird habit of carrying a pack of drugs in the pocket, arrived to arrest him and took him into their car right in his house slippers, without even searching his pockets. There is a search and seizure record in the file, which states that the drug had been found and seized in the backyard. There is also Mr Kutaev’s absurd confession statement saying the he had found a pack with drugs and “absentmindedly placed it in his pocket.” Another coincidence was large bruises that had not been seen in the morning. Can you believe this absurd? I can’t.
Here is my version.
According to my conclusions, Mr Kutaev never had any drug with him. They didn’t even bother to plant it. They just apprehended him and brought to the police department, where he was beaten and placed into a cell. Then they just falsified the record stating that the drug had been found and seized. I can not assert that this the true account of events, but it is the most logical one, and it explains all the discrepancies in the simplest way.
The Joint Mobile Group of the Interregional NGO «Committee Against Torture» has opened a public investigation into this strange situation. Our experienced lawyers observe signs of torture and planting evidence in order to fabricate a criminal criminal case against a public figure. The investigation is to establish who subjected Mr Kutaev to ill-treatment, who falsified the drug seizure record, and other important circumstances. Ruslan Kutaev’s interests are now represented by experienced professional practicing lawyers. On 24 February an appeal against the numerous violations of federal laws during his arrest has been lodged with the Supreme Court of the Chechen Republic The conclusions of the investigation will be submitted to the Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights, Human Rights Ombudsperson and competent law enforcement authorities».