Murad Amriev is apprehended in the Republic of Belarus


08 June 2017

Applicant of the Committee for the Prevention of Torture, ММА Champion of the World according to the version of the World Mixed Martial Arts Federation Murad Amriev was apprehended again today around midnight. This time – by the officers of the Belarus border guard detachment of Dobrush city. According to the information of the duty border guard detachment, he will be kept at the border control point of Dobrush city till 12 a.m., and then escorted to Gomel. 

As we have previously reported, on 4 June 2017 Amriev was apprehended on the grounds that on 1 February 2017 he was put on the wanted list on a charge of committing a crime under part 3 of Article 327 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (“Using consciously forged documents”). It was Police Department No 3 for Grozny city that initiated putting Mr Amriev on the wanted list. By the way, Mr Amriev was already on the wanted list in 2013, but in 2014 he was removed from it. And he was on the list on the same grounds: a misprint in Amriev’s passport – wrong date of birth.
Human rights defenders suspect that there is a serious reason for such attention to the sportsman on the part of the Chechen law-enforcement officers. Mr Amriev is an applicant of the Committee for the Prevention of Torture: in 2013 he applied to human rights defenders from the Joint Mobile Group working in the Chechen Republic and complained about illegal apprehension and tortures by Chechen law-enforcement officers.

According to Murad, on August 25 his car was blocked by a black “Lada-Priora” in the center of the Chechen capital. Three men ran out, pushed Murad into their car with his T-shirt pulled over his face and drove him to the building of one of the Departments of Interior located nearby. According to Murad, there he was kept under detention in handcuffs for two days being severely beaten, humiliated, hung from the ceiling, and tortured with electricity. Murad states that one of his abductors was a high-ranking Chechen police official, who suspected Murad’s elder brother of an attempt to kill him. However, the elder Amriev has moved from Chechnya to Germany long ago, and now Chechen policemen find it difficult to reach him.

According to Amriev, two days later, the police officers brought Murad back home to his parents. Negotiations started. The Amrievs were told that if the elder brother does not come back, Murad will bear all the responsibility for the attempt to murder Dashaev in 2008. The next day Murad was requested to appear in the police department again. The young man did have serious grounds to fear for his life, so he decided not to go. Now he is receiving medical treatment outside the Republic of Chechnya, and then outside Russia. Amriev continued his career in sport abroad and became the Champion of the World according to the version of the World Mixed Martial Arts Federation. Alas, the potential Russian decorations fell into the hands of another country – Murad is still a citizen of the Russian Federation. That is the reason why he had to go to Moscow in order to get all the paperwork done for his visa. But he could make it only till the Bryansk region, where he was put to the temporary detention cell.
On 6 June after 48-hours period under guard, Murad Amriev went to the building of the transport prosecutor’s office together with his lawyer Petr Zaikin. The events that followed are described by lawyer of the Committee for the Prevention of Torture Anastasia Garina: 

“There the police officers intended to question Murad with regard to the evidence that he had provided before: after his apprehension he wrote full confession, stating that he allegedly insulted the police officer who was apprehending him. I.e., he committed a crime under Article 319 of the Criminal Code of the RF. As far as I know, they proposed Murad to do this in order to keep him assigned with the investigator in Bryansk and, accordingly, avoid escorting him to Chechnya till the completion of the investigation. Criminal case under Article 319 was not initiated against him – so far it was only the acknowledgement of guilt.

The investigator who was supposed to conduct the questioning, was not at his workplace. Instead, there was a Special Police Force squad in full ammunition (body armours, masks, helmets, machine guns), and a silvery Lada Priora. Its passengers were inside: the staircase was blocked by two Chechen investigators who informed that they would not let Murad out because they had a “directive”. What kind of directive was that and who they were, was open for guessing, since they refused to show any kind of documents. However, it was not too difficult to guess: Murad identified one of them as person who tortured him in 2013.

There was a terrible mess in the Prosecutor’s Office. And, in essence, Murad simply used it in order to leave the building. He waited till the Chechen investigators went away due to the arrival of the investigator, and simply went out through the main entrance. As he was released from custody he had the right to do so, but he did not have the possibility. And in the end he found this possibility.   .

After that the events are described according to the taxi driver, who was waiting for us outside and who saw Murad “flee”. Murad ran out of the building and rushed to his friend’s car. The cordoning Special Police Force officers ran after him. Murad pulled the car door handle, it was shut. “Open! Open!” – Murad shouted and banged against the window. From the back one of his relatives shouted to Special Police Force officers: “Guys, what are you doing? These are our folks!” and the Special Police Force officers meddled for a couple of seconds. As a result, this hold-up was enough to open the door and Murad jumped in and the car went away at a high speed. The Special Police Force officers tried to aim at the wheels, but did not shoot and Murad left”.

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