Open letter of Chairman of the “Committee for the Prevention of Torture”, Member of the Council for Civil Rights and Freedoms Development Igor Kalyapin to General Prosecutor of Russia Yury Chaika
Dear Yury Yakovlevich!
Interregional Non-governmental organization “The Committee for the Prevention of Torture” is a human rights protection organization, the objective of which is to perform the public oversight of the situation related to the problem of spread of the practice of applying torture and brutal treatment in Russia, as well as providing legal and medical assistance to torture victims. .
INGO “The Committee for the Prevention of Torture” conducts its activity on the territory of Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod and Orenburg regions, the Republics of Bashkortostan, Mari El, the Chechen Republic.
Lawyers with the Committee for the Prevention of Torture (hereinafter – the Committee) are conducting public investigation based on citizens’ complaints concerning tortures happened in the listed regions of Russia. In the framework of their activity the lawyers of the Committee represent lawful interests of these citizens who reported the crimes or who are declared victims in the criminal cases.
For example, in the course of work in the territory of the Chechen Republic lawyers with the Committee established that on 25 August 2013 Murad Sulumbekovich Amriev was abducted in Talanskaya street of Grozny at about 11 p.m. His whereabouts remained unknown for two days.
On 27 August at about 3 p.m. Murad was taken home by Deputy Head of the Department of the Interior for Grozny Magomed Dashayev. As it was revealed afterwards, Amriev’s abduction was organized by Dashayev himself together with his subordinates of the Criminal Investigations Department of the Department of the Ministry of the Interior of Russia for Grozny. Murad was subjected to tortures, insults and violation of human dignity by the police officers; his execution was staged twice. He was demanded to confess of crimes committed by him and his brother, in particular, of his involvement in alleged attempt on the life of M.Dashayev himself.
The material of pre-investigation check No. 215пр-13 is in the proceeding of the executives of the first department on major crimes of the Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee of the Chechen Republic. Refusals to initiate criminal proceedings have been repeatedly issued with regard to the material, and they were subsequently quashed.
On 7 November 2013 M.S.Amriev was questioned in the office room of the Zavodsky Interdistrict Investigation Department of Grozny of the Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation for the Chechen Republic at Garazhnaya street, 9, with regard to the crime committed against him. During this questioning Mr Amriev showed his passport issued on 13 October 2006 to Captain of Justice M.Tulshayev. In the course of Mr Amriev’s questioning the investigator added the passport data to the explanation form.
Due to concerns about his life and health, after the questioning on 7 November 2013 for the sake of his safety Murad Amriev left the borders of the Russian Federation.
Some time later the fact of showing the passport to the investigator during the questioning with relation to the violence applied against M.S.Amriev by the officers of the Ministry of the Interior of Russia for Grozny became the grounds for initiating criminal proceedings against Amriev.
So, on 30 November 2013 criminal case with relation to crime under part 3 Article 327 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (“using a document known to be forged”) was initiated against Murad Sulumbekovich Amriev, born in 1986.
On 1 February 2017 M.S.Amriev was added to the federal wanted list by resolution of inquiry officer R.Okuyev. At the present time this resolution has been appealed against by M.S.Amriev’s representatives in court.
I ask to pay attention to the fact that on 30 Novmber 2015 lawyers with INGO “The Committee for the Prevention of Torture” submitted a complaint to the European Court of Human Rights in the interests of applicant M.S.Amriev with regard to violation of Articles 3, 5, 13 of the European Convention “On Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms”.
On 4 June 2017 at Suzemka railroad station in the Bryansk region M.S.Amriev was apprehended by the border patrol officers. In my opinion, this action does not comply with the law. The report of M.S.Amriev’s detention under items 91, 92, 210 of the Criminal Procedural Code of the RF was drawn up by investigator of the Investigative Department of the Bryansk Line Department of the Ministry of Interior of Russia in transport Captain of Justice I.S.Kurpatov. The apprehension was grounded by the fact that a criminal case was initiated against Amriev by the inquiry officer of the Police Department No.3 of the Department of the Ministry of Interior of Russia for Grozny with regard to the crime under part 3 of Article 327 of the Criminal Code of Russia – “using the document known to be forged”. Amriev’s detention report is drawn up on the basis of Article 91 of the Criminal Procedural Code of the RF, where it is stated that: “investigative authority, inquiry officer or investigator have a right to apprehend a person on suspicion of a crime which can be punished with jail time”.
I would like you to pay attention to the fact that the punishment provided for committing a crime under part 3 of Article 327 of the Russian Criminal Procedural Code does not provide for imprisonment, and consequently, Amriev cannot be detained with regard to article 91 of the Criminal Procedural code of Russia.
From 4 to 6 June 2017 M.S.Amriev was kept in a temporary detention cell of the Department of Interior of Russia for Bryansk. According to investigator of the Investigative Department of the Bryansk Line Department of the Ministry of Interior of Russia in transport Ivan Sergeevich Kurpatov, who was in charge of this business, the applicant was about to be escorted to Grozny under the guard of the Chechen police officers who were about to arrive. I.S.Kurpatov also informed lawyer P.I.Zaikin, working with “The Committee for the Prevention of Torture” (see Attachment No.3) that he himself apprehended the applicant in accordance with Article 91 of the Criminal Procedural Code of the RF.
The apprehension was conducted on the grounds that on 1 February 2017 the applicant was added to the wanted list by law-enforcement officers of the Chechen Republic on a charge of having committed a crime under part 3 of Article 327 of the Criminal Code of the RF (“Using the document known to be forged”). According to the available information, it was Police Department No.3 of the Department of the Interior for Grozny that put out a search for Amriev. I would like to point your attention to the fact that, as we have mentioned previously, it is important that Amriev had been already put on the federal wanted list in 2013 on the same grounds, but in 2014 he was officially removed from the wanted list.
On 6 June 2017 in 10 hours 15 minutes the period of detention of M.S.Amriev was over and he was sent to transport prosecutor’s office of Bryansk in order to provide explanations to the investigator under Article 319 of the Criminal Code of the RF: Amriev, having concerns about being escorted to the Chechen Republic, had to incriminate himself upon the advice of his lawyer in Bryansk in order to stay on the territory of the Bryansk region.
Officially, after the period of detention at the Temporary Isolation Cell was over, i.e. after 48 hours identified by the Russian legislation, Amriev was a free man. He left the building of the transport prosecutor’s office in Bryansk without any hindrance, then he sat in the car of his friends and left the town.
On 7 June 2017 M.S.Amriev was apprehended at about midnight by the officers of the Belarus border patrol of Dobrush town.
After about a day, on 8 June 2017 M.S.Amriev was escorted by the armed guard to the Ministry of the Interior of Gomel, the Republic of Belarus.
On 9 June 2017 at about 3 a.m. Amriev was turned over to representatives of FSB and the MVD (Ministry of the Interior) of the RF. This happened during the night on the border between Russia and Belarus.
On 9 June 2017 at 12 hours 33 minutes on the website of the internet-portal of the Ministry of the Interior for the Chechen Republic there appeared a piece of news “Murad Amriev is turned over to the investigators of the Ministry of the Interior for the Chechen Republic”.
According to the text published on the website, “at the present time Murad Amriev, who is put on the federal wanted list and apprehended on the border of the Republic of Belarus is turned over to the investigators of the Ministry of the Interior for the Chechen Republic for his escorting to the initiator of his search to the Chechen Republic and providing evidence. Murad Amriev is apprehended as a suspect in the criminal case initiated under part 3 Article 327 of the Criminal Code of the RF (using the document known to be forged). At the present time M.Amriev is on the way to the Republic, accompanied by the investigative officers”.
We have sufficient grounds to suggest that escorting Amriev to the Chechen Republic endangers his life and health and he may become a hostage in the hands of the local police officers. Amriev is the applicant of the Committee for the Prevention of Torture, in 2013 he complained about illegal detention and tortures applied to him by the Chechen law-enforcement officers, due to that he submitted a crime report to the Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee for the Chechen Republic. However, in the period from 2013 to 2017 investigators issued 16 refusals to initiate criminal proceedings which were subsequently declared illegal by the court and quashed. Due to impossibility to achieve the effective investigation with regard to his complaint, Amriev submitted a complaint to the European Court of Human Rights in 2015. We are convinced that repeated putting Amriev on the federal wanted list is motivated with personal revenge of the Chechen law-enforcement officers due to clear and consistent stance of Amriev with regard to his allegations concerning human rights violations, as well as with his intention to return to the Chechen Republic and to live without fear of revenge by M.Dashayev. Also, based on Amriev’s relatives testimonies which were sent to court in the initial complaint, back in 2013 Deputy Head of the Department of the Ministry of the Interior of Russia for Grozny Magomed Dashaev vowed blood vengeance against Amriev according to the “Chechen traditions”.
On 5 June 2017 human rights defenders submitted an urgent application to the European Court of Human Rights asking to take a decision on injunctive remedies with relation to the case of the applicant based on the fact that his apprehension and escorting to the Chechen Republic without a guarantee of his protection against the subsequent acts of violence may lead to irreversible consequences, such as torture or murder.
I would also like to add that according to part 2 of Article 33 of the Federal Law “On the Prosecutor’s Office of the Russian Federation” dated 17 January 1992 No 22020-I: “The Prosecutor or his deputy are obliged to immediately issue a resolution in order to release from custody who are kept in detention without legal grounds in penal institutions or who was illegally apprehended, preliminary detained or put into the judicial and psychiatric facility”. Hence there arises a grounded supposition that the Prosecutor of the Bryansk region was acting in violation of the above-mentioned Federal law, since he actually failed to react to detention of M.S.Amriev and to take any measures for his release, as he was a person illegally subjected to apprehension.
According to part 1 of Article 8 of the Federal law “On the Prosecutor’s Office of the Russian Federation” dated 17 January 1992 No 2202-1, the General Prosecutor of the Russian Federation and his subordinate prosecutors coordinate the activity on fighting the crime in the internal affairs bodies, federal security service bodies, customs service bodies and other law-enforcement agencies. According to part 1 of Article 17 of the Law: “The General Prosecutor of the Russian Federation governs the system of the Prosecutor’s Office of the Russian federation, issues orders, mandatory for execution by all the officers of the bodies and organizations, as well as instructions, guidelines, regulating the issues of organization of the Russian Federation Prosecutor’s Office activity and the procedure of implementing the measures of material and social support of the mentioned employees».
According to part 4 of Article 17 of the Law: “The General Prosecutor of the Russian Federation bears responsibility for execution of the tasks which the prosecutor’s office bodies are entitled with by current Federal law”. According to part 1 of Article 26 of the Law: “The subject of the Prosecutor’s Supervision is observance of human and civil rights and freedoms by the federal executive bodies, the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation, representative (and legislative) bodies of the subjects of the Russian Federation, local self-governing bodies, military governance bodies, control bodies, their executives, subjects of civil supervision of the observance of human rights at the detention facilities, as well as by the governance bodies and executive officers of commercial and non-commercial organizations”.
At the present time there are grounds for concerns that violations of rights and freedoms of M.S.Amriev by the officers of the Ministry of the Interior for the Chechen Republic will continue. In addition, I would like to point your attention to the fact that repeated apprehension of M.S.Amriev and his escorting by by the officers of the Ministry of the Interior for the Chechen Republic is illegal. Due to the fact that the process of Amriev’s escorting is performed via the territory of several regions of the Russian Federation (the Bryansk region, the Chechen Republic, the Kursk region, the Belgorod region, Krasnodar Territory, Astrakhan region, etc.), the violation of Amriev’s rights is, accordingly, happening on the territory of several regions. In my opinion, it is impossible for executives of the prosecutor’s bodies to timely react to the actions of the officers of the Ministry of the Interior for the Chechen Republic who were escorting Amriev, due to the shortness of the escorting process. Due to that, in order to immediately stop illegal activities and restore the violated rights of M.S.Amriev, I think that your involvement in the situation in the capacity of the General Prosecutor of the Russian Federation is necessary.
9 June 2017
Chairman of INGO “The Committee for the Prevention of Torture”, Member of Council on Civil Society and Human Rights under the President of Russia