Yesterday, on 7 October 2018, in the house of journalists in Moscow a press-conference was held dedicated to the investigation of the murder case of the Gasangusenov brothers in Dagestan two years ago. Father of the murdered brothers, Murtaazali Gasangusenov, representative of non-governmental organization “Justice and Law” Jambulat Gasanov, lawyer with human rights center “Memorial” Murad Magomedov and lawyer with the Committee Against Torture Abubakar Yangulbayev took part in the press-conference.
Eighteen-year old Gasangusein and seventeen-year old Nabi Gasangusenov were shot by unknown people on 23 August 2016 not far from their Goor-Khindakh settlement of the Shamilsky District of the Republic of Dagestan. Their father, Murtaazali Gasangusenov, applied to the Committee Against Torture in July of this year. He thinks that law-enforcement officers may be involved in his sons’ death. Murtaazali asked human rights defenders to become his representatives in the criminal case with regard to his sons’ murder, since the official investigation, conducted at the local level, raises more questions than provides answers.
At the present moment the circumstances of the murder of the Gasangusenov brothers are being investigated in the framework of four criminal cases. The first case was initiated against the murdered shepherds themselves, with regard to the fact of attacking the police officers. Operational report stating that roughly in the same area and at the same time a group of militants was eliminated became the grounds for its initiation. Investigation of this attack lasted over a year, however, the investigation failed to identify which police officers were attacked exactly. As a result, the case was dismissed for absence of a criminal act.
Only after dismissal of this criminal case, the case on the fact of murder of the Gasangusenov brothers was initiated – over a year after the tragedy. Despite the available operational report, the version about the police officers involvement is not regarded by the investigators as a priority, and the report itself was declared a forgery after the case on the attack was dismissed.
The third criminal case on negligence and forgery by an official was initiated with regard to former head of the local police Ibragim Aliyev.
The fourth criminal case was initiated with regard to the theft of a mobile phone of one of the brothers. After the bodies were found and the scene of the accident was inspected, it turned out that Nabi Gasangusenov did not have his mobile phone on him, despite the fact that immediately before his murder he called his parents and told them they were coming home. After several hours his phone was tracked in Buynaksk. Despite the fact that the criminal case with regard to theft of his phone may directly lead to his murderers or important witnesses of the murder, this case was severed and subsequently dismissed by the local police with no results.
“Right after Murtazaali applied to us in the framework of the public investigation, we conducted a series of activities on location in order to search and collect information. We managed to acquire some new data, which the investigation does not have so far. We are still continuing the public investigation, but upon its completion we will be requesting to attach to the criminal case all the new materials that we obtained, – lawyer with the Committee Against Torture Abubakar Yangulayev said at the press-conference. – Now we are insisting on joining all the criminal cases related to the murder of the Gasangusenov brothers and on transferring them for investigation beyond the Republic of Dagestan. For two years passed from the time of murder, local investigators failed to perform an effective investigation”.