The applicant of the Committee for the Prevention of Torture is in danger


05 June 2017

Yesterday, on 4 June 2017, at the railway station Suzemka of the Bryansk region applicant of the Committee for the Prevention of Torture, ММА Champion of the World according to the World Mixed Martial Arts Federation Murad Amriev was apprehended. Human rights defenders think that this apprehension is illegal and are concerned that his forthcoming escort to Chechnya may endanger life and health of Murad. 

(Murad Amriev)

At the present time Mr Amriev is kept at the temporary detention cell of the Department of the Ministry of Interior of Russia for Bryansk. He 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”). According to the available information, 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. According to the investigator of the Bryansk line department of the Ministry of the Interior of Russia in transport, now Murad is waiting for being escorted to Grozny under guard of the Chechen police officers who are going to arrive soon. 

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. 

Human rights defenders think that the repeated putting Murad Amriev on the wanted list is motivated with personal revenge of the Chechen law-enforcement officers with regard to determined and consistent stance of Murad. According to lawyer with the Committee for the Prevention of Torture Sergey Babinets, legally Amriev could not be apprehended and taken to the temporary isolation cell, since part 3 of Article 327 of the Criminal Code of Russia does not provide for restraint of liberty, and thus actions of investigator of the Bryansk Line Internal Affairs Department in transport are illegal. 

Human rights defenders have sufficient grounds to think that escorting Amriev to the Chechen Republic threatens his life and health and he could become a hostage in the hands of local police officers. It is known that in 2013 when Murad was returned to his parents, a high-ranking Chechen police officer vow blood vengeance against Murad according to Chechen customs.

With regard to the current situation members of the Committee for the Prevention of Torture are urgently trying to prevent escorting Amriev to the Chechen Republic, they also intend to apply to the European Court of Human Rights asking to take urgent measures with this regard. 

As to the checking of the Murad’s crime report on illegal apprehension and police torture – it is still ongoing by forces of investigators of the first department for major cases of the Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation for the Chechen Republic. In the course of this check fifteen refusals to initiate criminal proceedings were declared illegal and quashed.

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