That was the conclusion of fire-fighting and technical expert examination, conducted in the framework of the criminal case on arson of Joint Mobile Group office of human rights defenders working in the Chechen Republic in December 2014.
The experts’ conclusions turned out to be quite predictable – the office was set to fire intentionally. In particular, it is stated in one of expert reviews: «There were three initial fire islands with separate burning areas which were not connected with fire propagation path… The cause of fire is artificial initiating of burning with the use of ignition with open flame combustion (arson)».
«The fact that our office was set to fire in three places tells about the intention of the criminals to destroy the results of our longstanding work and paralyze our activity on rendering legal assistance to our applicants, – says the JMG leader Timur Rakhmatulin. – The fire-starters’ cynicism is appalling. When they were destroying the office they failed to consider that a lot of families reside in the same building, and there are a lot of children and elderly people among them. The fire could have easily spread onto neighboring accommodation buildings, but that was no concern of the law-breakers».
«Over six months passed from the moment of the arson, but we are not even aware whether the investigation has any hypothetic versions and suspects. All that in spite of the fact that everything happened in the city center, in the communal entrance hallway of the apartment building, where a lot of people reside, and a few hours before the arson three men attempted to enter the office, and it was recorded on camera. In this case I’m not talking about the inefficient work of local investigators but about the Main Investigative Directorate of North Caucasus District. When the arson investigation is still going on in June our office was again attacked, and there have been no results on the criminal case yet», – lawyer of the Committee Against Torture Anton Ryzhov pointed out.
As we have already reported, on 3 June 2015 a second attack on JMG office happened. A criminal case was also initiated based on this fact, at the moment it is in the proceedings of the first department for major cases of the Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee of RF for the Chechen Republic.