The Chechen Ministry of Interior decided to pursue the Committee Against Torture in court


25 December 2014

Today, on 25 December 2014, the Leninsky District Court of Grozny started examination of the Chechen Ministry of Interior claim to defend honor and dignity against Murad Amriyev who accused the police officers of abduction and torture. In the course of the court hearing the representative of the republican Ministry of Interior filed a notion to name INGO «The Committee Against Torture» as defendant, too.  

The Ministry of Interior of Chechnya applied to the court of Grozny filing a charge to protect its defend the honor and dignity against Murad Amriyev, making a claim for compensation for moral damages. A year ago Murad applied to the Joint Mobile Group with a complaint about illegal use of force and torture against him by the police officers. According to the applicant, the reason for submitting statements of claim to the court is that, allegedly, Murad Amriyev made public the data which became a base for a number of publications in the media.   

As we have already informed, Murad Amriev applied to human rights defenders with the Joint Mobile Group in Chechnya (JMG) for legal assistance in September 2013. According to Murad, on 25 August of last year he was abducted and tortured for two days in the building of the Department of Interior in Grozny in Isayeva avenue: he was beaten up, tortured with electricity, hanged from the ceiling and humiliated. He also told that one of his abductors was Magomed Dashayev – Chief of Police of the Department of Interior of Grozny. The police officer suspected the elder brother of Amriyev (who now lives in Germany) of attempting to kill him in 2008. The police demanded from Murad and his family that the elder brother returned home, otherwise the young sportsman should be held responsible for the assassination attempt (Murad is professionally involved in Mixed Martial Arts, recently he became a world champion of MMA according to World Mixed Martial Arts Federation). Under apprehension of his life the young man had to flee out of Russia.

On 29 August 2013 the crime report based on this fact was submitted to the investigative department of the Investigative Committee for the Chechen Republic. Investigation is still ongoing: the Investigative Committee conducts formal checks, ending in ungrounded refusals to initiate criminal proceedings, subsequently quashed by the Prosecutor’s Office, the court, and even the management of the investigative authorities. As of today 12 refusals to initiate criminal proceedings have been issued, the last is dated 6 November 2014.    

Meanwhile the representatives of the Department of Interior for the Chechen Republic applied to the court charging Murad Amriyev to defend their honor and dignity. However, none of them attended the scheduled hearings. As a result, on 9 October the court dismissed the charge without prejudice due to the fact that the plaintiff did not attend the court hearings, although he was notified in due course about the time, date and location of the case examination.   But two months later, on 8 December Leninsky District Court without reservation satisfied the application of the plaintiff on quashing the dismissal without prejudice. 

In the course of the court hearing the representative of the republican Ministry of Interior filed a notion to name INGO «The Committee Against Torture» as defendant, too, denoting his request «an addition to the statement of claim». In this request the plaintiff asks the court to compel the Committee Against Torture to make a denial of statements, published on the web site of the organization, declaring them false, since they damage the business reputation of the Chechen Department of Interior.  

The claimant’s representative also stated that during the next court hearing he intended to file the similar charge against the web site Grani.Ru in relation to their publication   «A citizen of Grozny accused the high-ranking officer of the Chechen Department of Interior of  torture». 

«At last the Chechen Ministry of Interior had the trouble to study the provisions of law and realized that the Ministry does not have honor and dignity but business reputation. They also learned that the person who published the information distributed in the media bears responsibility for it.  It took the plaintiff half a year to realize that. At the next court hearing we intend to lodge a motion for transferring of the examination of the charge against our organization to Nizhny Novgorod, where it has its registered office. As to the essence of the case we would gladly go to court about our news publication. We’ll call witnesses, study the materials. By the way, one should remember that unlike the evidence given in the course of the check performed by the Investigative Committee, false evidence of witnesses in court may lead to criminal liability», – emphasized lawyer of INGO «The Committee Against Torture» and Amriyev’s representative Anton Ryzhov.  

Next court hearing is scheduled for 19 January 2015 at 10.00

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