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Law on Human Rights Ombudsman for Chechnya Contradicts Russian Constitution

posted 30 Jul 2011, 03:08 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 30 Jul 2011, 03:11 ]

28 July 2011



Translation by Memorial

At the end of August, representatives of the Inter-regional NGO “Committee Against Torture” contacted Yu. Chaika, General Prosecutor of the Russian Federation, and M. Savchin, Prosecutor of the Republic of Chechnya, in connection with the law on the “Human Rights Ombudsman in the Republic of Chechnya.” The fact is that this law contradicts the Constitution of the Russian Federation.

Human rights defenders decided to make a comparison of the laws after a statement by the current Ombudsman for Chechnya N. Nukhazhiev. On October 29, 2010 in the court proceedings at civil court 363 in the Khamovniki district of Moscow, he was questioned as a witness in the criminal libel case against O. Orlov, brought by R. Kadyrov.

Having answered the questions of the prosecutor and victim's representatives, Nukhazhiev tried to refuse to answer questions made by the defendant, Orlov. Nukhazhiev appealed to the judge, K. Morozova, with the following appeal: “Your honor, allow me the right granted by the federal constitutional law “On the Human Rights Ombudsmen” and the constitutional law “On the Human Rights Ombudsman for the Republic of Chechnya” not to give evidence from criminal cases in civil cases, which became known to me in carrying out my duties in respect to Orlov in this case, especially Orlov. I'll answer the questions asked by his lawyer and others." In response, Judge Morozova said: "The court explained to you that you have the right to not incriminate yourself, respectively, and close relatives, as defined by federal law. If you are asked any questions by defendant Oleg Petrovich Orlov and you can not on answer them, do not know, or think that it will somehow affect you personally and, accordingly, your relatives, you can ask the court, and I will decide accordingly what questions may or may not be removed, and to which questions you will need to respond." Only after this, "only in deference to the judge," did Nukhazhiev answer Orlov's questions.

It later emerged that the constitutional law of the Chechen Republic "On the Human Rights Ombudsman for the Republic of Chechnya" in relation to the Ombudsman of the Republic actually secured a special procedure in criminal cases, while, on the basis of the Russian Federation's Constitution and Criminal Procedure Code, such provision for regional Ombudsmen cannot be made. Among the categories of persons who have special rights in court in criminal cases, only the Federal Human Rights Ombudsman is mentioned. Interpreting the code broadly, which Nukhazhiyev probably did mistakenly in court, is impermissible. Conferring special rights to regional ombudsmen using the standards set for federal officials is illegal.

The authors of the appeal – representatives of the “Committee Against Torture” I. Kalyapin and his assistant for rights and analytic work D. Kazakov – are demanding that the prosecutors “take all necessary measures to bring the constitution of the Republic of Chechnya “On the Human Rights Ombudsman for the Republic of Chechnya” into agreement with federal legislation.”

V. Lukin, Human Rights Ombudsman for the Russian Federation, was also made aware of the detected conflict.

The text of the appeal by the “Committee Against Torture” to Prosecutor Yu. Chaika can be found on the website of the HRC “Memorial” (below text of the release):http://www.memo.ru/2011/07/28/2807111.html.

The transcript of the hearing in Orlov's criminal case from October 29, 201 (including the questioning of Nukhazhiev):http://www.memo.ru/2010/10/29/2910101.htm#_Toc276120290.

July 28, 2011

--
Human Rights Center Memorial, 127051, Russia, Moscow, Maly Karetny, 12
tel: +7 (495) 225-3118, fax: +7 (495) 624-2025, email: memhrc@memo.ru

Supreme Court cuts 'Cadet' Lapin's sentence

posted 28 Jul 2011, 11:47 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 28 Jul 2011, 11:58 ]

28 July 2011

Translation by Memorial

On July 26, 2011 the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation considered a supervisory complaint on behalf of Sergei Lapin, a former officer of the Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Area. Lapin (call sign "Cadet") is the only officer of federal power structures to be convicted for his involvement in the disappearance of a Chechnya resident during armed conflict. The Supreme Court upheld the sentence but reduced Lapin's sentence by six months, up to 10 years in prison in connection with the softening of sanctions on one of the charges against him.

In 2000-2001, Sergei Lapin served in the Oktyabrsky Temporary Department of Internal Affairs (TDIA) in the city of Grozny as part of a joint police detachment (CPD) of the Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Area. During this period, dozens detained in the Chechen Republic "disappeared" in the Oktyabrsky TDIA.

On January 2, 2001 Oktyabrsky TDIA staff detained twenty-six year old Zelimkhan Murdalov, after which the young man "disappeared". The investigation conducted by his father, Astamir Murdalov, and an employee of the Grozny office of HRC "Memorial" Natalia Estemirova, found that Zelimkhan had been tortured to death, then taken from the police office in an unknown direction, and that the crime involved "Cadet" Lapin. Anna Politkovskaya wrote about this story in "Novaya Gazeta." "Cadet" began to threaten her, and the threats resulted in a criminal case in which Politkovskaya was represented by Stanislav Markelov. The criminal trial related to the "disappearance" of Zelimkhan, in which Lapin was the main defendant, received wide publicity. Together, Estemirova, Politkovskaya and Markelov, as a lawyer for the victim, Astamir Murdalov, have condemned "Cadet" as one of the guilty in one of the thousands of "disappearances" since the "Second Chechen War."

Lapin was taken into custody on January 25, 2005. On March 29, 2005, the Grozny Oktyabrsky district court found Lapin guilty and sentenced him to 11 years imprisonment.

Moreover, since the body of Murdalov was not found, Article 111 (grievous bodily harm with aggravating circumstances), ii. "a" "b," "v" Part 3. Article 286 (exceeding official powers) and Part 3. 292 (forgery) of the Criminal Code figured into the indictment.

Lapin's lawyer, G.A. Degtyarev, appealed the verdict. The Supreme Court of the Republic of Chechnya upheld the guilty verdict made by Grozny's Oktyabrsky district court. The lawyer Degtyarev filed an oversight complaint. On January 17, 2007, the Supreme Court returned the case of "Cadet" for a reconsideration of the court's new composition. Markelov was still the victim's lawyer. On November 27, 2007, Grozny's Oktyabrsky court again recognized Lapin as guilty and sentenced him to 10 years and 6 months imprisonment.

Degtyarev again filed an appeal, which was considered by the Judicial Board for Criminal Cases of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Chechnya on April 16, 2008, and then a supervisory appeal, which was considered by the Presidium of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Chechnya on January 14, 2010. In both instances the complaint was rejected.

In his third appeal in a row, Degtyarev asked to repeal the decision of the Judicial Board for Criminal Cases of the Supreme Court of the Chechen Republic on 16 April 2008, as well as the sentence made in Grozny's Oktyabrsky Regional Court, Republic of Chechnya, on November 27, 2007.

The Russian Federation Supreme Court partially upheld Lapin's appeal, having reversed the decision of the Presidium of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Chechnya on April 16, 2008, and reclassified the charges from item “a” Part 3 Article 111 of the RF Criminal Code as amended on July 15, 1996 to item “a” Part 3 Article 111 of the RF Criminal Code as amended on March 7, 2011. The rest of the sentence and the appeal determination remain unchanged. Thus, Lapin's sentence has been mitigated not in connection to the change in the qualification of his actions, but due to the enforcement of the new wording of Article 111.

Meanwhile, the fate and whereabouts of Zelimkhan Murdalov are still unknown. Two other defendants in the “'Cadet's Case" - his co-workers and executives, Lieutenant Colonel Valery Minin and Major Alexander Prilepin, are registered on the federal wanted list to this day.

Supervisory appeal by lawyer G.A. Degtyarev on the behalf of S.V. Lapin as of July 25, 2011: http://www.memo.ru/2011/07/27/1.pdf;
Objection to the supervisory complaint by the victim, A.Sh. Murdalov, as of July 25, 2011: http://www.memo.ru/2011/07/27/2707112.html;
Verdict by the Oktyabrsky Regional Court, Grozny, from November 27, 2007: http://www.memo.ru/2011/07/27/2707114.html;
Supervisory Supreme Court of the Republic of Chechnya, ruling from January 14, 2010: http://www.memo.ru/2011/07/27/2707113.html.

See other materials on the Lapin case:
http://www.memo.ru/hr/hotpoints/caucas1/msg/2005/03/m34479.htm;
http://www.memo.ru/hr/hotpoints/caucas1/msg/2005/01/m32537.htm;
http://www.memo.ru/hr/hotpoints/caucas1/msg/2007/09/m101938.htm;
http://www.memo.ru/hr/hotpoints/caucas1/msg/2005/03/m34436.htm.


July 28, 2011

--
Human Rights Center Memorial, 127051, Russia, Moscow, Maly Karetny, 12
tel: +7 (495) 225-3118, fax: +7 (495) 624-2025, email: memhrc@memo.ru

Ingushetia: Criminal Case Opened into Abduction of Resident of Gamurzievo Village

posted 27 Jul 2011, 11:19 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 27 Jul 2011, 11:23 ]

26 July 2011


Memorial Human Rights Centre

Translation by Memorial

Human Rights Center “Memorial” reported earlier on the abduction, on July 20, 2011, of Zurab Khambulatovich Albogachiev, a resident of the town of Nazran in the Republic of Ingushetia (http://www.memo.ru/eng/news/2011/07/26/2607118.html).

On July 25 at 5:30 pm, the investigator of particularly important cases for the investigation department of the city of Nazran Investigative Directive for the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation for the Republic of Ingushetia, Lt. A.M. Yevloev, decided to institute criminal proceedings on the grounds of the crimes provided for in subsection "a", "d" of Part 2 of Article 126 (abduction) and item "a" of Article 161 (robbery) of the Criminal Code.

As of July 25, attempts to locate Albogachiev have not succeeded.

Recall that on July 20 he was abducted by unidentified armed men from the "Madrid" taxi park in Nazran. On July 21 at the Albogachiev home, staff of the Investigative Committee and the Nazran district police department conducted a search within the investigation of a criminal case regarding the explosion of a car containing police officers. According to the Investigative Committee's investigator Zakry Kurkiev, Albogachiev is suspected of involvement in the explosion based on the testimony of his neighbor, a certain Agiev. The investigator also said that he knew nothing about the detention and whereabouts of Albogachiev.

The same day, the investigator questioned Agiev. He retracted his earlier testimony, stating that he had given them under pressure. Agiev told relatives of Albogachiev that on July 20 he was detained by officers of ORB (operational search bureau) not far from the place where the car carrying police officers exploded. Fearing that he would be accused of involvement in the crime, he slandered Zurab, telling police officers that Albogachiev had been at the scene before the explosion. Agiev then refused to give official testimony.

On January 19, 2010, Zurab Albogachiev was detained by the Ministry of Interior Affairs in Ingushetia. Then he was kept in the Ministry building for a few hours and asked about the whereabouts of his elder brother Magomed Albogachiev, born 1979, who in 2007 left home and has been missing so far. Information about the arrest was later confirmed by official response from the prosecutor's office in Nazran, which reported that Albogachiev was taken to the Ministry of Interior Affairs in Ingushetia for the conversation, as his elder brother Magomed is a member of illegal armed groups.

See also: http://www.mvd-ing.ru/news/detail.php?ID=906 ;
http://ria.ru/inquest/20110720/404656609.html .

July 26, 2011--
Human Rights Center Memorial, 127051, Russia, Moscow, Maly Karetny, 12
tel: +7 (495) 225-3118, fax: +7 (495) 624-2025, email: memhrc@memo.ru

Dagestan: Verdict on Policemen who Beat Teenager to be Reviewed on Appeal in August

posted 27 Jul 2011, 11:08 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 27 Jul 2011, 11:16 ]

26 July 2011


Translation by Memorial

Yesterday, July 25, 2011, the Supreme Court of the Republic of Dagestan agreed to consider an appeal against the sentence made by the Shamilsky District Court on May 20, 2011 in respect to police officers Shamil Magomedaliev, Gamzat Nurudinov and Magomed Magomedov, who beat a teenager, Makhmud Akhmedov, in the Shamilsky district police department on July 18, 2010. The policemen were sentenced to probation ranging from 2,6 to 4 years of imprisonment with deprivation of the right to hold positions in the Ministry of Internal Affairs for one year.

Makhmud's parents, extremely dissatisfied with this sentence, filed a cassation appeal. They had expected the perpetrators to receive a real sentence and go to jail.

Due to the absence in court of one of the policemen - Shamil Magomedaliev, who is currently hospitalized, - trial has been postponed to August 8, 2011.

See the history of Makhmud Akhmedov: http://www.memo.ru/eng/news/2011/07/26/2607112.html.

July 26, 2011


--
Human Rights Center Memorial, 127051, Russia, Moscow, Maly Karetny, 12
tel: +7 (495) 225-3118, fax: +7 (495) 624-2025, email: memhrc@memo.ru

Chechnya: Details of the Abduction of Three Young Men in Gudermes

posted 27 Jul 2011, 11:04 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 27 Jul 2011, 11:08 ]

26 July 2011


Memorial Human Rights Centre

Translation by Memorial

Human Rights Center "Memorial" previously reported the abduction June 24, 2011 in Gudermes, Republic of Chechnya (http://www.memo.ru/eng/news/2011/07/11/1107113.html ). New circumstances of their abduction became known on July 20.

On June 24, 2011 three young men - Ali Adamovich Aidamirov (born 1988, lives at the address: Grozny, Zhigulevskaya Street, 7, Apt. 24), Khalid Hamzatovich Dushaev (born 1988, lives at the address: Grozny, Chernorechye village, Ashkhabadskaya Street, 27, Apt. 29) and Israil Adizov (born 1987, lives at the address: Gudermes, Titova Street, 98) spent the day at a water park in Gudermes. According to relatives of Israil, after 10:00 pm they were in the city center in a small park, opposite the «Leader» petrol station. Ali and Khalid wanted to go home, but did not have enough money for a taxi. Israil called an acquaintance and asked him to take friends to the «Minutka» district of Grozny, after which they planned to take public transport. The acquaintance agreed. While friends were waiting for the car, armed men from an unknown law enforcement structure approached them and demanded to see their passports. At this point Gudermes police department officers, patrolling the city, also arrived. Only Israil had documents, the two others had left their passports at home. This is confirmed by their relatives. The siloviks demanded that the young men come with them. A Gudermes police officer, whose family members prefer that he not be identified, said the unidentified security officials that he knew Israil, and lived with him in the same neighborhood. He also asked them to give Israil to them, promising to interrogate and investigate him in the police department. At Israil's request, this same policeman asked to hand over the other two guys. The unidentified siloviks refused and took Ali and Khalid in an unknown direction. Israil was led to the police station, where he later phoned his brother, who took him home.

The next day, June 25, Israil telephoned relatives of Ali and Khalid and reported the incident.

On June 26 between midnight and one o'clock in the morning, Israil and his cousin Dzhambulat Izrailov took Dzhambulat's "Gazelle" and went to Israil's brother, Ruslan, who worked all day at the site on the northern outskirts of Gudermes. When the three of them were coming back, their car was overtaken by a silver "Lada Priora" that blocked the road. A second «Lada Priora» pulled up behind them. In them were armed men in camouflage uniforms, two of them masked, forced Dzhambulat and Ruslan to lie on the ground. Then they put Israil in his car and drove off in an unknown direction.

Only one of the cars had license plate, the brothers remembered it.

The next day Israil's brother appealed to the district police department with a statement about the kidnapping, reported the abductors' plate numbers.

Israil's relatives have tried several times to meet with the district police department officers who helped the young man on June 24, but he, for various reasons, refuses to meet them.

In connection with the abduction of Ali and Khalid, their relatives filed a statement to the district police department and the Gudermes Region Investigation Committee. Information about a criminal case is not available to the relatives.

In September 2008, Israil Adizov was arrested for aiding and abetting illegal armed groups. Then he was sentenced to 1 year and 6 months imprisonment. He returned home in March 2010. Ali and Khalid also served time there.

As of July 22, the location of the three abductees is unknown.

July 26, 2011

--
Human Rights Center Memorial, 127051, Russia, Moscow, Maly Karetny, 12
tel: +7 (495) 225-3118, fax: +7 (495) 624-2025, email: memhrc@memo.ru

Stop Police Excesses at the Solovetsky Stone!

posted 22 Jul 2011, 11:40 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 22 Jul 2011, 11:43 ]

22 July 2011



Translation by Memorial

An appeal by HRC “Memorial” and “Moscow Memorial” to the Moscow Central Department of Internal Affairs

Yesterday, the Human Rights Center “Memorial” and the “Moscow Memorial” Society sent to the head of the Moscow Central Department of Internal Affairs, V.A. Kolokoltsev, an appeal (see below) about inappropriate actions, that have already continued for several days, by police officers (the militia) at the Solovetsky Stone. 

The letter's authors ask that immediate action be taken to stop the unjustified detainment of citizens at the Solovetsky Stone and remove the police barriers around the memorial to victims of political repression.

To the Head of the Moscow Central Department of Internal Affairs
Mr. V.A. Kolokoltsev

Dear Vladimir Alexandrovich!

Our concerns have been raised over the events that have taken place in the last few days at the memorial to victims of political repression on Lubyanka Square. 

The Solovetsky Stone serves as a symbol of the memory of victims of political repression and as a warning to future generations of the infeasibility of a return to totalitarianism. Quite naturally, it attracts not only those who wish to honor the memory of victims of the communist regime, but also those citizens who are protecting the rights of those whom they consider political prisoners today. We believe that such actions, as long as they do not violate the norms of current legislation, are the constitutional right of citizens, irrespective of which social organization they support or how government authorities view their societal positions.

In the last few days, social activists have been conducting rallies by the Solovetsky Stone in support of T. Osipova, who is being prosecuted based on suspected political motives. 

Although these rallies have not broken any laws and do not in any way threaten societal safety, police officers are detaining participants of the rallies and sending them to the police station. More than a hundred arrests have already been made in the past few days. Judging by the fact that some detainees have been released from custody without a report being written, it seems that police officers are finding it difficult to come up with grounds for detention.

In recent days, entrances to the Solovetsky Stone have all been blocked off.

Apparently, this has been done based on a document that can be found on the internet at (http://pics.livejournal.com/dmonakhov/pic/0000ey2k/; printout attached-in Russian) - “Plan to Prevent Unapproved Rallies,” approved by police colonel Vasilyev, the head of the Kitai-Gorod Department of Interior Affairs, Central Administrative District, Moscow.

From our point of view, this document imposes a limit on citizens' access to the Solovetsky Stone, going beyond police officers' scope and illegally restricting civil rights. 

What makes these arbitrary actions even more outrageous is that it is going on at a monument to the memory of victims of the arbitrary actions of the Soviet era.

We ask you to take immediate measures to stop the unwarranted arrests and remove police cordons around the Solovetsky Stone.
We also ask that you conduct outreach with the authors of the attached document and point out the inadmissability of any restrictions to civil rights, including access to the Solovetsky Stone.

Chairman of the Council
Human Rights Center “Memorial” O.P. Orlov
Co-Chairman of the Board
“Moscow Memorial” Society Y.Z. Rachinsky

July 22, 2011



--
Human Rights Center Memorial, 127051, Russia, Moscow, Maly Karetny, 12
tel: +7 (495) 225-3118, fax: +7 (495) 624-2025, email: memhrc@memo.ru

Republic of Dagestan: Two Local Residents Detained on Suspicion of Murdering Village School Director

posted 21 Jul 2011, 10:26 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 21 Jul 2011, 10:32 ]

21 July 2011


Translation by Memorial

On July 16, 2011 Svetlana, the wife of Derbent city, Republic of Dagestan, resident Ibrahim Isabegovich Seferbekov, born 1983, sent a written notice to the Human Rights Center “Memorial.” He was arrested on charges of murdering the director of a school in the village of Sovetskoye, Magaramkentsky Region of the Republic of Dagestan, Sadinkullakh Akhmedovich Akhmedov,

Svetlana wrote that on July 9 at 8:00 am she and her husband left their home and traveled on bus number 17 to the “Yuzhnaya” bus stop. They were the last to leave the bus; they were promptly surrounded by police officers who demanded to see their passports, although they themselves did not introduce themselves and did not offer any verification. One of the siloviks took Ibrahim’s passport and began to force him to go with them. Ibrahim asked on which grounds he was being arrested; one of the police officers promised to tell him later. Ibrahim insisted that Svetlana come with them. The siloviks answered that his wife could go wherever she wanted.

Then they all got into a “Zhiguli” and left for the city department near the “Severnaya” bus stop. In an office on the second floor, they took the spouses’ mobile phones and took Svetlana’s passport from her. They began to ask Ibrahim why he wore such a long beard, whether he had a criminal record, and whether he served in the army. Then they informed them that Akhmedov – the director of a school in the village of Sovetskoye – had been killed. According to the siloviks’ information, the couple was possibly connected to the murder. Svetlana and Ibrahim were asked what they were dong that day. According to Svetlana, her husband had an alibi – neighbors had seen him at home. However, the silovks said that Ibrahim could have taken a car, arrived in Sovetskoye, killed the director and returned.

The detainees were left alone in the office for half an hour. Police officers came to them one after another an asked them questions. Then a young woman came into the office and requested that Svetlana go into a neighboring room. There she began to interrogate her, asking as well for a lock of her hair and sample of her fingernails. Svetlana refused, after which the young woman invited a police officer located nearby into the room, and he began to threaten Svetlana, “What, do you want us to take it by force?” Svetlana demanded a receipt showing that they had taken a lock of her hair and a piece of her fingernails. After that, the interrogation continued. The woman noticed that she had seen the siloviks questioning before, in December 2010, when her husband had been detained earlier. Then he was held in handcuffs for three hours as they asked him why he wore a beard. They let him free not far from the Karl Marx sovkhoz near a vacant lot on the seabank.

In the city department office, a police officer announced to Ibrahim, “If I wanted, I could put you away for a month!” He also asked whether there were any banned illegal items in Ibrahim’s house. The spouses were kept until 12:30 pm, then put into a car and were taken home by police officers. The siloviks, upon arrival, took it upon themselves to inspect the house. The division head, who had reached the house immediately on the arrival of the other police officers, stayed in the kitchen. As Svetlana noticed, he kicked a pillow, asking what was in it. Then he tore the pillow up and pulled out a packet, at which one of his colleagues shouted, “Don’t touch it, let the owner take it himself.” According to his wife, Ibrahim opened the packet and said, “This isn’t mine, why did you hide it here?” There were 16 cartridges and an F-1 grenade in the packet.

Svetlana writes that they took a laptop, SIM-cards and flash drives, a modem, as well as a Qu’ran, a book “Hadis'” and a notebook.
In the courtyard an investigator formed a search protocol. After that, the spouses were brought to the Magaramkentsky Regional Department of Interior Affairs and not allowed to call anyone. There they were interrogated, their fingerprints were taken, and they were photographed. They were promised to be let free, but they were kept there until late night without food and water. Near 9:00 pm, Svetlana began to bleed from her nose and throat. At 9:30 the police officers held a meeting, after which Ibrahim and Svetlana were informed that Ibrahim would be kept for two days as a suspect on two charges – murder and possession of firearms. They promised to release him or make charges against him on Monday, July 11. At midnight Svetlana was freed, saying that during the day she had not been detained but could have left when she wanted, and that she had had access to her husband.

On July 9, Ibrahim was assigned a state attorney.

On July 10, Svetlana brought a packaged to her husband but was not allowed to see him. At 5:00 pm she was called and informed that a judgment had taken place, that Ibrahim would be held for two months.

Svetlana writes that Ibrahim is located in the isolation ward in the city of Derbent. Meetings with him are not allowed. She is sure that the cartridges and grenade were planted on him, and asks her husband’s violated rights be restored.

Ibrahim’s father, Isabeg Khidirnabievich Seferbekov, a resident of the village of Sovetskoye, sent a written notice to the HRC “Memorial” on July 16. He wrote that on July 16 at 7:00 am nine men, a few of whom were in civilian clothes and a few of whom were in camouflage OMON officer uniforms, arrived at his home in two automobiles (a light grey “Niva,” registration number 013, and a red VAZ-2107 with the inscription “DPS,” registration number 312.) They claimed to have a authorization to search the house, but did not show their warrant despite requests from residents of the apartment building. They requested witnesses familiar with the court authorization which had been signed by the judge Akhmedkhanov on the application of investigator Murad Magomednabiev. The foundations for search, according to the documents, was the complicity of Isabeg’s son, Salman Isabegovich Seferbekov, born 1985, in the murder of S. Akhmedov, a school director.

The inspection began. The main body of police officers, along with the witnesses, went into the building, and two stayed in the courtyard. One of them stood at the corner of the house, and the other ran over to the side of a shed, from which no one could observe him. The police officers search the home, but as Isabeg said, in an entirely negligent way: they didn’t open bags or look into packets. Then two silovks in OMON uniforms, talking something over, left the Seferbekovy home. After that, they called Isabeg and all the family members to the search of the shed.

"Two employees went to the barn with witnesses, on the right they checked the empty glass jars, negligently inspected them and then confidently approached the boxes, which were stored in small banks along with a lot of empty plastic bags. A silovik put his hand under the second box, pulled out two bags and spread the contents on the window frame near the boxes. The silovik barely opened the two dirty black bags and pulled out a soap-like object, on which was written "TNT charge of 2000." There was also a cord, and the contents of the second package was cartridges. Then the workers proposed to drag all of it into the street."- Isabeg wrote in his statement.

Then an officer in civilian clothes made ​​search protocol but did not allow Isabeg's son, Salman, to add his observations. After the protocol, Salman was put in the light grey “Niva” and taken away.

Isabeg thinks that the TNT charge, cord, and cartidges were planted on Salman. He requests help in freeing his sons and fears that they are being tortured and forced to confess to a crime they did not commit.

July 21, 2011

--
Human Rights Center Memorial, 127051, Russia, Moscow, Maly Karetny, 12
tel: +7 (495) 225-3118, fax: +7 (495) 624-2025, email: memhrc@memo.ru


Dagestan: Charges Brought Against Police Officers who Beat Lawyer Sapiyat Magomedova

posted 20 Jul 2011, 07:25 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 20 Jul 2011, 07:40 ]

20 July 2011


Translation by Memorial

On July 15, 2011, an investigator at the Investigation Department of the Russian Federation Investigation Committee for the Republic of Dagestan, Khalimov Abdulkhalim set forth a ruling on charging the police officers who, on June 17, 2010, beat Sapiyat Akhmedovna Magomedova, a lawyer at the firm “A.S. Omarov and Partners.”

Human Rights Center “Memorial” carefully followed investigation of this resonant case. Recall that on June 17, 2010 in the territory Khasavyurtovsky Department of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Dagestan, a young female lawyer was brutally beaten in the course of performing her work duties. Magomedova arrived at the Department of Internal Affairs to meet with her client, who had been detained that same day, M. Yevtermirova. However, police officers who had participated in detaining Yevtemirova stopped and beat her in the courtyard of the city department building. As a result, the unconscious Magomedova was hospitalized in the Khasavyurt City Hospital. Doctors later determined that she had suffered a concussion, bruising of the chest and soft tissue of the right hand, cutting wounds of chin and mouth (http://www.memo.ru/eng/news/2011/06/20/2006112.html).

Four of the five police officers who participated in the beating of Sapiyat Magomedova – the commander of a special police fire patrol-post service in the Khasavyurtovsky Department of Interior Affairs B. Magdiev, as well as employees of that same police department N. Mollaev, S. Magomedov, and A. Yusupov - were charged with subsection “a” part 3 article 286 (commission of an official action clearly beyond its mandate and involving a substantial violation of the rights and lawful interests of individuals or organizations or interests protected by lawful society or the state by force or threat of violence) of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. Another police officer participated in the beating, but Sapiyat Magomedova was unable to identify him with certainty, and he was not charged in the case. Article 286 requires a sentence of imprisonment for a term of three to ten years, and also the loss of the right to occupy certain posts or practice certain activities for up to three years. All of the defendents were given pretrial restrictions on travel.

Sapiyat Magomedova's beating caused a wave of outrage both within the country and outside of its borders. Information about the former was published in the republican, federal and foreign press. European politicians sent inquiries to Russian leadership and promised to closely monitor investigation of the case. The June 22, 2010 episode of “Justice,” a program on the federal “REN” television channel, was dedicated to the beating of Magomedova, featuring Yevtemirova. M. Magomedov, President of the Republic of Dagestan, took the case of the beating of a lawyer under his personal control. He gave orders to conduct a thorough and impartial investigation into the facts presented, the results of which will bring those who are guilty into statutory responsibility.

Only as a result of intense public pressure was the beating of Sapiyat Magomedova made into a criminal case number 06836 on July 1, 2010 on the grounds of an offense under subsection "a" part 3. article 286 (abuse of power) of the Russian Federation Criminal Code in respect to employees of the special police fire patrol-post service in the Khasavyurtovsky Department of Interior Affairs. However, the next day a case was also opened against Magomedova under article 319 (insulting a government official) of the Criminal Code.

Human Rights Centre "Memorial" has repeatedly called on the authorities of the Republic of Dagestan, the investigative and supervisory authorities of the republic put an end to impunity and to complete a criminal investigation against the police officers who severely beat Sapiyat Magomedov. "Memorial" welcomes the efforts of investigative bodies and authorities of the Republic of Dagestan to achieve justice in the beating of the lawyer Magomedova.

Only the certainty of punishment for public servants who have committed crimes against the citizens, can change for the better situation in this volatile republic.

July 20, 2011

--
Human Rights Center Memorial, 127051, Russia, Moscow, Maly Karetny, 12
tel: +7 (495) 225-3118, fax: +7 (495) 624-2025, email: memhrc@memo.ru

Agora Monthly Digest: June 2011

posted 20 Jul 2011, 03:08 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 20 Jul 2011, 03:10 ]

New Generation 

Digest No. 6 (36), June 2011 

Agora Human Rights Association 


In This Issue: 
International News 
National News 
Publications 
Development of Regional Organizations 
Cases and Court Hearings 
Top 10 Media Reports 


International News 
On 29 June Ilnur Sharapov, a lawyer from the Agora Human Rights Association, took part in a meeting with Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS, on the role of civil society in relation to HIV/AIDS in Russia. Ilnur Sharapov spoke at the meeting on “Issues of Human Rights and Legal Assistance with Regard to HIV in Russia”. He discussed the problem of the weaknesses of Russian legislation on HIV/AIDS, in particular that it is not possible for HIV positive adults to adopt children, and limits placed on freedom of movement. Ilnur Sharapov also pointed to the existence of many regulations that result in discrimination against people living with HIV and that conflict with Russian law. 

National News 
The Constitutional Court of Russia has permitted civil servants to criticize their bosses and has ruled that criticism must not be restricted if it answers to the public interest. The Court made this ruling in the case, brought by Agora, of former Tolyatti police major Aleksei Mumolin, fired after making a video appeal to the head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Rashid Nurgaliev. (Read more in Russian

Ramil Akhmetgaliev, lawyer and legal analyst with Agora, ran a workshop in Arkhangelsk on 21-22 June for more than 30 regional publishers and newspaper editors on “Security When Acting in the Course of Professional Duties.” The event was organized by the Agency of Independent Regional Publishers in Arkhangelsk region. (Read more in Russian). 

On 24 June in Chelyabinsk region Ramil Akhmetgaliev ran a seminar on security for 25 local civic activists. On 27 June in Chechnya Pavel Chikov, legal expert and chair of Agora, and Ramil Akhmetgaliev ran a seminar for members of the Mobile Group of Russian human rights organizations. The issues addressed included the security of NGO workers and of civic activists, and the difficulties faced in conducting independent investigations of alleged violations of civic rights. 

On 28 June Pavel Chikov and Ramil Akhmetgaliev held a workshop in Grozny, Chechnya, for 25 representatives of Chechen NGOs on the issue of the security of NGOs working in the region, organized by Sintem and the Committee Against Torture. Particular issues addressed included observance of the law, monitoring government bodies, and protection against unfounded accusations. 

On 20 June, on the initiative of the women’s network EVA, Dmitry Kolbasin, head of Agora’s information department and editor of the Open Information Agency (http://www.openinform.ru/), held a press conference in Moscow at the RIA-Novosti Press Centre on the topic “Who is responsible for the failure to treat people with HIV?” Agora lawyer Ilnur Sharapov spoke at the event, organized by HIV-activists with the support of SPIDInfosvyaz, about the lack of access to tests essential for the lives of HIV-positive patients. 

Publications 
Agora published an independent report “Threats to Internet freedom in Russia, 2008-2011” that recorded 111 instances of restrictions on free access to the Internet and prosecution of Internet users from January 2008 to May 2011. (Read the Report in English). 

Pavel Chikov and Dmitry Kolbasin published a review of May judgments by the European Court of Human Rights against Russia in Novaya gazeta, ‘They paid for the bombing’. (Read more in Russian

Pavel Chikov published an analytical article in Moskovskie novosti, ‘Re-evaluation is a Lottery in the Police’ on the procedures for re-evaluating police officers. (Read more in Russian). 

In an article in Moskovskie novosti, ‘Punishment without Prison’, Pavel Chikov discussed a bill drafted by the Ministry of Justice that would create a special agency for punishments that do not involve deprivation of liberty. (Read more in English). 

Development of Regional Organizations 
On 18 June in Kazan Agora ran a seminar for lawyers from the Agora Association and partner organizations on “Psychiatry, Psychology and Lie Detectors in the Work of Lawyers”. Speakers at the seminar included Vladimir Mendelevich, professor and head of the Faculty of Medicine and General Psychology at Kazan State University, a member of the Independent Psychiatric Association of Russia and of the Public Chamber of Tatarstan; Vladimir Rubashnyi, psychologist, retired lieutenant colonel in the penitentiary service and member of the Public Oversight Commission of Tatarstan; and Svetlana Nasonova, a polygraph tester. 

On 19 June in Kazan Agora ran a seminar for lawyers of the Association on “The Public and Political Significance of the Internet in Russia”. Speakers included Sergei Smirnov, a Gazeta.ru journalist, and Agora lawyers Ramil Akhmetgaliev and Damir Gainutdinov. 

Vitaly Cherkasov, director of the Baikal Human Rights Centre, despite resistance from government bodies, secured official recognition as a representative of five prisoners who allegedly were victims of beatings at Penal Colony No. 10 in Krasnokamensk. 

In Udmurtia about 30 residents of the villages of Pugachevo, Yuski, Malaya Purga and Yagan requested assistance via a telephone hotline giving legal advice in the aftermath of an explosion at an ammunition storage site in the village of Pugachevo. (Read more in Russian

Aleksei Glukhov, head of the human rights group Shield and Sword, presented a further course of lectures for staff of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Chuvashia. The theme of the June lecture, attended by 49 ministry staff, was “The Main Principles Governing Use of Force by Police Officers”. 

On 15, 17 and 21 June Igor Sholokhov, head of the Kazan Human Rights Centre, spoke on human rights to a group of staff members, undertaking additional professional training, of the Tatarstan division of the Russian Consumer Rights Inspectorate. 

Cases and Court Hearings 
Protecting NGOs, journalists and civic activists (Moscow city, Moscow region, Tyumen region, Novosibirsk region) 
Khimki town court acquitted civic activist Aleksei Gaskarov who had been charged with hooliganism in connection with the disorders at Khimki Town Hall. (Read more in Russian

Vasily Yakemenko, head of the Federal Agency for Youth Affairs, lost a court case against Kommersant journalist Oleg Kashin. Moscow’s Khamovnichesky district court dismissed Yakemenko’s defamation suit against Kashin. (Read more in Russian

Tyumen region Investigative Committee closed a criminal investigation into Vladimir Efimov, editor of Vechernyaya Tyumen, for incitement to hatred. The Investigative Committee also declined to open a criminal investigation into another Tyumen journalist, Rustam Fakhretdinov. (Read more in Russian

A Justice of the Peace in Novosibirsk began hearing the criminal case against Artem Loskutov, organizer of youth events called “Monster Shows”. Loskutov is charged with insulting police officers (Article 319 of the Criminal Code of Russia). (Read more in Russian

Yury Shevchuk, leader of the music band DDT, gave evidence in court in Moscow’s Khoroshovsky district in defence of the well-known music critic Artemy Troitsky, charged with insulting police officer Nikolai Khovansky. Khovansky, together with his colleague Nikolai Kirichkov, had been the first to arrive at the scene of a high-profile traffic accident on Leninsky Prospect. (Read more in Russian

Elena Kostiuchenko, a Novaya gazeta journalist beaten during police action to disperse the Moscow Gay Pride, has been recognized as a victim of a criminal assault and an investigation is underway. (Read more in Russian

Human rights violations by state bodies and compensation (St. Petersburg, Udmurtiya, Chuvashia, Tatarstan, Samara region) 
St Petersburg’s Krasnogvardeisky district court has begun hearing the criminal case against Dmitry Kuzovkin, deputy head of the 5th Operations Unit of the Federal Drug Agency for St. Petersburg. (Read more in Russian

The Supreme Court of Udmurtia ruled that Konstantin Konovalov, resident of Sarapul, be paid 250,000 roubles’ compensation for torture by police. (Read more in Russian

St Petersburg’s Petrograd district court ruled that the mother of Sergei Monin, killed in a police cell in North-West Transport Police Department, be paid 500,000 roubles as compensation for moral damages. (Read more in Russian

Following a ruling by Samara regional court, the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation has paid Sergei Kurt-Adzhiev, former editor of Novaya gazeta v Samare, 450,000 roubles’ compensation for unlawful criminal prosecution on charges of using unlicensed software. (Read more in Russian

A civil cases judicial panel of the Supreme Court of Chuvashia upheld the decision by Cheboksar’s Leninsky district court to order payment of 47,500 roubles’ compensation for torture in a drying-out centre. The interests of the defendant were represented by the human rights group Shield and Sword. (Read more in Russian

A soldier who lost his spleen will receive 200,000 roubles in compensation. The Supreme Court of Tatarstan dismissed an appeal by representatives of the federal Ministry of Finance. The soldier has been represented by Kazan Human Rights Centre. (Read more in Russian

The daughter of a Tatarstan resident who died in a police station has been awarded 50,000 roubles in compensation. The Supreme Court of Tatarstan upheld the decision to award compensation to the daughter of a man who died in the Alkeevsky district police station. (Read more in Russian

A Kazan resident has been awarded a thousand roubles for each day of unlawful detention in a police cell. The court ordered the federal Ministry of Finance to pay 23-year-old Raushan Antonov two thousand roubles. Antonov was represented by the Kazan Human Rights Centre. (Read more in Russian)

HIV + 
An HIV positive Izhevsk resident has been awarded compensation for wrongful dismissal when he was obliged to take time off work. The firm that unlawfully dismissed the HIV positive employee has not appealed against the decision by Pervomaisky district court and has restored the man to his former employment. Moreover, the employer executed the court’s decision almost immediately and paid the full sum indicated by the court to the employee for the time he was obliged to take time off work and compensation for moral damages. The Izhevsk resident was represented in court by Prikamsk Human Rights Centre. (Read more in Russian

Social issues 
After human rights defenders intervened, officials have given a war veteran who took part in the Battle of Stalingrad and is an invalid of the ‘first group’, a subsidy to acquire an apartment. (Read more in Russian

Top Ten Media Reports 

1. Kommersant. 25.06. ‘Antifa activists end campaign in court’. (Read more in Russian
2. Moskovskie novosti. 21.06. ‘Internet freedom is becoming punishable’. (Read more in Russian
3. Novye izvestiya. 15.06. ‘A machine checks and listens. Lie detectors to be introduced at ATMs.’ (Read more in Russian
4. Forbes. 14.06. ‘Victor Danilkin wanted to release Khodorkovsky in 2013.’ (Read more in Russian
5. Moskovsky komsomolets. 14.06. ‘Vasilieva shown Khodorkovsky’s “real” sentence.’ (Read more in Russian
6. BBCRussian. 09.06. ‘Unknown persons attack Moscow parking lot.’ (Read more in Russian
7. RSN. 08.06. ‘“Monster Show” organizer says not guilty of insulting police.’ (Read more in Russian
8. Moskovskie novosti. 08.06. ‘UN supports freedom of expression on the Internet.’ (Read more in Russian
9. Trud. 03.06. ‘Beat officers should be accountable to the public.’ (Read more in Russian
10. Radio Liberty. 03.06. ‘Re-evaluation of police officers completely secret.’ (Read more in Russian

© Agora Human Rights Association, June 2011, agora-club@yandex.ru , 
ICQ: 284-050-201. Skype: agora-club. Тел.: (843) 537-89-00, 537-89-01.

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