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Amnesty International Press Release "RUSSIAN FEDERATION Continuing torture and rape in Chechnya"

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  • Islamic News and Information Network
    Assalamu alaikum, RUSSIAN FEDERATION Continuing torture and rape in Chechnya ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Amnesty International
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 10, 2000
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      RUSSIAN FEDERATION Continuing torture and rape in Chechnya
      Amnesty International public document
      AI Index EUR 46/036/2000
      News Service Nr. 110
      8 June 2000


      One of them was an investigator, called Vasiliy. I heard how he ordered:
      "Let's do it." And they began forcing wooden clubs into me... I cried and
      cried and called for help -- I was in so much pain. I lost consciousness
      many times. I heard one of them said: "We will make you incapable of
      producing children." "Zelimkhan"*, 20, a survivor of the "Internat"
      "filtration camp"

      Despite recent Russian government assurances that all crimes against
      civilians will be investigated, Amnesty International continues to collect
      evidence of daily abuses in Chechnya and the perpetrators remain

      Amnesty International has received new disturbing testimonies from
      survivors of the "Internat" filtration camp in the town of Urus-Martan in
      Chechnya that detainees, including children, have continued to be raped
      and subjected to other brutal torture. Amnesty International had
      previously obtained testimonies from four former detainees at the
      "Internat" camp, who independently confirmed torture and ill-treatment in
      the camp. The organization also has information, including the conclusions
      of a postmortem medical examination, about at least one person who died as
      a result of torture and ill-treatment at the "Internat" camp.

      Amnesty International's field researcher recently interviewed two victims
      in Ingushetia, who were held in the "Internat" between 6 May and 13 May

      Twenty-year-old "Zelimkhan" was detained on 6 May at his parents' house in
      Urus-Martan by a group of about 15 Russian federal forces officers,
      allegedly members of the special detachments (OMON) from the Russian city
      of Penza. He was taken to the outskirts of Komsomolskoye village, ordered
      to take his clothes off, handcuffed and forced onto his knees in front of
      a hole in the ground, three metres deep and five to six metres wide.

      "Zelimkhan" was beaten with clubs for about two hours by four OMON
      officers while the rest of the group were watching and laughing. He was
      asked to sign a confession stating he was a Chechen fighter and that he
      took part in the fighting around Komsomolskoye. They threatened to kill
      him and to send him to Chernokozovo camp where he would be raped by the
      guards. Later the same day, "Zelimkhan" was taken to the "Internat" camp.

      In the "Internat" he was brutally gang-raped by four or five OMON
      officers. "Zelimkhan" was blindfolded and handcuffed and ordered to lay on
      a table face down before being raped with wooden clubs and the butt of
      machine-guns. He was also repeatedly kicked in the area of the genitals
      while asked to stand naked by a wall. "Zelimkhan" said the officers also
      squeezed his genitals, repeatedly saying they would make him handicapped
      and incapable of producing children. The rape and beatings continued for
      two hours. He was questioned by Vasiliy, the investigator who had ordered
      the rape, and asked to sign a confession that he was a Chechen fighter,
      which he refused.

      "Zelimkhan" was severely beaten and tortured several times each day during
      his detention, with the exception of 9 May when no detainees were beaten
      because the guards were celebrating the national holiday -- the Victory
      over Fascism Day.

      "Zelimkhan" also told Amnesty International about one of his cell mates,
      Rustam Gandarov from Urus-Martan who was subjected to electric shocks and
      beaten by the guards for seven hours without a break. Rustam Gandarov was
      being held in the "Internat" for a third time. The previous time he was
      reportedly released after his relatives paid $3,500. He was subsequently
      detained twice again.

      "Zelimkhan" also told Amnesty International that detainees in the
      "Internat" have their ears pierced with sharp nails. One of his cell
      mates, 20-year-old Beslan Satabayev, had his ears pierced with nails. He
      was also handcuffed and suspended from the ceiling while being beaten all
      over his body. Beslan Satabayev was later transferred to the camp in

      Children were also tortured and ill-treated in the "Internat". "Zelimkhan"
      witnessed how 15-year-old Timur, a student at School No. 4 in Urus-Martan,
      was severely beaten by the guards and a number of his ribs were broken.
      Timur was apparently detained together with his uncle, who was suspected
      of being a Chechen fighter. The guards beat Timur repeatedly during his
      eight days in detention in order to force him to confess that his uncle
      was a fighter. Eventually Timur was released when the family paid $700 to
      the guards.

      "Zelimkhan" was released on 13 May for the sum of $300 after being forced
      by the "Internat" authorities to sign a document claiming that he had not
      been subjected to ill-treatment and had been treated humanely. After his
      release he was immediately hospitalized at the hospital in Urus-Martan in
      a serious condition. In a statement the doctors treating him concluded
      that he had sustained numerous bruises and haematomas in the area of his
      ribs and chest and in the area of his kidneys, and that he needed
      treatment by a urologist because of an inflamation and infection in the

      Forty-year-old "Nurdy", and his neighbours "Dzhamal" and Maksim (an ethnic
      Russian man who was helping "Dzhamal" with farming), were arrested on 6
      May at home in Urus-Martan on suspicion of participating in
      hostage-taking. All three were taken to the "Internat" and repeatedly
      tortured and beaten by the guards in an attempt to force them to confess
      to being Chechen fighters and involved in hostage-taking.

      When Maksim told the guards that he was not a hostage they beat him.
      Because he was not a Chechen, the guards left him to sleep in the corridor
      outside the cells and used him to clean the camp.

      "Nurdy" told Amnesty International that on arrival at the camp he was
      beaten by a group of about 15 officers. He was also subjected to a torture
      method known in Russia as "envelope" (konvert), in which the victim's legs
      are pulled up to his head and secured while his hands are handcuffed
      behind his back. "Zelimkhan" told Amnesty International that he witnessed
      the beatings of "Nurdy" through a small hole in his cell door. He saw how
      the officers repeatedly dragged "Nurdy" up by his arms and pushed him with
      force against the wall. "Nurdy" said he lost consciousness several times.

      On 7 May, "Nurdy" was beaten again to force him to sign a confession that
      he was a fighter. The guards threatened to kill him and cut off his ears.
      He refused to sign and they beat him over the fresh wounds on his back
      with a chair and smashed his finger under the chair by sitting on it.
      Following the beatings, a doctor gave "Nurdy" several shots but on 9 May
      his health deteriorated further and he was taken to the hospital in

      "Nurdy" told Amnesty International that there were six or seven detainees
      in his cell and there were no beds or sanitary facility; only an empty
      bottle used by all detainees. "Nurdy" independently confirmed
      "Zelimkhan"'s reports of the use of electric shocks on detainees in the

      "Dzhamal" was released on 16 May and was immediately hospitalized in
      Urus-Martan where a medical examination concluded that he had broken ribs
      and bruising, haematomas and injuries in the area of the chest, head and
      the arms. The guards at the "Internat" asked him to take Maksim, who was
      also released on 16 May, away with him.

      Russian forces are still reported to be constantly detaining people in
      Chechnya at checkpoints and in the territories under their control, either
      during so-called "cleansing operations" in newly-occupied towns or during
      identity checks on civilian convoys travelling from Chechnya to
      neighbouring Ingushetia. People are most often detained for not having
      proper registration and a residence permit, or on suspicion of belonging
      to armed Chechen groups. Women are also detained on suspicion of being
      related to Chechen fighters.

      People detained by Russian forces are then sent to various secret
      "filtration camps" where they are held without access to their relatives,
      lawyers, or the outside world. Amnesty International has collected
      testimonies from survivors of "filtration camps" which confirm that
      detainees -- men, women and children -- are routinely and systematically
      tortured: they are raped, beaten with hammers and clubs, tortured with
      electric shocks and tear gas, their teeth are sawn and some are beaten
      around both ears simultaneously to burst the ear-drums.

      * These are not real names. They have been changed for the individuals'

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