(20/04/06) Disappearence Bulat Sultanovich Chilaev (m) and Aslan Israilov (m) in Chechnya


Amnesty International

PUBLIC

AI Index: EUR 46/015/2006

18 April 2006

UA 93/06

"Disappearance"/Fear of torture and ill-treatment

RUSSIAN FEDERATION

(Chechen Republic)

Bulat Sultanovich Chilaev (m)

Aslan Israilov (m)


The two men named above are feared to have been "disappeared" after they

were arbitrarily detained on 9 April by Chechen or Russian federal security

forces. The security forces have denied all knowledge of the men's

detention, and both are in danger of torture and ill-treatment.

On 8 April, three men driving through the Chechen village of Sernovodsk

were killed when their car came under fire. One of them had been working

for the Chechen security forces in the Chechen capital, Grozny.

Early the following day Chechen and Russian federal security forces

reportedly raided the village, checking the identity documents of everyone

there. They detained Aslan Israilov, who is registered in Grozny but was

visiting relatives in the village, for a few hours in order to check his

identity. He was released without charge. After he was released he asked

Bulat Chilaev, who is a neighbour of the relatives he had been staying

with, if he could give him a lift to Grozny. Bulat Chilaev is a driver for

the Russian non-governmental human rights and humanitarian organization

Grazhdanskoe Sodeistvie (Citizens' Assistance). The two men set off for

Grozny in Bulat Chilaev's car, and had to pass two roadblocks that had been

set up after the raid on the village. Eyewitnesses later reported that at a

main crossroads, between the villages of Sernovodsk and Assinovskaia, they

saw men in uniform putting on masks when they saw the car approaching. The

masked men apparently blocked the road, dragged the two men out of the car,

handcuffed them and bundled them into another car, putting one man in the

boot of the car and the other in the back seat between two members of the

security forces. Then the security forces drove both cars away in the

direction of Grozny.

Later that day, relatives of the men approached different units of the

Chechen and federal security forces in the Chechen Republic but were told

that these branches of the security forces had nothing to do with the

detention of Bulat Chilaev and Aslan Israilov.

The head of Grazhdanskoe Sodeistvie, Svetlana Alekseevna Gannushkina, has

written to Chechen Prime Minister Ramzan Kadyrov and to other governmental

and intergovernmental organizations, including the UN, asking for help to

trace Bulat Chilaev and Aslan Israilov. So far she has received no

information about the two from Russian federal or Chechen authorities.


BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Amnesty International receives regular reports of "disappearances" in the

North Caucasus region of the Russian Federation. In addition, more and more

people are reportedly being arbitrarily detained and held incommunicado,

and tortured and ill-treated to force them to "confess" to crimes,

including "terrorist" crimes, which they have reportedly not committed.

Once they have signed a "confession" they are transferred to a detention

facility where they have access to lawyers of their choice and their

families; the "confession" is used as evidence in court in order to secure

a conviction. Amnesty International has learned of such cases in Chechnya,

as well as in the neighbouring Russian republics of Ingushetia, North

Ossetia and Kabardino-Balkaria.

ENDS//


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