AI Index: EUR 46/015/2006
18 April 2006
"Disappearance"/Fear of torture and ill-treatment
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.
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.