Thursday, October 20, 2005

Chechen Diary

From Prima:

CHECHNYA. (Information from Organisation of Russian-Chechen Friendship & Union of Non-Governmental Organisations) In Chechnya there is no end to disappearances, killings, “special operations”, “addressed cleansing operations”, and arbitrary behaviour by Russian forces, the Chechen militia, as well as other unidentified groups.

6 October
Grozny region. During the night, a member of the interior ministry force was killed by gunmen in the village of Vinogradnoye. Initial reports say he was shot at his front door.

7 October
Achkoi-Martan region. In Kotar-Yurt, two brothers were taken by one of the state armed groups. The names were withheld on request of the two men’s relatives. During the day the older of the two brothers was released after having been tortured. One of his hands had been burned to the bone, and several fingers had been cut off. The fate of the second brother remains unknown.

Urus-Martan region. In Roshni-Chu, masked men in camouflage fatigues took a youth known only as Hamzat.

Shali region. Near the village of Mesker-Yurt, three corpses were discovered.

Grozny region. On the outskirts of the settlement Chechen-Aul, villagers discovered the body of an unknown man, with gunshot wounds to the head.

Vedeno region. From 12-15 October, the village of Azhi-Aul was subjected to bombardment from federal forces.

Grozny region. On the edge of Stariye Atagi, the body of a woman was discovered. Eyewitness accounts said the body showed signs of torture.

Vedeno region. In Vedeno, federal forces in combination with local armed forces carried out a so-called passport check, affecting all citizens and blocking all ways in and out of the town.

Grozny region. In Tolstoi-Yurt, armed forces killed a local inhabitant, age 22-25, near the Mosque. According to some information, the forces had been trying to arrest him, at which point the young man drew a pistol and opened fire.

Grozny. In the Oktyabr district, federal forces carried out a so-called Passport Control, checking documents and stopping all traffic.

8 October
Urus-Martan region. A local woman, Gulya Bairmurzaeva, was shot dead by unknown gunmen. A criminal investigation has been opened, evidence being collected.

Vedeno region. From 4 to 6 a.m. a mountain range near Elistanzhi was subjected to bombardment with heavy weapons by federal forces. This has been a regular occurrence since the start of the month.

Grozny region. During the early hours two unidentified masked men entered the Hozhiev family home in Tolstoi-Yurt. They opened fire on Amzhi Hozhiev (33), seriously wounding him.

Achkoi-Martan region. A zachistka is underway in the villages of Samashki and Novy Sharoi. Local armed forces are carrying it out. All entrances to the villages are being blocked by tanks.

Shali region. Local police are conducting investigations into the kidnapping and subsequent murder of Aslambek Gazimagomaev, resident of the village of Mesker-Yurt. The man’s body, carrying signs of violent death, was found on the outskirts of the village on 5 October. Two days before, according to old routine, he was taken by masked men in unmarked vehicles.

Achkoi-Martan region. Samashki resident Emin Ayziev, detained by undetermined armed forces 4 months ago, has been released. He was ejected from a car not far from his home. Weak and in poor shape, the man was not able to get home without assistance. He said he “does not know” where he was and did not remember who he had been with. His relatives then took him away from the village.

Shali region. Residents of Avtury speak of repeated systematic morning bombardment of the outskirts of their village, a daily event for the last two weeks. The operations include howitzers and originate from Russian positions near the regional centre of Shali. Firing lasts around 40 minutes, between 4 and 6 a.m. Although the shelling is concentrated on the forests between Serzhen-Yurt and Avtury, the residents are nonetheless compelled to hide in their cellars. Villagers are thus subjected to stress, with heart attacks having been the result on occasions.

9 October
Grozny region. Two men, Isa Horsaev and Usman Bakaev, were killed in the settlement of Prigorodnoye after stepping on a mine in a deserted holding.

Shali region. On the outskirts of Mesker-Yurt, the body of a young man carrying signs of torture was found in a wood.

Grozny. Pro-Moscow Chechen militia shot two residents of Samashki in the Grozny area of Staropromyslovskoye. The bodies of the men, Bekhan Katsaev and Ruslan Nasilov, were taken to the Russian military base at Khankala, outside Grozny. According to some information, Nasipov was the head of the Samashki Dzhamaat (rebel group).

Kurchaloi region. A 50-year-old man, Isa Dzhabihadhiev, was taken form his home by armed men. His son (16) was beaten up.

10 October
Shali region. Armed men took three inhabitants from Noviye Atagi, named as Edilov, Idrisov and Terluev. While Terluev was released that day, the fate of the other two remains unknown.

Shelkovsky region. A boy aged 7 was taken from the village of Grebenskaya. According to eyewitnesses, the incident happened at the entrance to the local middle school. The kidnappers forced the boy into a car and drove off.

Grozny. Members of the Oktyabr local police and forces from the “anti-terrorist centre” killed two men during an operation at a crossroads. The men, Bekhan Katsaev (20) and Ruslan Nasilov (29), were said to be “active members of illegal armed formations”, and were “on the federal list for serious crimes committed in the Chechen Republic”. Nasilov was the “Emir of Achkoi-Martan region” and Katsaev his personal bodyguard. They were suspects in the murder of two policemen in March 2004; attacks on polling stations in 2003; and placing land mines on roads.

Shali region. On the edge of Kotar-Yurt, a body of a man was found with signs of an unnatural death. The body could not be identified.

Grozny region. The bodies of a man and a woman carrying signs of torture were found on the outskirts of Stariye Atagi.

Grozny region. In Prigorodnoye a so-called zachistka was carried out by federal forces. A man, Kharon Gatsaev (33), was detained. His whereabouts are unknown.

Grozny region. Two residents were taken from the village of Alkhan-Kala.

Vedeno region. At around 2 a.m. armed men with masks entered a house in Elistanzhi. The owner, Kameta Gakaeva, was questioned about the whereabouts of her son, searched her house, threatened her with punishment, and on leaving vowed to return. Gakaeva told a correspondent she did not know the reason for the non-authorised search. Neighbours said some of her relatives earlier took part in fighting for the Chechen Resistance.

11 October
Grozny region. In the early hours of 11 October members of an unidentified armed force detained an inhabitant of Molsovkhoz 15, Aslanbek Sharipov. The man was taken away in an unmarked vehicle. His whereabouts are unknown.

Grozny region. In Stariye Atagi the burial of native inhabitant Madina Yunusova took place. The young woman had been working at the Oktyabr regional administration in Grozny. Relatives said she had been kidnapped together with a man who had been taking her home. Their bodies were found on 10 October with gunshot wounds to the head.

Ingushetia. On the federal road between Rostov on Don and Baku, a powerful explosion took place near Gamurzievo as a military column was passing. A member of a mobile Interior Ministry unit of Ingushetia was lightly injured. The bomb, with an estimated capacity of 2 kilos of TNT, contained bolts. A criminal investigation has been opened into the attack, the third at that place in a month, said to be on account of the greenery close to the road there.

Vedeno region. Two local schoolboys were released from Vedeno Interior Ministry detention. They had been detained on 9 October during identity checks by local and federal forces. The boys, Abdulkhadzhiev and Bibiev, residents of Elistanzhi, said they had been “treated correctly”, but gave no other details of their detention.

Grozny. Unknown men wearing masks and driving a Zhiguli car carried out an attack on hospital workers. According to eyewitnesses, the car carrying two hospital employees and also a director of studies from a local middle school, was fired at by men using pistols. One of the passengers was lightly injured. The attackers escaped with money from the injured passenger, a woman.

Grozny region. On the outskirts of Stariye Atagi the body of a woman was found in woodland. According to some information, she had been taken by unidentified masked men the day before, and her body showed signs of having been tortured.

Achkoi-Martan region. A man in the village of Katyr-Yurt was beaten by members of an armed force. The badly beaten 50-year-old Shahruddin Izaripov was taken to hospital, where his condition was described as “grave”.

Grozny region. The Mullah of Chechen-Aul, Arbi Musaev (50), was kidnapped.

12 October
Urus-Martan region. In Alkhan-Yurt, an unidentified armed force detained two local inhabitants. A so-called zachistka was being carried out. All entrances into the village were blocked in the early hours of the morning.

Grozny. Two members of Chechen security organs were brought to the city’s hospital no. 9 with multiple gunshot wounds. The condition of the two men was said to be grave.

Urus-Martan region. A body of a man was found on the outskirts of the village Gehi. Some reports said the man was a native of the village who had been taken from his home on 10 October together with his sister.

13 October
Shali region. During a so-called zachistka in Noviye Atagi, Russian forces took three men: Aslan Manaev, Saipa Elbuznukaev, and Magomed Kazimagomadov.

Sunzha region. In the early hours, a policeman was killed in Sernovodsk. Senior lieutenant Lom-Ali Hildiharoev, 36, was shot through the window of his house.

Shali region. Armed forces took two teenagers from Noviye Atagi. Locals say they are two brothers called Yamsaev. Reasons for their arrest and their whereabouts are unknown.

Grozny region. Russian forces bombarded the surroundings of Chechen-Aul.

Achkoi-Martan region. The village of Oreholo was subjected to a so-called zachistka. Inhabitants’ homes were entered and documents checked.

Achkoi-Martan region. In Samashki armed men took a man, named as Sharipov, aged 19 or 20.

Grozny. Pro-Moscow Chechen forces killed the driver of a car driving past. According to eyewitnesses, the incident, which occurred along the central boulevard in the city’s Staropromyslovsky region, happened because the driver did not stop to let a column of the Chechen forces pass. Therefore the armed men stopped the car, forced the driver out, and shot him in front of passers-by.

14 October
Achkoi-Martan region. In the early hours, Russian armed forces subjected the area around Samashki to a massive bombardment. Fire came from one of the bases nearby. According to an inhabitant, shells flew over the village all night and exploded nearby. The bombardment started in the late evening and continued until dawn.

Grozny and Shali regions. The areas of Stariye Atagi and Noviye Atagi were subjected to bombardments from Russian army positions. According to a local inhabitant, the intensity of the shelling reminded of the events of spring 2000. towards 6 a.m. the bombardments became more intensive. Local inhabitants link the heavy shelling in the republic to the events in the republic of Kabardino-Balkaria, where rebels attacked state institutions in the capital Nalchik.

Sunzha region. In Sernovodsk a check of documents is underway. Local residents report the armed forces are checking documents and stopping cars.
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