Harassment of Chechens in Moscow

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Date: Mon, 19 Jun 2000 21:35:37 +0200 (EET)
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Subject: Harassment of Chechens in Moscow

From: MINELRES moderator <minelres@mailbox.riga.lv>

Original sender: Dmitry Grushkin <memhrc@glasnet.ru>

Harassment of Chechens in Moscow

The struggle with terrorism (which Russian government began since
September, last year) has got significant scales and various forms.
So, in Chechen Republic "the armed gangs" (together with peace
inhabitans) are destroyed by the armed means. In other regions, where
the battle actions are not conducted, the authorities put into
practice the campaign of the terrorist acts' prevention. The members
of the Ministry of Internal Affairs carry out the check of the
passport regime, seeking the potential terrorists. By the way, these
measures are connected with the ethnic problems more and more: first
of all Russians who have arrived from Caucausus are exposed to
humiliating check of the documents.

The "anti-terrorist" activity in Moscow  has got more refined form.
Except for a total re-registration of non-muscovites (in
September-October, 1999), the authorities have begun the presecutions
of the Chechen and Ingush people living in Moscow and Moscow area, on
a large scale (the so-called operation "Whirlwind-Antiterror"). This
campaign was carried out, actually, under one script. The detained
suspect was delivered in the local branch of militia. After a search,
the militiamen suddenly found some drugs or fire-arms with cartridges
(in the pocket, in the sock or in the passport). All these things gave
them the right to change a preventive punishment to the detained
people: they were arrested and were delivered in the isolator of the
Butirskay prison (IZ-48/2). Then the criminal case was opened
according to article 222 part 1 or article 228 part 1 (storage of the
weapon and the drugs) the Criminal Code of Russian Federation.

On the data of Human Rights Centre "Memorial" and Committee "Civil
Assistance", 51 Chechen and Ingush people arrested for the similar
crimes (but this figure isn't complete). So, even the Representative
of the Chechen Republic's President M.Vachagaev is going to be
sentenced in accordance with article 222 part 1. M.Vachagaev was
stopped by the member of militia in the evening of October 21, 1999,
when he was following on Kutuzov prospectus with his assistant M.
Nugaev.  After check of the documents, the fire-arms (pistols) were
pushed them in their clothes. It has formed the basis for the
accusation of the both persons (Vachagaev and Nugaev) in crime
stipulated article 222 part 1. At first they have been imprisoned in
"Dorogomilovsky" OVD, and then transferred to IZ-48/2 (Butirskay
prison). The court has disregarded the request of Vachagaev's lawyer
and decided that Vachagaev should remain in prison (in connection with
the terrible crime).

>From November 1999 hearing of the cases about illegal acquisition,
keeping and spreading of the drugs and fire-arms began. After the
courts sitting it was clear that avowal of guilt or non-avowal of
guilt did not matter at all, because Courts are passing verdicts of

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