Munich/Germany, Monday, 05 March 2012
c/o Consul-General Mrs. Irina B. SVIRIDOVA
7-9 Fullerton Street,
Woollahra NSW 2025
Tel: +612 9326 1866; -9326 1702
Fax: +612 9327 5065
Re - Russian Federation: Arbitrary detention of members of Ingushetian human rights organisation 'Mashr'
Appeal to President Dmitry Medvedev (and/or) to President Wladimir Putin - - -. Thank you.
Your Excellency, dear Ambassador,
I would like to draw your attention to the arbitrary detention of Mr Murad Yandiev and threats against Mr Magomed Mutsolgov, members of Ingushetian human rights organisation 'Mashr'. - On 29 February 2012, at around 7.00 pm, the family of Mr Murad Yandiev, accountant with human rights organisation ‘Mashr' ('Peace' in Chechen and Ingush languages), reported his disappearance. On 1 March 2012, he has been found in the Police Department in Nazran. While visiting him in detention, Mr Magomed Mutsolgov, head of 'Mashr', has been threatened with physical attack. 'Mashr' is a leading human rights organisation in Ingushetia founded in 2005 which documents human rights violations and works in particular on enforced disappearances and the use of torture in North Caucasus. On 29 February 2012, at around 6.20 pm, Murad Yandiev left his house in Karabulak with the intention of going to Mashr's offices. At 6.40 pm his father spoke to him by phone for the last time. From 7.00 pm, his family lost trace of him and his mobile phone has been switched off since.
On 1 March 2012, Murad Yandiev's father, Mukhamed Khandiev, filed a statement with the head of the Karabulak Police department, Mr Khmakhoev, in which he wrote “I suspect that law enforcement representatives are involved in the disappearance of my son, and his life and health are in serious danger”. On 1 March 2012, after Mr Magomed Mutsolgov, head of 'Mashr', contacted the head of the presidential administration, Murad Yandiev was found in the Police Department in Nazran. Magomed Mutsolgov and member of Human Rights Centre Memorial, Abubakar Tsechoev, both members of the Public Commission of Control over detention facilities, immediately went there. Murad Yandiev was reportedly detained with three other young men in possession of 'extremist' literature. All of those detained had traces of having been beaten.
When Murad Yandiev confirmed to Magomed Mutsolgov that they had been beaten up by policemen, Mr Movsar Tambiev, the head of Nazran Police Department started to threaten Magomed Mutsolgov with physical attack on himself and on his family if he disseminated this information to the media. These threats were made in the presence of representatives of the Federal Security Service (FSB), the Anti-Extremism Unit and the Secretary of the Council of Security of Ingushetia. Tambiev also accused 'Mashr' to be involved in recruitment of people in illegal military troops and tried to discredit the work of human rights organisations in Ingushetia. During this meeting, the human rights defenders were filmed against their will by FSB. The cameraman also filmed unidentified publications, allegedly found on the detainees, including a book that was called 'extremist', together with the reports published by 'Mashr'.
Members of the Public Commission of Control over detention facilities together with Murad Yandiev's lawyer were then forced to leave the Police Department. Murad Yandiev remains in detention without knowing what he is accused of. His family was left with no news for 15 hours, he was not allowed to make a phone call, and he spoke to his lawyer for the first time in the evening of 1 March.
I am concerned by the arbitrary detention and reported beating of Mr Murad Yandiev, and by the threats against Mr Magomed Mutsolgov and his family made by the head of the Nazran Police Department, especially since similar threats have been recently received by 'Mashr' members. I believe that such threats are directly related to the legitimate and peaceful human rights work of 'Mashr' and its members.
I urge the authorities in the Russian Federation:
###- to carry out an immediate, thorough and impartial investigation into the arbitrary detention and reported beating of human rights defender Mr Murad Yandiev, with a view to publishing the results and bringing those responsible to justice in accordance with international standards; ###- to take all necessary measures to guarantee the physical and psychological integrity and security of Mr Murad Yandiev while in detention, and of Mr Magomed Mutsolgov and members of his family; ###- to guarantee in all circumstances that all human rights defenders in the Russian Federation are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions including judicial harassment. THANK YOU.
Wilhelm H. Ludwig
Member of the International Society for Human Rights (ISHR)www.ishr.org – www.igfm.de – www.menschenrechte.de –