Murder of a Chechen by Policeman Federal Soldiers
The European Court of Human Rights on November 16 handed down a decision in a suit related to the murder in Grozniy of Aslanbek Kukayev, a policeman of the Staropromyslov Regional Branch of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
As reported by Interfax, the court found in favor of the suit brought by Khamzat Kukayev, the father of the policeman who was killed in November 2000 in Grozniy, and obliged the
In the opinion of the court, with regard to the petitioner
The Strasburg court also found that with respect to Kukayev’s father, who suffered mental anguish as a result of the disappearance of his son and the lack of a competent investigation,
The court also established a violation of Article 13 of the Convention, which guarantees the right to an effective remedy in defense of a person’s rights, as well as Article 38, which establishes a procedure for examining cases brought to the
As reported by the online publication “Kavkazskiy Uzel” (Caucus Knot), Dmitriy Grushkin, a lawyer with the “Memorial” organization who is representing the father of the murdered man in the Strasburg court. Kukayev disappeared in Grozniy in the year 2000. On November 26, Kukayev, a member of the patrol service of the Aslanbek Kukayev (No. 221 on the list of those who have disappeared mysteriously), together with his fellow serviceman Roslanbek Damayev (No. 134 on the same list), left for work for the last time in his life, bound for the Central Market of Grozniy. On that day, Russian Federal forces were conducting a “special operation” in the market.
According to multiple witnesses who were interviewed by members of the human rights organization “Memorial”, at 11:00 a.m. on 26 November, 2000 the central market of Grozniy was unexpectedly cordoned off by soldiers and armored vehicles. Traffic was halted for several blocks around the market, and pedestrian movement was limited. Heavy machinery, including tanks and bulldozers, moved toward the rows of stands located on
The market was plundered. One of the traders, a woman, tried to protect her goods. A fight broke out, involving several other women as well. The soldiers were forced to retreat to a market exit, firing over the heads of the people -- as described by “Memorial” in the first book in the series “People Live Here. Chechnya: Chronicle of Violence”, covering the period from July to December 2000 and published by the company “Zvenya” in 2003.
Grozniy resident Khava Magomadova: “At the market was surrounded by soldiers, some of them in masks. Under the guise of checking passports, they chased the traders from their working places and right in front of everyone began taking merchandise from the tables. After opening the merchants’ lockers, they began to load up their Armored Personnel Carriers (APCs) and other vehicles with boxes and crates of alcohol and food products. I had goods worth 22,000 rubles disappear.”
Zarema Abubakorova, a resident of the Grozniy region: “I was working at the market on November 26, when the Russians started roughing people up outrageously. They stole merchandise, food, boxes of vodka, cigarettes and equipment. When two police officers from the Zavodskyy Region tried to intervene, they took away their identification and led them away somewhere. Things stolen from my locker included raincoats, jackets, suits, and shoes, worth 50,000 rubles. Only a few of my colleagues managed to hide and preserve their goods.”
While some soldiers plundered the market, others kidnapped young people: at least 20 people were detained. A few of them managed to ransom their way to safety, but the fate of most of them is still unknown. Two women also disappeared from the market, also perhaps taken by the soldiers.
A student at
The policemen Aslanbek Kukayev and Roslanbek Damayev were in camouflage uniforms and had with them their identifications as members of the police force. At about they were detained by soldiers of the federal forces. Presenting their credentials, Kukayev and Damayev “demanded the soldiers explain what was going on. But then, in front of a multitude of witnesses, they themselves were placed in a truck with some other Chechen policemen who had also been arrested.
According to witnesses, the vehicle stopped at the
Khamzat Kukayev immediately began looking for his son Aslanbek. He appealed to the Grozniy city prosecutor, as a result of which a criminal case was opened. He also turned to the FSB and Commandant of the city.
After 4 months, on
Both of them had been shot in the head. On 12 May the criminal case on the disappearance of Kukayev and subsequent discovery of his body was passed to the military prosecutor’s office. After a few days the military prosecutor returned the case to the civil court, on the basis that no military servicemen were involved in the crime.
Having exhausted all possible means of investigating and punishing those responsible in
In the list compiled by “Memorial” of people who have disappeared in