22 March 2010, 18:00

Residents of Chechnya complain of methods used by power agents in war on supposed militants

Residents of Chechnya assert that the tactics used by local power agencies in fighting supposed militants does not change and still comprises threats and pressure on relatives and putting their houses on fire. The Human Rights Centre (HRC) "Memorial" learnt about it from relatives of Magomed Khashuev, a medrese teacher from the city of Shali.

According to the HRC "Memorial", in February 2010, Magomed Khashuev took a vacation and left the republic with the aim to buy religious literature; and he had informed in advance, on February 11, the mufti and the imam of his mosque about his plans.

On March 14, militiamen from the Shali ROVD (District Interior Division) came to Khashuevs' house in Shali and started asking about Magomed, demanding to tell where he was. Having received no answer, as the relatives report, they took away a mobile phone from Magomed Khashuev's wife and left.

On the following day, March 15, employees of the ROVD cordoned the Esenina and Naberezhnaya Streets, where Khashuevs' houses are located. A certain Khakim-Khyazh, who presented himself as deputy head of the Shali ROVD, was in command of the operation.

They searched the houses, cellars, roofs and kitchen gardens, but found nothing.

From the conversations ran by ROVD employees, Khashuev's relatives understood that they had data, received from earlier detained Emi Ediev, that Magomed was "Amir" - head of one of subdivisions of illegal armed formations (IAFs).

At dawn on March 16, the Khashuevs' house, located in the Naberezhnaya Street, which was in construction, was set on fire. Thanks to neighbours' vigilance of and firemen's efficiency, the fire was extinguished. On one of the versions it was arson: bottle with rests of solar oil was found in the place of the incident.

On March 17, the family was visited by a district militiaman, who said that Magomed should urgently come home; otherwise they would have more problems.

No comments could be received so far from the Shali ROVD.

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