26 September 2011, 23:00
Week in the Caucasus: review of main events of September 19-25
Recognition of independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia by the Pacific State of Tuvalu; PACE inspection of TACs of Chechen refugees in Ingushetia; terror act with dozens of victims; the fifth within a month attempt on high-ranking law enforcer; and the trial of policemen accused of beating lawyer Sapiyat Magomedova, which ended without starting in Dagestan, - look these and other events in the Caucasus in the review of the week of September 19-25, 2011, prepared by the "Caucasian Knot".
Dagestan: resonant terror act; murder of high-ranking power agent; start of trial on beating lawyer
The situation in Dagestan, which is far from stability not for the first year already, has still aggravated last week. In addition to shelling, special operations and explosions, already common for the region, it faced a large-scale terror act and a murder of another high-ranking power agent. The list of critical events includes a start of litigation on beating the lawyer Sapiyat Magomedova by employees of Khasavyurt GOVD (City Interior Division).
Trial in Khasavyurt: no full stop yet
On September 19, the Khasavyurt City Court held its first hearing on the criminal case dealing with the beating on June 17, 2010, of Sapiyat Magomedova, a lawyer of the Bar "A. S. Omarov and Partners". The woman was beaten up, when she came to the GOVD to meet her client, as a result of the attack Magomedova was hospitalized with brain concussion, abrasions and bruises.
The incident caused broad resonance in the republic and abroad and attracted attention of international human rights organizations (Amnesty International, Human Right Watch and International Bar Association), who insisted on objective investigation into the beating, while the Dagestani leader took the case under his personal control. The prisoner's dock houses Batirbi Magdiev, commander of the special fire group (SFG) of the Khasavyurt GOVD, and his subordinate Nariman Mollaev.
On the first day of litigation, the judge forbade journalists to make video and photo filming in the courtroom and announced a break till September 21, when a decision was to be announced on the petition of the defence to return the case to the prosecutor. On September 21, the judge listened to the parties and deferred his by one day more; and on September 22, he ruled to return the criminal case against the above policemen to the prosecutor's office for further inquiry.
Now, the accused power agents may become defendants, should Sapiyat Magomedova be acquitted on the criminal case initiated against herself under the article of "insulting a state official" - initially, the policemen had asserted that Sapiyat herself attacked them. It is unknown yet, when the same Khasavyurt City Court plans to start litigation on the case against Magomedova.
Terror act in Makhachkala: more than fifty victims
Two explosions were triggered at night on September 22 in Makhachkala, at the corner of Ermoshkin and Dakhadaev Streets - a few hundred meters off the central city square. Policeman Magomed Abakarov was killed. In total, the two blasts wounded 29 policemen and 25 civilians. The explosions were officially treated as a terror act - the biggest by the number of victims in 2010-2011 in Dagestan, and the third for the same period in the entire North-Caucasian Federal District (NCFD).
In total, since 2010, according to calculations of the "Caucasian Knot", based on information of its own correspondents and data from open sources, the regions of Northern Caucasus saw at least 18 explosions, where the number of victims was 10 and more.
Ibragimkhalil Daudov, the leader of the armed underground of Dagestan, is suspected of organizing the above bombings in Makhachkala. He is the Sharia husband of the woman who, according to investigators, blew herself up in the Kuzminki Park in Moscow in December 2010. It was reported that she accidentally detonated a bomb while teaching a potential female suicide bomber.
In the evening on September 21, near the place, where later the above bombs were triggered, a VAZ-2109 car blew up and killed four people inside (initially two, then three casualties were reported). Investigators believe that the car was transported alleged militants and one of the bombs, prepared for future terror acts, including at the "Anji" Stadium; however, it accidentally exploded.
Murder of Dagestani FSIN deputy head: fifth attempt on high-ranking power agent over the last month
On September 23, a shelling of a car in the township of Semender, located in the outskirt of Makhachkala, killed Internal Service Colonel Magomed Murtazaliev, deputy chief of the Dagestani Department of the Russian Federal Corrective Service (known as FSIN), who was in charge of observance the law and order in corrective establishments.
Murtazaliev's driver - Senior Sergeant Rashid Magomedov, his 8-year-old daughter Makka and his nephew Djambulat, who also were in the car, also perished. All the four died in place from received gunshot wounds; the car got completely burnt down.
This murder was the fifth attempt on high-ranking power agents in Dagestan, committed in September.
On September 22, unidentified persons shelled the car of Colonel Magomednabi Adilkhanov, head of the Buinaksk ROVD (District Interior Division). The officer was not injured, but his two bodyguards were killed. On September 21, during shelling of a column of militaries in the Tsumadin District, a police colonel, the first head of the temporary task group of the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) in Northern Caucasus, was wounded. On September 18, in Makhachkala, FSB Lieutenant Colonel Magomedov was shot dead. On September 1, an explosion happened in Makhachkala and killed Colonel Ibragim Djabrailov, deputy head of the city FSB division for Dagestan. During the explosion, his mother, sister and niece were in the car with the casualty - all three were wounded.
Ingushetia: PACE dissatisfied with Chechen refugees' living conditions in Ingushetia; refugees fear eviction
On September 23, a delegation of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) came to Ingushetia, visited the refugees' temporary accommodation centres (TACs) and found the conditions there unsatisfactory. Refugees live in trailers or wooden panel houses - several persons in one room. Unsanitary conditions and lack of utilities influence people's health, say local doctors, to whom TAC residents regularly turn.
On the eve of the visit of the PACE delegation, the refugees from Chechnya, who had been living in Ingushetia since mid-1990s, said that they feared forced eviction.
According to the Chechen human rights defender Kheda Saratova, who visited the refugee camps on September 20, the Chechen authorities report to Ramzan Kadyrov that they had allegedly provided housing to these people; however, the areas, where they live, lack utilities, roads and schools. Also, those who are eligible for compensation in the amount of 350,000 roubles for their destroyed houses, say that with all their desire they can do nothing, since the money is not enough to build a house.
As stated by Isa Khashiev, Deputy Head of the Department for Ingushetia of the Russian Federal Migration Service (FMS), who visited the TACs on September 21 together with a special commission, the panic on possible eviction of refugees could be caused by the recent statement of the Ingush leader Yunus-Bek Evkurov on television, when he said about the need to liquidate the refugees' TACs, unfit for habitation.
The Ingush authorities promise to build houses for refugees. The "Caucasian Knot" correspondent was informed at the Ministry for Nationalities' Matters of Ingushetia that funds would be allocated, so that people could rent some housing until their own houses were built.
Abkhazia and South Ossetia: independence is recognized step by step
On September 23, it became known that the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia was recognized by the Pacific state of Tuvalu.
The statement on establishment of diplomatic relations between the Republic of Abkhazia and Tuvalu was signed in Sukhumi by the Abkhazian Prime Minister Sergey Shamba and Prime Minister of Tuvalu Willy Telavi. A similar joint statement between the Republic of South Ossetia and Tuvalu was signed by President Eduard Kokoity and Willy Telavi on September 19 in Tskhinvali.
Officially, the Georgian Foreign Ministry did not comment on these developments; however, David Djalaganiya, Deputy Foreign Minister, stated the illegitimacy of signing such documents with the regions, considers by Georgia to be parts of its territory.
Earlier, apart from Russia (August 2008), the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia was recognized by Nicaragua (September 2008), Venezuela (September 2009) and Nauru (December 2009). Let us remind you that in June 2011 Prime Minister of Vanuatu Edward Natapei said that he cancelled the government's decision to recognize Abkhazia's independence. Mr Natapei also asked the representative of Vanuatu at the United Nations Donald Kalpokas to initiate the process of establishing official relations with Georgia.