Pretrial detention centre. Photo: Elena Sineok,

14 March 2019, 11:02

Version of Tuntuev's suicide caused scepticism in his defence

Ayub Tuntuev, a former security of the head of Chechnya, who was found dead in the colony, had never expressed his intent to commit suicide, but reported threats received after his complaint about torture was sent to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), the "Legal Initiative" has stated.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on March 12, the "Legal Initiative" informed about Tuntuev's suicide in a colony in the Vladimir Region.

On May 15, 2008, the Supreme Court (SC) of Chechnya sentenced Ayub Tuntuev to 24 years of imprisonment in the case on a terror act committed in 2005. On August 2, 2017, the North-Caucasian District Military Court recognizing Ayub Tuntuev as a participant in the attack on Pskov paratroopers in 2000 and prolonged the term of his punishment for 11 months. In May 2016, the "Legal Initiative" filed a complaint to the ECtHR against the verdict to Ayub Tuntuev.

His body was found in the medical unit of the colony on March 12, the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent was told at the press service of the Department for the Vladimir Region of the Russian Federal Penitentiary Service (known as FSIN). "No signs of violent death were found," said the press service, adding, however, that the check continues.

For the last two years, Tuntuev was kept in solitary confinement, said Ksenia Babich, the press secretary of the "Legal Initiative". "He was constantly placed there as a form of disciplinary punishments. Tagir Shamsudinov said more than once that this was done on purpose. Since the New Year, he had all the necessary documents ready to challenge the last penalty imposed on Tuntuev, and for his transfer into a regular cell," Ms Babich has stated.

According to her version, Tuntuev complained of pressure and threats after filing a complaint with the ECtHR. "He regularly received threats like 'you'll never come out alive from here; you're just a dead body.' That is why we prepared documents and demanded his transfer from the solitary cell," Ksenia Babich has explained.

In Chechnya, people have perceived the version of Tuntuev's suicide with scepticism. "(Ayub) had repeatedly complained about torture before; and he appealed to human rights defenders and to other instances. We are Muslims; suicides are not allowed among believers," Isa, one of Tuntuev's relatives, told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on March 13, 2019 at 09:01 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Gor Aleksanyan; Source: CK correspondent

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