23 December 2008, 00:00
Video: story of human rights activist kidnapped by power agents in Ingushetia
The "Caucasian Knot" presents a video story by Zurab Tsechoev, employee of the Human rights organization "Mashr", kidnapped this July by FSB agents in Ingushetia, telling the details of the incident.
Zurab Tsechoev tells that he was taken away from his home by people in camouflage. At gunpoint of sub-machine gun Tsechoev was driven along his house; the kidnappers examined him, took away his two mobile phones, told something about computers and forced into an armoured troop-carrier (ATC).
Initially, Tsechoev was practically not beaten; he was transported, as he guessed, in direction of Nazran. He could see that the car drove into an underground garage of some building.
People in masks came and began asking Tsechoev about lists of FSB (Federal Security Bureau) and MIA (Ministry of Internal Affairs) employees accused of kidnappings and extrajudicial executions, which were placed in the evening on July 24 in the website "Ingushetia.Ru". They wanted to get Tsechoev's confession that it was he who had placed the lists to the website. He refused to confess; then, they put a black polyethylene bag over Tsechoev's head and began beating him. The beating continued for more than four hours. Having failed to get the confession that he had placed the lists, the people in masks started asking about who had done it. They threatened to take him away to North Ossetia, Chechnya, frightened to bugger him, make a video of it and show to his girls.
"I couldn't stand any longer, then, I found that my leg was broken. But they put me up and strangled. Suddenly, some other man came and said that they wouldn't beat me any more. He gave me some water, and I understood that something had changed," said Tsechoev.
The kidnappers demanded from Tsechoev to sign the documents that he had no claims to them. They threatened that if he went to the prosecutor's office or somewhere else with a complaint, they would kill him and his children. Tsechoev also noticed that when the kidnappers were driving him out of the garage, they hid him from their colleagues who stood at the exit.
Tsechoev is sure that he was released only because human rights organizations had stood up for him. Later he learnt that his relatives and colleagues from the organization were going to hold a rally in Magas, the capital of Ingushetia.
The investigation of the incident goes very slowly, within two months it is already the third inspector in charge of it. According to Tsechoev, the criminal case was opened only on the 5th day after his wife filed a complaint to the prosecutor's office. The forensic medical examination took place only in a week after kidnapping. The examination revealed that Tsechoev had a brain concussion, fracture of his left leg, partial damage of kidneys and numerous haematomas. He spent a month in hospital.
Tsechoev tells that he is not going to stop his human rights activity and will continue to work with the website of his organization "Mashr".
See the video interview (only in Russian) See the video interview (only in Russian)