23 April 2016, 00:29

Experts treat explosions in houses of militants' relatives in Dagestan as law enforcers' retaliation

In Dagestan, law enforcers openly resort to blowing up of houses of suspected militants' relatives as a form of retaliation; however, those actions only escalate the conflict in the republic. This opinion was expressed by the experts interviewed by the "Caucasian Knot".

On April 20, an empty school building in the village of Djuli of the Tabasaran District of Dagestan was set on fire. According to law enforcers, the arson was committed by Rasmin Magomedov, a local resident. Law enforcers described him as a militant from the "Southern" grouping. On April 21, the Rasmin Magomedov's house was blown up, and the explosion was motivated by the discovery of an improvised explosive device (IED) in the house. The people, who lived in the house, were forced to move to their relatives' places.

According to Ekaterina Sokiryanskaya, the project director for Northern Caucasus of the International Crisis Group (ICG), law enforcers always use the same scenario while committing similar explosions of houses.

"The scenario is always the same: law enforcers enter a house, search it, discover nothing, and force everyone to leave the house. Then, during a re-search, they 'discover' an IED and later neutralize it through explosion. Residents of the house are informed that it was impossible to defuse the bomb," said Ekaterina Sokiryanskaya.

The expert believes that the use of such tactics is not efficient to combat the armed underground. Relatives, whose houses are destroyed, are forced to seek protection, and the armed underground is interested in that, explains Ekaterina Sokiryanskaya.

According to Miarbek Agaev, the editor-in-chief of the newspaper "Chernovik" (Draft), in Dagestan, the practice of blowing up houses in retaliation to militants' family members is used for about 2.5 years.

Oleg Orlov, a member of the Board of the Human Rights Centre (HRC) "Memorial", believes that it is possible to globally counteract the current "retaliation system" through complex measures. In particular, according to Oleg Orlov, the incidents should be made public to draw attention to them in Russia and abroad, and besides, "when possible", the actions of law enforcers should be sued in court.

Full text of the article is available on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’.

Author: Oleg Krasnov; Source: CK correspondent

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