15 March 2021, 19:57
"Novaya Gazeta" posts eyewitness testimony of extrajudicial executions in Chechnya
Today, the newspaper "Novaya Gazeta" has made public a testimony of Chechen law enforcer Suleiman Gezmakhmaev. According to his story, residents of Chechnya, detained in January 2017, were tortured and forced to incriminate themselves before the extrajudicial killings, and the law enforcer witnessed those events.
The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on February 15, the "Novaya Gazeta" posted copies of the photo tables prepared by the Chechen Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) with the information about the detention of 108 people, some of whom fell victim to extrajudicial killings in 2017. The newspaper also announced the release of the testimony given by a fighter of the Akhmat Kadyrov regiment, who witnessed the extrajudicial executions.
In December 2016 and January 2017, former Senior Police Sergeant Suleiman Gezmakhmaev, a fighter of the Akhmat Kadyrov regiment, took part in "special measures to detain hundreds of Chechen residents and guarded at least 56 detainees kept in a gym basement of the Akhmat Kadyrov regiment." Suleiman Gezmakhmaev also knew about the circumstances of the killings of at least 13 people from among those executed on the night of January 26, 2017, the "Novaya Gazeta" reports in the today's material entitled "I served in the Chechen police and did not want to kill people."
"The extrajudicial execution of the detainees became the starting point for his escape from Chechnya. He no longer wanted to serve at the Chechen police. And, most importantly, he wanted to tell the world about the terrible crime he had witnessed," emphasized Elena Milashina, an author of the article.
According to the Suleiman Gezmakhmaev's story, in early January 2017, the fighters of the Akhmat Kadyrov regiment were informed that they would detain residents of Chechnya. "During the week, we brought 56 detainees to the regiment. Many of them first saw each other only in our basement," the former Senior Police Sergeant said. According to him, the detainees were beaten "as soon as they were placed to the basement." Furthermore, after their detention, all the detainees were tortured with electric current.
"Our commanders told us that the detainees were plotting an attack on the Chechen police. The detainees themselves said that they wanted to attack Russian soldiers. However, when tortured with electric current, a person can say whatever you want. Then, after all, they were detained as terrorists, so they were to confess to at least something," said Suleiman Gezmakhmaev.
According to him, among the detained there were 13 "amirs," militant commanders, and all of them were shot dead after their detention.
This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on March 15, 2021 at 12:59 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.