Dzhamalay Tazbiyev and Magomed Taramov, who were accused of attempting to travel to Syria to fight, have unexpectedly plead guilty. The trial is being held in the small hall of the Grozny’s Staropromyslovsky District Court in Chechnya.
The two refused to see a lawyer. There are rumours that both families were subjected to extreme pressure, including being beaten in the police station.
According to Novaya Gazeta, on 17 August, Salman and Sultan Taramov, the father and uncle of Magomed Taramov, and Magomed Tazbiyev, the uncle of Dzhamalay Tazbiyev, were released late at night from a Staropromyslovky District police station where they were brought that evening.
Novaya Gazeta cites an anonymous source saying that they were beaten by police. Magomed Tazbiyev managed to call lawyer Vladimir Rutkovsky and repeat three times to him that they were being beaten by the police.
This followed a recent appeal by relatives of the defendants to Russia’s General Prosecutor Yury Chayka, complaining about the mistreatment of the defendants.
The appeal was signed by a number of residents of the village of Krasnaya Turbina, where the two are from. During the wars in Chechnya, residents of this village fought against an independent Chechnya.
The father of one of the defendants served in the military in conflicts in South Ossetia, Lebanon, and Donetsk.
Chechen police also arrested other signatories of the relatives’ appeal. They were released at night after being questioned.
Lawyer Vladimir Rutkovsky after spending several hours at the police station announced that his clients Magomed and Dzhamalay were refusing his services during the trial and had pleaded guilty.
Mikhail Fedotov, the Head of Russia’s Presidential Council for Human Rights has announced that he is examining the allegations that relatives of the defendants were beaten.