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Family defend men accused of ‘attempting to travel to Syria’ in Chechnya

7 August 2017
Staropromyslovsky District Court

The trial has begun of two young men accused of attempting to travel to Syria to join the Islamic State; both claimed in court that they were beaten and tortured, Novaya Gazeta reports.

The defendants, Jamalay Tazbiyev and Magomed Taramov, both from Krasnaya Turbina, a suburb of Grozny, were arrested on 27 January. According to Novaya Gazeta, they were kept in a police station Grozny’s Staropromyslovsky District, where they were beaten and tortured with electric shocks.

According to Novaya Gazeta journalist Olga Bobrova, who attended the trial, families and other residents of Krasnaya Turbina have supported the accused.

‘Before, the mechanisms of public censure worked flawlessly: relatives recognised the guilt of the arrested son (or brother or husband), renouncing them. However, in this trial, which is being held in the small hall of the Staropromyslovskiy District Court, so many people came that the bailiffs have already started talking about limiting access to the hearings. I think we are watching history in the making: Chechens demonstrating massive disobedience to the general line’, she wrote in Novaya Gazeta.

According to Bobrova, these people may face consequences for failing to condemn the accused.

‘No one can be sure that tomorrow they will not come after their families, in black suits, with SOBR [Special Rapid Response Team]. And no one has the right to defend them. but in Krasnaya Turbina they have violated this rule — they are protecting themselves’, she writes.   

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