At least two people have been tortured to death and 40 detained in a new wave of state persecutions of queer people in the Russian Republic of Chechnya, Russian activists say.
On 12 September, a court in the Russian Republic of Chechnya convicted 14 men of ‘participation in an illegal armed formation’ and ‘illegal purchase and possession of weapons’. The trial was held in secret, with relatives claiming they were promised the men would receive lighter sentences if they did not contact rights groups or the media.
An autopsy on the remains of Archil Tatunashvili, a Georgian citizen who died in South Ossetian custody in February, says that he suffered over 100 separate injuries before dying. South Ossetia claims that Tatunashvili, whose remains were transferred to Tbilisi almost three months ago, died after falling down a flight of stairs while trying to escape. [Read more…]
Magomed Khazbiyev, a well-known Ingush opposition figure and public activist, has been in a detention facility in the town of Karabulak since 11 January. He is being accused of illegal possession of weapons. He claims that the charges have been fabricated. His lawyers insist upon his release. Khazbiyev suffers from ulcers and skin disease. A suspect under investigation with such diseases should be released for treatment.
South Ossetia has handed over the body of Archil Tatunashvili, a former Georgian soldier who died in prison in South Ossetia ‘in unclear circumstances’, to the Georgian authorities, 26 days after his death. [Read more…]
The head of the Derbent District administration in Daghestan, Magomed Dzhelilov, has been arrested on suspicion of ‘abuse of power’, and a criminal case has been launched against him.
Detentions of officials in Daghestan are continuing. According to a researcher at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO), Vadim Mukhanov, the crackdown is aimed at strengthening Moscow’s power in the region and are not indicative of systemic changes.
The European Union has expressed ‘grave concern’ at the death of a Georgian citizen and former soldier in a custody in Tskhinvali (Tskhinval), calling for more transparency. [Read more…]