История дела: Сводная мобильная группа
9 марта 2016 года на автобус, на котором группа правозащитников и журналистов ехала из Ингушcкой Республики в Грозный, столицу Чеченской Республики, напали мужчины в масках, после чего автобус сожгли.
В состав Сводной мобильной группы входят эксперты по праву и коммуникации из разных регионов Российской Федерации, которые выезжают в Чечню, как только становится известно о нарушении прав человека. Они возят с собой видеокамеры для сбора доказательств и опроса пострадавших и свидетелей, чтобы в дальнейшем использовать эти данные в ходе судебного преследования. В атмосфере полной безнаказанности царящей в Чечне Сводная мобильная группа играет важную роль в сборе доказательство до того, как они будут искажены или уничтожены местной полицией или службой безопасности: это органы ранее уже пытались препятствовать расследованиям уничтожая доказательство или фабрикуя подлоги. .
- 22 марта 2016 : Обыск в офисе Сводной мобильной группы и нападение на главу организации Игоря Каляпина
- 7 июня 2015 : Investigate Mob Violence and Protect Human Rights Activists in Chechnya
- 3 июня 2015 : Joint Mobile Group in Grozny under attack
- 15 декабря 2014 : Arson attack on office of Joint Mobile Group and search of its apartment after threats against HRDs working in Chechnya
- 7 июля 2012 : Threat of criminal prosecution facing human rights defender Mr Igor Kalyapin and Joint Mobile Group members
- 7 июня 2012 : Members of Joint Mobile Group in Chechnya subjected to verbal abuse and false accusations by Chechen President and local authorities
16 марта 2016 года 15 неизвестных в масках напали на правозащитника и руководителя Сводной мобильной группы (СМГ) Игоря Каляпина во время его визита в столицу Чеченской Республики Грозный. За день до того полиция устроила обыск в офисе СМГ в Грозном.
Игорь Каляпин возглавляет Комитет по предотвращению пыток (КПП), межрегиональную правозащитную организацию, которая проводит общественные расследования, представляет интересы пострадавших от пыток в национальных и международных судах и государственных структурах, а также помогает пострадавшим получить компенсацию и медицинскую помощь. В ноябре 2009 после убийства правозащитницы Натальи Эстемировой КПП вместе с несколькими другими правозащитными организациями основали СМГ, чтобы предоставлять в Чечне правовую помощь тем, чьи права человека были нарушены. Игорь Каляпин на данный момент является председателем группы.
16 марта 2016 года Игорь Каляпин отправился в Грозный на встречу с журналистами. Через час после заселения в гостиницу "Грозный Сити" к нему пришел менеджер гостиницы и сообщил, что правозащитник должен незамедлительно уехать, поскольку людям, критикующим Рамзана Кадырова, лидера Чеченской Республики, в ней не место. Когда Игорь Каляпин собрался и вышел на улицу, на него напали 15 неизвестных мужчин в масках. Нападавшие избили его, забросали яйцами, мукой и зеленкой, а затем скрылись. В результате нападения правозащитник серьезно не пострадал. Когда на место происшествия прибыла полиция, Игоря Каляпина забрали в полицейский участок, где сфотографировали и взяли показания. Сотрудники полиции, тем не менее, отказались возбуждать уголовное дело в связи с нападением. Затем по просьбе Игоря Каляпина в участок прибыл следователь федерального Следственного комитета, чтобы обеспечить безопасность правозащитника при выезде с территории Чеченской Республики.
Вечером 15 марта 2016 года в офис СМГ, расположенный в квартире Натальи Эстемировой в Грозном, вломилась полиция. Прибыв на место, сотрудники полиции приказали жильцам соседних квартир покинуть помещение, затем заблокировали входную дверь и приступили к обыску, после чего запечатали дверь и ушли. Входная дверь в офис остается запечатанной. Пока неясно, унесли ли сотрудники полиции что-то из офиса.
Организация Front Line Defenders обеспокоена нападением на Игоря Каляпина и офис Сводной мобильной группы, поскольку полагает, что это вызвано мирной, законной работой СМГ и КПП в защиту жертв пыток в Чеченской Республике.
Front Line Defenders призывает власти Российской Федерации:
1. Провести незамедлительное, тщательное и беспристрастное расследование нападения на Игоря Каляпина и обстоятельств обыска в офисе Сводной мобильной группы с последующим оглашением результатов и привлечением виновных к ответственности в соответствии с международными нормами;
2. Принять все необходимые меры, чтобы обеспечить физическую и психологическую неприкосновенность и безопасность Игоря Каляпина и других членов Сводной мобильной группы и Комитета по предотвращению пыток;
3. Сделать все возможное, чтобы правозащитники России могли вести законную правозащитную работу без страха мести и без каких-либо ограничений.
The Russian authorities should take urgent steps to protect human rights defenders working in Chechnya from attacks and harassment, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and Front Line Defenders said today.
Unidentified people in masks forced their way into the office of the human rights nongovernmental organization Joint Mobile Group (JMG) for Chechnya, in Chechnya’s capital, Grozny, on June 3, 2015, destroying its contents and forcing its staff to evacuate. The authorities should immediately conduct an effective investigation of the incident, capable of identifying those responsible and bringing them to account in a fair trial.
This outrageous attack is the latest in a series of incidents of intense harassment and intimidation of the group of human rights defenders, who have continuously fought for years for the protection of the rule of law in Chechnya.
At about 10:30 a.m. on June 3, an aggressive mob surrounded the building in which JMG has its office, smashing JMG's car in the courtyard with metal crowbars, before forcing their way into the building entrance. They broke down the door and stormed into the JMG office. Several people also climbed onto the office balcony and tried to break in through the window. JMG staff - Albert Kuznetsov and Daniil Chendemirov - escaped through a window on the other side of the building. The mob ransacked the office, then broke down the door of the apartment rented by the JMG staff on the same floor of the building.
Local and Moscow-based human rights defenders repeatedly called the police in Grozny asking them to intervene, but their phone calls went unanswered. Witnesses said police officers joined the crowd but did not intervene. According to Human Rights Center Memorial said that members of the Investigative Committee, a stand-alone agency responsible for investigation of serious crimes in Russia, arrived at the scene around noon. An Investigative Committee official told Memorial that over 40 people were detained, but there has been no independent confirmation, nor were any further details made available.
Front Line Defenders, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International are concerned that this attack took place against a backdrop of increasingly hostile rhetoric by the authorities against the group and that there had been no effective investigation into a previous attack on JMG in Grozny, in December 2014. The organizations call on the Russian authorities to ensure that human rights defenders can continue their lawful work in the Chechen Republic without fear for their lives and well-being.
In the lead-up to the previous attack, on December 13 a public demonstration took place in Grozny with banners labeling JMG “supporters of terrorism.” Later that day, the JMG office was destroyed by fire in a suspected arson attack. The next day, Chechen police entered the apartment rented by JMG in Grozny and, without providing any explanation or a search warrant to the two JMG staff members present, ransacked the apartment and confiscated mobile phones, several cameras, laptop computers, and other electronic equipment. They also conducted body searches of the two JMG staff members and searched their car. The two members, Sergei Babinets and Dmitry Dimitriev, were held by police for several hours before being released without charge.
In December, Amnesty International, Front Line Defenders and Human Rights Watch called on the Russian authorities to investigate the suspected arson, ensure protection was provided to JMG staff, and honor Russia’s commitment to foster a normal working climate for human rights defenders. Since then, the situation has worsened for independent human rights defenders and journalists who work in Chechnya. Pressure on local journalists and public figures has increased and independent journalists have been threatened.
The day before the attack, the authorities had announced a meeting to protest a “propaganda war against Chechnya and Russia,” waged – according to the Chechen authorities – by human rights defenders and such independent media outlets as Novaya Gazeta, Kommersant, radio station Echo of Moscow and the information platform OpenRussia. Kommersant and OpenRussia recently published allegations about severe corruption and nepotism in Chechnya. Novaya Gazeta and Echo of Moscow have regularly reported on human rights violations in Chechnya.
The authorities in Chechnya have repeatedly ordered public servants, students and other civilians to join demonstrations against independent media and human rights defenders.
At around 11.30am on Wednesday, 3 June 2015, an aggressive mob surrounded the office of Joint Mobile Group (JMG) in in the Chechen capital, Grozny.
JMG is one of the few human rights groups still active in Chechnya. The organisation investigates human rights abuses in the Chechen Republic and works to bring to justice perpetrators of torture, enforced disappearances, and extrajudicial executions. Russian human rights organisations, including the Committee Against Torture, jointly established the JMG in 2009 following the murder of human rights defender Natalya Estemirova.
On 3 June, the mob gathered outside the JMG premises smashed a car belonging to JMG, which was in the courtyard, and forced their way into the office. Albert Kuznetsov and Daniil Chendemirov, both JMG staff members, managed to escape through a window.
An hour later, the attackers broke into the flat of the human rights defenders, which is located on the same floor as the office. Both the office and the flat were ransacked. Security cameras in the JMG office recorded the following raid:
On 14 December 2014, at approximately 1pm, several armed men entered the apartment of the Joint Mobile Group (JMG) in Grozny, the capital of Chechnya. The apartment is located next to their office, which was badly damaged in an arson attack the previous day. The armed men refused to identify themselves but later said that they were from Leninsky district police department in Grozny. They forcibly searched the premises and two members of JMG, Mr Sergey Babinets and Mr Dmitry Dmitriev, were held in the apartment.
The alleged police officers did not have a warrant to search the premises and provided no explanations, except to point out that Sergey Babinets is suspicious “because he has a beard.” The policemen seized the human rights defenders' mobile phones and they had no means of contact and no access to legal representation for an hour and a half. Two computers and CCTV cameras were also seized. At approximately 2:30pm the human rights defenders were released.
The previous day, on 13 December 2014, three unidentified armed men tried to enter the JMG office in Grozny. This followed a demonstration that morning calling for the ban of JMG in Chechnya. It was allegedly organised with support from the authorities. Later that day, the armed men in plain clothes tried to enter the JMG office on two occasion and members of JMG were followed as they drove away. In the evening, Vice-Minister of the Interior and head of police of Chechnya, Mr Apti Alaudinov, went to the hotel where members of JMG, Dmitry Dmitriev and Sergey Babinets, were staying. He accused them of spreading false information about previous threats against them. At approximately 8:30pm, the JMG office was set on fire.
Igor Kalyapin is the chairperson of the Interregional Committee Against Torture, and founder and President of the Joint Mobile Group (JMG), which was established in November 2009 following the murder of human rights defender Ms Natalya Estemirova in Chechnya. The JMG received the Front Line Defenders Award in 2011 for their work in investigating torture and disappearances in Chechnya and was also the 2013 recipient of the Martin Ennals Award. Igor Kalyapin is also a member of the Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights in Russia.
On 11 December 2014, two unidentified individuals attacked human rights defender Igor Kalyapin by throwing eggs at him during a press conference in Moscow that was highlighting the recent “collective punishment” incidents in Chechnya, where relatives of alleged insurgents had their houses burnt and demolished. During the conference, two unidentified men stood up, stated that “Ramzan Kadyrov is a hero of Russia” and threw eggs at Igor Kalyapin, accusing the human rights defender of “defending criminals”. The organisers of the press conference called the police and, when they arrived, Igor Kalyapin filed a complaint. The previous day, on 10 December 2014, the head of the Chechen Republic, Mr Ramzan Kadyrov, had given an interview to local Chechen TV channel Grozny in which he appeared to accuse Igor Kalyapin of being a traitor and of financing the insurgency. He also published threats against Igor Kalyapin on his Instagram account stating that: “Kalyapin defends criminals and their relatives....The police have information that funding from western secret services...was transferred to the insurgents by a person with the surname Kalyapin...I will not allow anybody... assist criminals”. human rights defenders held a press conference in Moscow in which they discussed the “collective punishment” and the recent statement by the head of Chechnya.
On 9 December 2014, Igor Kalyapin had filed a complaint addressed to the General Prosecutor and the Head of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation asking them to investigate the recent statements by the Head of the Chechen Republic, Ramzan Kadyrov, who had announced publicly that “if the insurgents murder a policeman or any other person, the family of the insurgents will be immediately expelled from Chechnya and not allowed to return, and their house will be razed to the ground”. This statement was issued in response to an attack by insurgents in Grozny on 4 December 2014, when fourteen policemen were killed and more than thirty injured after armed clashes. As Human Rights Centre “Memorial” reported, since 6 December 2014, law enforcement officers have allegedly burnt at least six houses in Chechnya as part of this “collective punishment”.
As Igor Kalyapin stated in his complaint, the collective punishment of insurgents' relatives is in contravention of Russian legislation. According to the law, the authorities may seize the property of the perpetrator's relatives as compensation for a terrorist attack, but only in the case that it is proved in court that the property came into their possession as a result of these illegal activities.
Front Line Defenders is extremely worried about the security of members of the Joint Mobile Group in Chechnya and its head Igor Kalyapin. Front Line Defenders believes that the threats and attacks are directly related to their peaceful and legitimate investigations of human rights violations in the Chechen Republic.
On 7 July 2012, Mr Igor Kalyapin was called for questioning by the Investigative Committee of Northern Caucasus Federal Region in the town of Yessentuki and threatened with prosecution.
This is the third time that he has been threatened with criminal proceedings. Igor Kalyapin is Chairman of the Interregional Committee Against Torture, and founder and President of the Joint Mobile Group (JMG), which was established by human rights NGOs in November 2009 following the murder of human rights defender Ms Natalya Estemirova in Chechnya. The JMG received the Front Line Defenders Award in April 2011 for their work in investigating torture and disappearances in Chechnya.
As part of his work with the JMG, Igor Kalyapin represents Mr Islam Umarpashayev, who in 2009 was abducted, tortured and unlawfully deprived of his liberty for four months at a Chechen Special Police Task Force base. Igor Kalyapin has taken part in several investigative activities as the legal representative of his client, and in May 2011, he signed a non-disclosure statement in regard to preliminary investigation materials. On 2 July 2012, he travelled to the town of Yessentuki to participate in the ongoing investigative activities in relation to this case.
On 7 July, at the questioning, he was presented with a report prepared by an officer of the Federal Security Service in Nizhny Novgorod which contained analysis of a number of articles published in the mass media. Some of these articles included pieces written by Ms Elena Milashina, an investigative journalist reporting on Chechnya in the Novaya Gazeta newspaper; “Caucasian hounds” by Ms Svetlana Reiter which appeared in Esquire magazine and which was awarded the 2011 Best Publication Prize by Independent Media Publishing House; and “The Chechen Diary”, first published in Igor Kalyapin's blog and then on the website of the Committee Against Torture. The publications cover crimes allegedly committed by the Chechen police, including torture and abduction, and the inactivity of law enforcement bodies in investigating these allegations.
The report concludes that there is evidence to suggest that the crime of “disclosure of data of preliminary investigation,” punishable under Article 310 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, has been committed. Igor Kalyapin claimed that any information provided by him was aimed at drawing media and public attention to the crimes committed in Chechnya and to the clear reluctance of the authorities to investigate crimes committed by Chechen law enforcement agents and bring those responsible to justice. Igor Kalyapin denied having disclosed essential information or the results of any preliminary investigation.
Igor Kalyapin received an official inquiry from the Special Investigative Department to provide the names, addresses and other contact details of all JMG members who have carried out work in Chechnya since May 2011.
Intimidation of the JMG and other human rights defenders working in Chechnya has recently increased. On 1 June 2012, the JMG members were summoned to a meeting by the Chechen President Mr Ramzan Kadyrov, which was conducted in a threatening manner. President Kadyrov declared that the JMG members “hate Chechens and come to just earn money”. On the morning of 5 April 2012, Elena Milashina was attacked and beaten. In January 2012, Mr Anton Ryzhov, a member of the JMG, was detained by the transport police on his way from Chechnya to Nizhny Novgorod, and his computer and other digital devices were seized.
Front Line Defenders condemns the intimidation of Igor Kalyapin and other JMG members, and views these actions as part of an ongoing campaign aimed at discrediting and intimidating the human rights defenders in relation to their work in documenting and investigating human rights violations in Chechnya.
On 1 June 2012, members of the Joint Mobile Group were invited to a meeting with Chechen officials including Mr Ramzan Kadyrov, Chechen President held in the office of the Mayor of Grozny, during which they were subjected to verbal abuse and false accusations.
Founded in 2009, the Joint Mobile Group (JMG) is a solidarity initiative consisting of representatives from human rights organisations in Russia, who visit Chechnya on a rotating basis in order to investigate human rights violations including torture and forced disappearances. It was set up following the abduction and killing of prominent Chechen human rights defender Ms Natalya Estemirova.
The JMG received the Front Line Defenders Award in April 2011. The JMG team in Chechnya currently consists of leader Mr Dmitry Utukin who is also the Head of the Public Investigation Department at the Russian Interregional Committee against Torture, Mr Sergey Babinets, Public Investigation Inspector of the Committee in the Orenburg office and Mr Roemer Lemaitre, the Committee's International Law expert.
The meeting was initiated by the Mayor of Grozny, Mr Muslim Khuchiyev on 1 June, during a protest held in Skver Zhurnalistov (Journalists’ Park) against the forced disappearance of Chechen residents. The protest was organised by human rights organisation Materinskaya Trevoga (Mother’s Anxiety) and was attended by JMG members.
Officials present at the meeting include Mr Ramzan Kadyrov, Chechen President, Mr Magomed Daudov, Head of the Chechen President’s Office and Government, Mr Viktor Ledenyov, Head of the Chechen Investigative Administration under the Russian Investigative Committee, Mr Mikhail Savchin, Chechen Prosecutor and Mr Ruslan Alkhanov, Chechen Interior Minister. Members of Materinskaya Trevoga were also present.
The meeting was opened by Ramzan Kadyrov who addressed the participants in Chechen. He then changed to Russian and proceeded to verbally abuse members of JMG, in particular Roemer Lemaitre: “These guys [pointing to JMG members] hate Chechens. They have come here to earn money. They are taking pictures of everything in order to upload them to the internet to make us butt heads […]. Human rights defenders are not interested in you, human rights organisations are not working”. When Dmitry Utukin responded, he was interrupted by Ramzan Kadyrov who then left the meeting. Magomed Daudov accused JMG of allegedly offering Chechen residents money in exchange for false statements of torture. He did not allow JMG members to respond to the false accusation.
The meeting then continued with further discussion, during which Viktor Ledenyov stated that JMG’s activities were interfering with officials' investigations. Ruslan Alkhanov stated that JMG did not have the required jurisdiction to engage in investigations in Chechnya. The meeting ended with Magomed Daudov's assurance that future dialogue can be organised between officials and members of JMG.
Front Line Defenders condemns the verbal abuse and false accusations directed at JMG members Dmitry Utukin, Sergey Babinets and Roemer Lemaitre by the Chechen President and Chechen officials at the meeting held on 1 June. Front Line Defenders views these actions as part of an ongoing campaign aimed at discrediting and intimidating Russian Interregional CAT and JMG, as a result of their work in documenting and investigating human rights violations in Chechnya.
On 28 January 2012, the website of CAT was hacked, with information related to several cases deleted. On 21 January 2012, CAT and JMG lawyer Mr Anton Ryzhov was temporarily detained in Nizhny Novgorod, while on his way back from Chechnya. His laptop and memory sticks were confiscated. He was kept in a police station for several hours where he was questioned about the activity of JMG and was not allowed to make any phone calls.