The Committee against Torture presents Let the friendship of peoples of Russia grow stronger and flourish Filming, editing by Alexey Novikov Music by Andrey Prokhorov Belarus will extradite an MMA fighter Murad Amriev to Russia. The athlete is wanted in Chechnya. Directed by Evgeny Chilikov World mixed martial arts champion Murad Amriev is detained. Perhaps now Belarusian law enforcers are handing the World Champion Murad Amriev over to Chechen security officials Murad Amriev. The Captive of the Caucasus In 2017 this story with detention of the world champion in mixed martial arts Murad Amriev became known all over the country However, the reason why he came under scrutiny of Russian – or to be more precise – Chechen authorities was set aside.. We have to go to Ukraine, so that the protagonist of this story could help us to build up the picture of what happened. Kiev, Ukraine My name is Murad, my last name is Amriev Lived and grew up in the Chechen Republic, in Grozny. In August 2013, I was driving to take my father to the Pobeda Avenue In early September 2013 I was in Grozny Igor Kalyapin
Chairman of the Committee against Torture The Chechen elder Sulumbek came to our office The son of this old man, named Murad, a young man, an athlete, was detained, or as Chechens correctly say, kidnapped in the heart of Grozny, at Putin Avenue I dropped my father off and drove to the Chernyshevsky Street, at the intersection of Clara Tsetkin Street а black car “Lada Priora” cut me off. As usual it was black, with tinted windows. People in cammies got out of the car They opened the door and pointed a gun at me, and then started to pull me out of the car. There were three of them in the uniform, and one was in civilian clothes, because of him the whole story is happening to me. His name is Dashaev Magomed As we know from the Murad Amriev’s words, he met Magomed Dashaev in January 2010 Albert Kuznetsov
Coordinator of the North Caucasian Federal District Department of the Committee against Torture Events then unfolded as follows,
Murad Amriev was anonymously invited to a meeting in the agreed place. Magomed Dashaev was waiting for him there, the one who accused Murad in preparation of assassination attempt Later, Magomed Dashaev said that he had found the actual culprits of the assassination attempt, and that Murad was cleared of all suspicions. Murad even received apologies for this Since then, Murad has not seen him, and till 2013 he has not met with him, believing that this issue was over. We were driving for about 10 minutes; I did not see the road. Then I found out that I was in the building of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, which is close to the place of my detention. They dragged me into the basement, sat me on the chair, and put a plastic bag on my head and tied it with tape. Then Dashaev asked if I was sure that I had nothing to do with the attempt. I replied that I was very sure Then Dashaev says, “well, let’s see how long you could last” An explosive device that is activated by a call from a cell phone was allegedly installed in the Magomed Dashaev’s car. Allegedly, this call came and the device did not explode, but nevertheless, the number of the caller was identified. And according to Dashaev Murad Amriev was the caller Actually, there is no evidence indicating that such an assassination attempt occurred. We do not know whether a criminal case was initiated on this, we do not have any information about the explosive device We do not have any information whether a signal was sent to an explosive device, and whether it was really a call from Murad Amriev’s phone We have a sufficient number of facts to have a feeling that there was no attempt Nevertheless, these events were the reason Murad was tortured I was tied to a chair, electric wires were connected to my hands and feet, and I was beaten with shock Every 15-20 minutes he stopped the torture, and asked if I was ready to confess. “There is nowhere to run, and the sooner you confess, the better for you.” I replied, “I have nothing to tell. I do not know what to tell you. I do not understand what you’re talking about”. Then they tied my arms and legs to a stick and hung me like a bat. And in this position they continued to beat me with shock. This lasted from 11 pm to 5 am. How did I know this? Because they left saying that they were going to the morning prayer and promised to return soon Tortures stopped in the morning. During the day the police was solving some organizational issues, and in the evening everything repeated according to the same tactics, Murad was tortured and beaten. They started to film me wanting me to confess that I bought the number for my brother. The same number that was in the explosive device put under Magomed Dashaev’s car. They demanded me to confess at least in the fact that I only bought this number, but did not put an explosive device I have had the SIM-card that allegedly initiated a signal to the explosive device since 2004; I never hid it from anyone, never destroyed it, etc. Then Dashaev told me, “Confess that you are not involved in the attempt, but you understand what it is all about” Just need to be aware of the turnover of SIM-cards in the Chechen Republic. They are massively bought on the market, without any registration. And they can then be returned in the same way. Someone bought a SIM-card, used it, and then returned it to the same merchant in the market. I was given some papers to sign. I no longer felt my hands or feet. And then they left On the first day I lost consciousness 4 times, and on the second day 2-3 times, but they brought me to consciousness I did not know anything about what they wanted to know from me. Dashaev felt that my strength was running out The culmination of the torture was the moment when Murad was announced that he would be executed Dashaev told his subordinates, “Put a camouflage uniform on him, we’ll take him to the forest and bury him there. And this will improve the official statistics, as if we caught a terrorist and killed him while trying to escape ” Dashaev turned to me and asked if I understood what would happen to me, I replied that I understood. Then he added, “You still have time to think. Think about it, maybe you should remember something. ” I told him that even willing so I had nothing to remember. All this time they did not allow me to pray, saying that I’m not a Muslim, that there’s nothing sacred in me, I’m a liar, and that I’m lying. But at that moment Dashaev told me, “Pray now, I give you such a chance before death.” Murad disappeared for two days, his relatives tried to find him, formally appealed to the police, and personally to the familiar police officers My execution was put off for the next day. The next morning they put a camouflage uniform on me, put me in the trunk and drove to the forest, saying that the “business” would finish there. Murad Amriev The Captive of the Caucasus I said to Dashaev, “If you are going to kill me, then let me call my mother so that she could calm down for a while. You probably also had a mother, a father, you know how a mother’s heart is suffering.” Dashaev replied, “Well, I wanted to do so. But you will say as I command. ” “Tell your relatives that you are coming from Pyatigorsk, so that they do not worry, that you had a bad connection before that.” Murad called his mother, and said that he was in Pyatigorsk, and he would come home soon. After the call he was absent for about a day. Everyone was looking for him. We received a billing of the phone call, it turned out that he called from Grozny, not from Pyatigorsk. Suddenly Dashaev began to explain me that the work in the police is difficult, often he had to go to extremes. Knowing that everything I say right now would be useless, I replied, “May be you have such a difficult situation, but I have no part in the attempt on you.” Then Dashaev said that he would let me go, but I should not go anywhere, and it is required to cooperate with the police. Parents started to panic, but suddenly they received a message that it was necessary to gather the elders of the Amriev family at the place of resident of Sulumbek Amriev and an announcement would be made there Sulumbek’s brothers and all the respectful Chechen elders gathered there. Dashaev gave me the car plates back and asked to install them on the car. I thought that they were letting me go. I still was wearing a camouflage uniform. Dashaev ordered me to drive my car, and they would follow me. I asked where we were going, and Dashaev said that we were going to my house. I drove out and see that there were cars with people in uniform in front of my car, people in uniform in cars behind me, 5 or 6 cars in total. The military came out and led Murad to the front door of his house. Murad did not look best, he could hardly walk, and he was beaten. Then all these people went upstairs together with Murad to his apartment, and the following conversation took place. They demanded the relatives to give them Murad’s elder brother, whom Dashaev suspected in organizing the assassination attempt. Of course the relatives refused. Dashaev declared blood feud. This fact is confirmed by explanations of many people who were present during that. The blood feud was declared in the presence of numerous relatives. From expert’s opinion
Physical injuries were documented on the head, body, joints of hands and feet, and on the neck of Murad, which appeared from the impact of blunt solid objects, no later than August 25, which confirms Murad’s words Later, realizing that the torture could repeat again Murad decided to go to Ukraine, where after the treatment he continued his sports career. In 2013, September 7, I came to Kiev where I was treated for some time. I underwent a course of treatment; it took approximately six months of various procedures. I decided to return to my sport activities I began to participate in competitions, won a competition in Kiev, won the championship of Ukraine. I took part in competitions in Thailand and in China At that time, my relatives informed me that a criminal case had been initiated against me about my passport Allegedly I was wanted. A police officer came and told my relatives that I had problems with my passport In 2000 or 2001, I was issued a passport, which had a mistake in the year of birth, it was 1986 instead of 1985 Murad has been living with this passport for many years with the wrong date of birth. There were no problems with this Then the relatives received a notice that the criminal case was closed, I was excluded from the federal search base and everything was fine. And this notification was given to me in Kiev Before that, I was going to organize the Schengen visa, because I had received offers to perform in Europe. In addition, I wanted to establish relations in Russia, in order to perform in some kind of promotion. Once when crossing the border, it was suddenly revealed that Murad was on the international wanted list due to the fact that long before he received a passport where an employee of the passport and visa service had made a mistake because of incorrect certificate issued by the registry office Murad had nothing to do with this story, he did not make any mistake My documents were being checked, and I no-ticed that the border officer hesitated and called his supervisor They check me on a computer, the supervisor calls me to approach, and asks, “What kind of problem do you have?” I asked, “What is the problem?” He answered that I was on the federal wanted list I was surprised and showed him a photo of the notice in the cell phone and a photocopy of the notification which I also had with me, saying that I was no longer on the federal wanted list He replied to me that it was completely wrong, “Perhaps you were removed from the wanted database a year ago, but in February this year a criminal case has been initiated against you again” The committee got involved in Murad’s case a day earlier than I did Anastasia Garina – the head of the Moscow branch of the Committee against Torture At the beginning the staff of the Committee that led his case in Chechnya handled Murad’s case. And for me the story of Murad began as follows I got a call from Oleg Habibrakhmanov, and he told me to go to Bryansk, because the detainee Murad was there. And in our opinion, he was illegally detained, and there was a serious danger to his life. At that time he was in a prison cell, and while he was there, he was safe. But no one could predict what could happen to him if he left the prison cell That is why we appealed to the ECHR, to enforce interim measures for this case Olga Sadovskaya – head of the international legal protection department of the Committee against Torture So that the Court orders the Russian Federation either to release or not to expel him from Bryansk. In other words take any action to convince us that security of Murad Amriev is guaranteed We met with a lawyer Petr Zaikin, who came from Nizhny Novgorod and we went to Bryansk. Our task was to come to this city as soon as possible. At about 5 am we were at the Prison cell. If I’m right, the period of Murad’s detention would expire at 10:05. And the lawyer managed to get inside. When I came to the officer on duty in the Prison cell, he told me that they would provide me a meeting with my client. I handed over the warrant, and the meeting was organized. Petr Zaikin
Lawyer When we were talking, after some time, two people of Slavic appearance in a civilian uniform entered the room, and introduced themselves as officers of the Criminal Investigation Department. They informed us that they were going to hand Murad over to police officers from Chechnya At that time, the period of his detention was expiring, literally every minute counted. 48 hours were up, Mr. Zaikin the layer came to me, I met him for the first time He told me, “Oh, Murad, it’s good that everything turned out well.” He apparently did not know what would happen next Murad was advised to incriminate himself, write a confession saying that he insulted a policeman in order to be detained under Article 319 of the Criminal Code “Insulting a representative of authority,” and thus stay in Bryansk We understand that this is not very good, but choosing the lesser of two evils, this is the least. Because otherwise there is a danger to his life We were brought to the Prosecutor’s Office or the Investigative Committee, so that I could testify in the case of insulting a border officer. I see that there is some sort of fuss. I see people of non-Slavic appearance, as it became clear later, these people came for me from Grozny I came back to Murad and after consulting him we decided to wait. Because we still had to give explanations on the case of the insult. We believed that we would still manage to get out, because they did not have any grounds for arresting Murad. Then a man comes and says to the lawyer, “You know that there is a minibus GAZelle in the street” with people wearing masks. These people came for Murad to take him to Grozny.” We were all at loss. All the Bryansk police officers walked around confused and did not know what to say. Journalists began to interview me, I told them that these people came for me “Please tell me, are you being hindered in this situation?” Murad- Yes I am. There are people here at the exit that came for me, came to take me. I recognized one of them; he was involved in the torture.” There were some yells in the Chechen lan-guage. I did not understand what they were yelling, but they were very aggressive. At some point seeing that they did not stop the aggression and took out the guns, I asked Anastasia to take a video She stood aside and took a video of what was happening. There was a terrible mess in the prosecutor’s office. Police officers from Chechnya ran back and forth, telling that they had a warrant, according to which, Murad must be extradited to them. But they refused to present this warrant, refused to introduce themselves, and in fact just blocked the ladder. The building of the prosecutor’s office was surrounded by the OMON (Special Purpose Police Unit), as we understood from Bryansk. This created a specific atmosphere. People in masks and bullet-proof vests with rifles stand around the perimeter of the building, they let everyone in and do not let anyone out. I understand that in this situation, if I fall into the hands of these people, it will be better for me to die rather than go through humiliation again. I did not consider such an option at all. I see that the situation is heating up, that the prosecutor’s office cannot do anything to the policemen from Chechnya. No one can protect me, neither verbally nor physically. I come to the decision that I need to escape from there by any means. In fact, he is a free person – he is not detained, by law he can leave. But physically he is unable. However, he found the way out. While they come in and try to solve this situation, I go down and run out; in front of the door there were people in masks. I was lucky that when I left the building, they did not notice me. They stood only 3 meters away from me I rushed up to the nearest car and jumped in. I looked back, and there were men in masks with rifles who run towards me shouting “Shoot to kill.” But we managed to get out of there. We got into an accident on the way and the car got stuck in the forest. I was wandering around the forest for 3-4 hours so that no one could find me. I didn’t have a cell phone with me but the police gave me my money back. So I found a man and I managed to deal with him, he agreed to help me to cross the border into Belarus We did not know where he went; we did not have any information about it. The story continued the next day, when Murad was found. Unfortunately he was found detained in Belarus. The border point is called “Veselovka”. I got there at 6 pm. I show the documents, and see that everyone is checked; there were two people with me in the car, a taxi driver drove us to the border. Documents of all passengers are checked but border guards do not give my passport back. I see that they have started to fuss I open the door, not understanding what they want to do. And they abruptly stopped me, saying: “Do not move.” Immediately twisted me, another 3 people ran up and put cuffs I was guarded by 10 people armed with rifles. I was lying on the floor for six hours; they did not let me get up. I asked to let me go to the toilet, give me a drink, but they did not respond to my requests At night a border officer came up to me and said: “Now we will take you to the police station of Dobrush, you will testify, tell what happened, do not worry.” I was taken to this police department. There they pretended to feel sorry me, since they had already seen the news about me in the Internet We could only guess where Murad was, this information was not provided to us. We found out that apparently he is in the city of Dobrush by collecting and comparing the data I say that I want to get political asylum here in Belarus, give me a piece of paper, I’ll write a statement. But the police told me, “No problem, do not worry. As the commander comes, he will give permission, and we will do it all. ” I look out the window and people with cameras in the street, and I see that all the policemen are fussing I hear talk between policemen. One says, “Come out.” The second answers, “I do not want to be caught on video.” I suspected that everything was going wrong, not as the police told me. We saw Murad in the police station on the first floor, we were shouting through the window with him until he was taken away. We tell him: “Write an asylum request.” In any case, even if he is refused, he will be left in Belarus for some time for the period of the request consideration. He is not allowed to write this request; they say that there is no paper, no pen. He screams, “I’m asking for asylum.” But no one responds to this. “I want to get a political asylum here. They do not give me an opportunity, you know. Everyone ignores me here; they do not listen to me at all. ” As it turned out at that time it had been decided to deport Murad for one year. No one explained him properly neither the procedure nor what was happening Nasta Loika
a co-founder of human rights organization Human Constanta We know this story that there was a false attempt to cross the border by several cars followed by police cars. The journalists and human rights activists who were near the police department followed them, they were gradually cut off from the chase. It turned out later that Murad was taken away in a separate car and handed over directly to the policemen from Chechnya. Of course we were frightened, because Belarus very often disclaims responsibility for such cases and takes care only of formalities. We were driving for exactly 24 hours. At 8 pm I was handed over to police officers from Chechnya, and at 8 pm I was in Grozny, in the police department of the Staropromyslovsky district. – There is no meaning in life when you live without your relatives and beloved ones. – You mean it is hard to live in isolation from the family? – Oh sure. It is not easy I had problems with my hands, because I was handcuffed. And now, when it’s been 4-5 months, I still do not feel them. Here in Ukraine, a doctor told me that the treatment will be long, and he cannot promise that it would end positively. The nerves abroke down and I feel numbness. Ekho Moskvy Radio: “I want to start with the story of a mixed martial arts fighter Murad Amriev, his parents sent an appeal to the head of the Human Rights Council.” TV channel “Current Time”: “In 2013, Murad Amriev appealed to the Committee against Torture. He said that on August 25, 2013, three men pushed him into the black car “Lada Priora,” and brought to one of the police departments in Grozny. Radio Liberty: “The world champion in mixed martial arts who is wanted in Chechnya has escaped from the prosecutor’s office.” Ksenia Sobchak TV Rain: “Murad Amriev’s destiny is being decided today and only you can help him” “The head of the Chechen Republic Ramzan Kadyrov is outraged by the US intervention in the case of MMA fighter Amriev who has been removed from the train at the request of the police officers of Chechnya” Aleksey Navalny, a candidate for the Presidency of the Russian Federation: “Today I’ve watched the news, Murad is declared a blood feud in Chechnya, and now he is running from city to city. Somewhere in Bryansk, some suspicious Chechen special forces surround the police building, now he is being extradited from Belarus. It seems crazy.” Nikolay Svanidze, member of the Presidential Council for Human Rights of the Russian Federation: “The Belarusians extradited Murad, and now he is on the way to Chechnya. We can guess what a person who is in bad relations with the leadership of the republic could expect. ” I am totally convinced that if it had not been such a high profile case and there had not been such attention to Murad, certainly he would have disappeared; but in these circumstances his disappearance became indecent June 10, 2017 Murad Amriev who was kept in the police department of the Staropromyslovsky district in Grozny was released from custody. In Grozny he was forced to attend a press conference and comment on his detention avoiding criticism of the Chechen authorities. Soon after, Murad left Russian Federation planning to continue his sports career. Murad no longer intends to return to Russia.