–REBELS AND COPS EXCHANGE FIRE IN DAGESTAN
Dagestan’s Interior Ministry announced on October 5 that it had captured two suspects believed responsible for the killing of a police lieutenant and the wounding of a police captain at a police post in the republic’s Buinaksky district on September 12, RIA Novosti reported. The suspects were identified as Marat Ibragimov and Khaibul Saidov (a.k.a. “Abdulmalik”), both of them Buinaksk residents and alleged “members of a terrorist group that specializes in the murder of policemen.” On October 3, a police special forces lieutenant colonel was wounded during a raid in Khasavyurt aimed at capturing a rebel fighter, who mounted armed resistance and managed to escape. On October 1, Dagestani Interior Ministry forces killed two rebels in a shootout in the Khasavyurt district. One of those killed was identified as Shamil Taimaskhanov, who had proclaimed himself the emir of the Khasavyurt district, and Vakhit Khasbulatov. Deputy Dagestani Interior Minister Abidin Karchigaev said the two were members of the rebel group headed by Rappani Khalilov. Three policemen were lightly wounded in the shootout. On September 28, unidentified attackers shelled the car of Ruslan Aliev, head of the Botlikh district administration and a deputy in Dagestan’s People’s Assembly. He was wounded in the neck, Itar-Tass reported. Also on September 29, a police car was fired on in Khasavyurt, wounding a police lieutenant and a sergeant.
–STRASBOURG COURT’S DEADLINE FOR RUSSIA EXPIRES
Meanwhile, September 6 marked the deadline for Russia to implement decisions handed down by the European Court for Human Rights concerning Chechnya. On February 24, the Strasbourg court ruled in favor of six Chechens who filed suit there against the Russian government for human rights abuses. Two of the plaintiffs sued for the murder of relatives in Grozny’s Straropromyslovsky district in 2000; three sued for the bombing of a column of refugees who fled Chechnya on October 29, 1999; and the sixth plaintiff sued for the bombing and shelling of the village of Katyr-Yurt on February 4–5, 2000. The court ruled that the Russian Federation had violated the right to life, the prohibition of torture, the right to an effective remedy and the peaceful enjoyment of possessions of the six plaintiffs (see Chechnya Weekly, March 3) and ordered the Russian government to pay them at total of 135,000 euros ($180,000) plus costs in compensation.
–QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“If we are Russian citizens, then give us the same rights as everyone else. If we are not Russian citizens, then leave us alone …. Let us feel that we are people… there have been so many so-called ‘cleansing’ operations, that there’s nothing left to cleanse… During the Second World War, I was a ‘traitor to the motherland,’ in the first Chechen war I was a ‘bandit,’ and now I’m supposed to be a ‘terrorist.’ How many more labels will they give me before I die?” —A female teacher working in a camp in Ingushetia for people displaced by the Chechen war, quoted in Amnesty International’s report “Torture, ‘Disappearances,’ and Alleged Unfair Trials in Russia’s North Caucasus,” which was released on September 30.