–STRASBOURG COURT HEARS FIRST CHECHEN DISAPPEARANCE CASE
The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg on December 8 heard its first case involving an alleged disappearance in Chechnya, MosNews reported on December 9, citing the Associated Press. Fatima Bazorkina, who accused Russian forces of killing her son, sued the Russian government in 2001 after seeing footage in February 2000 of a Russian officer interrogating her son as troops were taking over the village of Alkhan-Kala. According to Bazorkina’s lawyers, at the end of the footage, the officer ordered soldiers to shoot and “finish off” her son, Khadzhi-Murat Yandiev. European Court of Human Rights spokeswoman Stephanie Klein said the court would take several months to hand down a ruling in the case. She said that 200 similar cases are pending before the court.
–FOUR RUSSIAN SOLDIERS KILLED IN CHECHNYA
Citing an anonymous official in Chechnya’s pro-Moscow administration, Agence France-Presse reported on December 14 that four Russians had been killed and eight wounded over a 24-hour period. One of the soldiers was killed and four were injured in 14 separate attacks by separatist rebels on Russian military positions, the official told the news agency. Two more soldiers were killed when their vehicle came under rebel attack in the Urus-Martan district, while another soldier was killed and two were injured due to careless handling of a grenade at a military base near Achkhoi-Martan. Two military engineers were injured by a landmine explosion at the Khankala military base outside Grozny.
–WEBSITE ACCUSES POLISH POLICE OF BEATING REFUGEES
Kavkazcenter on December 13 accused Polish police of beating up Chechen asylum seekers during a raid on a refugee reception center in the city of Lublin. The separatist website alleged that special police threatened to shoot the Chechen asylum seekers. “Four Chechen women, three of them pregnant, lost consciousness,” Kavkazcenter claimed. “No one was allowed to help them for a long time. As a result, according to verified information, two of the women aborted their children.” One of the women, the website said, was in a hospital recovering from a heart attack. It also claimed that the raiding policemen detained and beat three Chechen men, demanding that they “show the place where they had allegedly hidden explosives and video tapes of locations that they had allegedly planned to blow up.” Kavkazcenter’s claims have not been independently verified.