Website Proprietor: Chechen Police Official is Behind Ingushetia Abductions

Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 8 Issue: 48

The proprietor of the independent website, Magomed Yevloev, claimed in an interview published in Kommersant-Vlast on December 10 that the head of the police department (ROVD) in the Chechen town of Urus-Martan, Ramzan Dzhamalkhanov, is running essentially a “death squad” involved in kidnapping people and that a “death camp” is operating in Urus-Martan. Yevloev, who worked in the Ingushetian prosecutor’s office from 1993 to 1999, said that Dzhamalkhanov, whom he described as a “friend” of Ramzan Kadyrov, during those years “wore a long beard and headed a group that kidnapped people.”

“I was the involved in investigating kidnapping cases and more than once held talks with him [Dzhamalkhanov] personally and other bandits who were then staying in Urus-Martan,” Yevloev told Kommersant-Vlast. “If you remember, then, in 1997, Maskhadov’s people were sitting in Grozny, they could no longer control anything, and the Wahhabis were sitting in Urus-Martan. That is how I met with this Dzhamalkhanov. There were hostages in the basement of his home, and he openly said to me: ‘I have so-and-so and so-and-so, and I want to receive this much for them’.”

Yevloev said that the two Aushev brothers, residents of the village of Surkhakhi in Ingushetia who were kidnapped from the Chechen capital of Grozny in September and released following protests in Nazran (Chechnya Weekly, September 13, 20 and 27), were kidnapped by the “Urus-Martan ROVD group” and held in a “specially equipped camp” in the Chechen village of Goiti. According to Yevloev, the Aushev brothers were taken from Goiti to the mountains, apparently where they were to be executed, but were released when demonstrations erupted in Nazran and Ingushetia’s Interior Minister, Musa Medov, called Dzhamalkhanov and demanded that he release the brothers. Yevloev quoted the Aushev brothers as saying that while they were being held in Goiti, they saw graffiti indicating that someone named Mutsolgov, who had been abducted and disappeared without a trace, had spent a month in the same Goiti private jail. This may be a reference to Hussein Mutsolgov, a 21-year-old resident of the village of Surkhakhi in Ingushetia’s Nazran district, who was kidnapped along with Zaurbek Yevloev in May of this year.

“That call from Medov to Dzhamalkhanov showed that Medov knows him well,” Magomed Yevloev told Kommersant-Vlast. “And he knows that this group is kidnapping Ingush. It turns out that this death squad is at one with the team of [Ingushetian President Murat] Zyazikov.”

Asked why the Russian law-enforcement bodies have not investigated such kidnappings in Ingushetia, Magomed Yevloev told Kommersant-Vlast: “The authorities have an interest in people being kidnapped here so that there is popular discontent and disorders. That justifies the presence of such a large number of [federal] troops. There is a 20,000-man force in Ingushetia. For what? The presence of such a quantity of troops justifies the huge money that is going to Ingushetia. And both the Ingush officials and the [Russian] military have an interest in this. It is easier to steal in such chaos. Nobody will be auditing the financial flows under such conditions. Nobody even came to monitor the [December 2 State Duma] elections; there was not a single foreign observer. Everybody is afraid. And that is very advantageous, because only in such conditions can one enter the figures 99 percent and 100 percent on the lists of those who voted.”

Yevloev, whose website earlier estimated that only 8 percent of Ingushetia’s registered voters cast ballots in the State Duma elections on December 2—Ingushetia’s election commission put the turnout at 98.35 percent, 98.72 percent of whom voted for the pro-Kremlin United Russia party (Chechnya Weekly, December 6)—has revised the figure downward. He told Kommersant-Vlast that no more than 6 percent of Ingushetia’s voters went to the polls, and that most of them voted for the liberal Yabloko party, which backs the return of North Ossetia’s Prigorodny district to Ingushetia.