“ZACHISTKI” IN INGUSHETIA
The federal forces now seem to have transferred to Ingushetia the large scale “zachistki” security sweeps that earlier terrorized civilians in Chechnya (see Chechnya Weekly, June 19). Dmitry Grushkin of the Moscow-based human rights center Memorial told Radio Liberty that these raids by masked men on civilian settlements are still following the same “classic” scenario.” He noted, for example, that, just as in Chechnya, the “zachistki” in Ingushetia violate Moscow’s own rules by not including representatives of the procuracy. In a June 6-7 raid on the village of Arshty, about one kilometer from the Chechen-Ingush border, the pro-Moscow servicemen refused to let the village’s own mayor enter it through their blockade.
During a recent twenty-five-day period, Memorial learned of eleven illegal arrests and nine kidnappings of refugees from tent camps in Ingushetia. According to Grushkin, the pro-Moscow police and OMON troops demanded that those arrested sign “confessions” indicating that they were rebel guerrillas who now wanted to surrender and take advantage of the newly announced amnesty.
On June 18 the Vienna-based International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights issued a statement denouncing the “zachistki” in Ingushetia, which it said “are being carried out by Russian forces and pro-Moscow Chechen police under the control of Chechnya administrator Akhmad Kadyrov.” The federation called on the Russian authorities to investigate vigorously the cases of several refugees who have disappeared in such “zachistki,” including Ruslan Arsaev, who was kidnapped from a Narzan refugee camp on June 3 (see Chechnya Weekly, June 19) and who still has not been found. Also still missing are Rustam Lichaev and Adam Tambiev, seized on the same day from a refugee camp in the village of Nesterevskaya, and at least three other Chechen refugees who had been living elsewhere in Ingushetia.