HRW refers to Mujahideen as ‘insurgents’ and points at Ingushetia
Publication time: 26 June 2008, 20:15
On photo: Nazran, Ingushetia after another operation conducted by Caucasus Armed Forces against Russian FSB.
“Though violence in Chechnya has decreased markedly in recent years, fighting between Muslim insurgents and Russian troops threatens to engulf a neighboring region”, Human Rights Watch said in a report released Wednesday, as The New York Times writes.
Human Rights Watch has admitted that what it calls “violence” has already been going on all across the territory of Ingushetia for a long time.
Human Rights Watch asserted that a recent rise in the attacks by the Mujahideen in Ingushetia “has provoked a spate of kidnappings, torture and arbitrary killings of civilians” by the structures of Russian invaders and collaborators, “reminiscent of earlier rights abuses in Chechnya”.
“Ingushetia, a tiny Muslim republic on Chechnya’s western border, has long been considered a relatively peaceful enclave in the North Caucasus….Recently, however, it has become a haven for rebels fleeing a counterinsurgency in Chechnya.”
According to the New York Times, policies of Moscow and its accomplice Kadyrov “have brought a modicum of stability to the republic after two wars and nearly half a decade of internecine fighting”.
“Ingushetia could suffer a similar, if less brutal, fate, according to the Human Rights Watch report, which is based on interviews conducted over the last year with local officials and victims of violence.”
HRW reports that the puppet regime recorded 86 attacks on the pro-Russian police gang members in 2007 and 28 attacks in the first three months of 2008. At the same time only 65 invaders’ servicemen were killed in Ingushetia in 2007.
In this connection we will also point out that according to the Command of the Caucasus Armed Forces (Mujahideen), these figures are still dozens of times higher than what is shown in the statistics of the local puppets, who are actually not making it a secret that the number of casualties as well as the operations by the Mujahideen are “classified information” and a “state secret”.
Human Rights Watch points out in its report that Moscow has brought additional troops to Ingushetia, but it did not change the situation. The situation got more aggravated since the troops “fail to discriminate between legitimate insurgent targets and civilians when conducting operations”.
“Certainly you cannot fully compare Ingushetia and Chechnya,” Tanya Lokshina, the researcher for Human Rights Watch who wrote the report, said at a news conference.
“At the same time,” she said, “the kind of abuses that we now see in Ingushetia are the abuses that used to characterize Chechnya: extrajudicial executions, torture, forced disappearances, abduction-style detentions.”
The report by Human Rights Watch describes several extrajudicial killings in graphic detail, including the killing of Rakhim Amriev, a 6-year-old boy shot when security forces raided his family’s house on Nov. 9, 2007, in search of a relative.
According to testimony from the boy’s family and other witnesses in the report, three servicemen, backed by about 100 soldiers and security officials, burst into the family’s home in the village of Chemulga with barely a warning and opened fire, killing the child and wounding his mother.
The shooting provoked a nationwide outcry, prompting the government to open an investigation, something it rarely does in such instances.
After more than seven months, however, no suspect has been identified.
Puppet officials in Ingushetia, including the Kremlin-backed president, Murat M. Zyazikov, a former general with the Federal Security Service (former KGB), have regularly denied reports of human rights abuses, calling the situation in the republic “stable”.
Kerim-Sultan A. Kokurkhaev, Ingushetia’s government-appointed human rights ombudsman, said at the news conference on Wednesday that the situation in Ingushetia was “no worse than in any other territory” in Russia.
He called the work of Human Rights Watch and other rights groups “fascist,” adding that the Human Rights Watch report was “meant to destabilize the situation.”