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Torture Suspected In Ingushetia, Military Present At Protest?, Child Abuse

The North Caucasus, including Ingushetia and Chechnya (pictured), have been plagued by violence
The North Caucasus, including Ingushetia and Chechnya (pictured), have been plagued by violence

Rights Group Suspects Torture During Anti-Terrorist Operation

RFE/RL cites a RIA Novosti agency report that seven more victims of a February 11 anti-terrorist operation in Ingushetia have been identified, bringing the total of identified victims to 16 out of 22 people killed.

In a statement, the Prosecutor’s Office has admitted that four of those killed were peaceful local residents. The human rights organization Memorial suspects that residents of the village of Arshty were victims of extra-judicial executions at the hands of federal troops. Their findings show that several people were shot from behind, and in addition to gun wounds, there were knife wounds on one victim’s body, suggesting the use of torture.

[read in Russian]

Environmental Demonstrators, APCs And Machine Guns

Photos showing the presence of armored personnel carriers (APCs) with mounted machine guns near a February 13 environmental demonstration in Irkutsk have appeared on the Internet.

Head of the “Baikal Movement” Dmitry Taevsky tells RFE/RL that the military presence at the demonstration was clearly visible. “About 300 meters away from the [protest] meeting a 'BTR 80' APC and a 'Tigr' armored car with a Kalashnikov machine gun mounted on it were on action standby," he says. "All the gun covers had been removed.”

But local law enforcement authorities are reported as saying that no interior troops or military equipment were used in connection with the demonstration.

[read in Russian]

Reports Of Child Abuse In Children’s Home

In this blog, Kristina Gorelik draws attention to the case of 10-year-old Vadim Ivanov, who gives an account of being beaten in a children’s home in Syktyvar in the Komi Republic in an audio recording obtained by RFE/RL.

Vadim wants to return to his mother, who reportedly stopped drinking a year and half ago and now has a job. The two appealed to the office of the Envoy for Children’s Rights in the Komi Republic for his mother to be reinstated as Vadim’s legal guardian. But the request was turned down on the grounds that Vadim’s mother’s income is insufficient. Vadim is now in hiding, and a federal search warrant has been issued for him.

“There’s one nanny, Svetlana Pavlovna," Vadim says of the children's home on the recording. "When some lads misbehave, she calls the older boys, who beat us up terribly, and she just sits watching TV. Sometimes she comes in and laughs."

[read in Russian]