At a hospital in Ingushetia today, Human Rights Watch researchers viewed the mutilated corpse of Magomet Goigov, a thirty-one-year-old Chechen man who was apparently executed by Russian soldiers in the Staropromyslovski district of Grozny.
Human Rights Watch has also learned that two more maimed bodies were found together with that of Magomet Goigov in a garage in Grozny. Human Rights Watch had earlier reported all three men as "disappeared" in Russian custody.
Relatives of the three men told Human Rights Watch today that Magomet Goigov's father and several others had traveled to Grozny to try to find the three men, who had last been seen in the custody of Russian soldiers on January 19. This group found the bodies of Magomet Goigov, twenty-two-year-old Risvan Taimaskhanov and forty-five-year-old Khamid Khashiev in a garage in the Staropromyslovski district of Grozny, about one hundred meters from the place they were last seen.
The relatives took the three bodies to Ingushetia for burial. The body of Magomet Goigov was taken to the Republican Hospital of Nazran, and the two other bodies to a morgue in Malgobek, northern Ingushetia.
Human Rights Watch researchers attended the autopsy of Magomet Goigov at the hospital and observed the following wounds, including at least thirteen bullet wounds:
- a bullet through the right eye which shattered the back of the skull;
- a bullet through the right elbow;
- a bullet in the right thigh;
- multiple bullets which entered the body through the right side of the chest, and exited on the left side;
- bruises on the face and testicles;
- a severed right ear, apparently cut off with a knife;
Human Rights Watch will make pictures of the body available as soon as possible. The other bodies apparently had similar wounds.
Relatives of the three men said they believe that Russian soldiers sprayed them with submachine gun fire on the street on January 19 and subsequently dragged the bodies into the garage. The garage apparently had no signs of a shooting.
In a report published on February 10 (see: Civilian Killings in Staropromyslovski District of Grozny, February 2000, Human Rights Watch reported that Goigov, Taimaskhanov and Khashiev had "disappeared" in the custody of Russian soldiers in Staropromyslovski district when they tried to take an injured woman out of Grozny for medical assistance. Russian soldiers stopped them on Eight Liniya (Boulevar), shot the woman dead, beat up the three men, and then took them away to an unknown destination.
Human Rights Watch has now confirmed the deaths of a total of forty-one Chechen civilians at the hands of Russian soldiers in the Staropromyslovski district of Grozny.
For Further Information:
In Nazran: Peter Bouckaert + 7 901 497 9071 (mobile) or 7 87322 61820 (mobile)
In New York: Diederik Lohman + 1 914 830 4948
In Brussels: Jean-Paul Marthoz + 322-732-2009