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‘During the first war 10,000 – 20,000 were detained in so called “filtration camps”, which were officially large scale non-selective detainment of individuals who were gradually “filtrated” to find members of armed forces and their associates who resist the federal forces. However, too many testimonies and especially the continuous disappearances of the camps where extrajudical executions, the practice of torture, ill-treatment, and killings, mostly of innocent civilians, occurred continuously. In the second war in Chechnya the strategy changed: there are now no permanent detention centres but “filtration points”. These are all “temporary filtration points” and are used for a day, a week or more. They are guarded areas – perhaps a disused factory or farm or just a bit of land enclosed with barbed wire, perhaps even tents, sometimes people are just detained in the open air but in an enclosed area. The detainees are brought in, undergo checks, may be tortured, are interrogated and very often held in covered vehicles. They bring the detainees in one at a time for questioning, they torture them, usually using electric shocks, they let them go, or sometimes they don’t, they take them away and bring in the next ones. When they finish their work they leave, it’s a temporary set-up. A “temporary filtration point” is the official name given to such set-ups by the federal forces, although there is no understanding of such a concept in any Russian legislation. Sometimes relatives must pay bribes to liberate prisoners or even to return the corpses of the victims.’

Human Rights Violations in Chechnya

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