Caution: shocking material. Do not read if you are of a sensitive nature. Oh, if only more people on this planet were of a sensitive nature… From Amnesty International’s site.

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No one of your son’s name has been arrested.

Adam Abubakarov, a 17-year-old Chechen, has had no contact with his family since February 2000 when he was arrested at an army checkpoint in the town of Urus-Martan on suspicion of being a Chechen fighter. Amnesty International fears that he has “disappeared”.

His parents have been told unofficially that he has been held in several filtration camps (army-run prison camps that allegedly “filter out” Chechen fighters from the fleeing Chechen population), where torture and ill-treatment are rife. His father was reportedly told in September 2000 that his son was in a prison in Rostov-on-Don. The authorities have denied that anyone of his son’s name has been arrested, and no investigation has been opened into the case.

Fears that Adam Abubakarov may have been tortured arise from several reports of ill-treatment and torture of children in the “Internat” in Chernokozovo and other filtration camps in Chechnya during the first half of 2000.

For example, a 16-year-old boy called Albert, originally from the village of Davydenko, was reportedly beaten and gang-raped by guards at Chernokozovo camp. The guards subsequently referred to him by the female name “Maria”. Timur, also aged 16, was reportedly beaten while held in May 2000 in a camp in Urus-Martan in order to force him to confess that his uncle, who was arrested at the same time, was a Chechen fighter. Timur was released after the family paid US $700 to camp guards.

A survivor of the Chernokozovo camp told Amnesty International that between 16 January and 5 February 2001 he had shared a cell with a 17-year-old youth whose teeth had been sawn off with a metal file and whose lips were shredded, making it virtually impossible for him to eat or speak. The same survivor also said he saw a 14-year-old girl being gang-raped by prison officers in a corridor. The girl had reportedly come to visit her mother, who was detained in the camp.

The whereabouts of many children and adults from the Chechen Republic who have been arrested by Russian forces remain unknown, and none of the cases of alleged torture and ill-treatment of detainees has been investigated.

The measures taken by the Russian authorities are insufficient to end such abuses of human rights, and children who are arrested remain at risk of torture and ill-treatment.

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