On March 6, 2017, the North Caucasus District Military Court began hearing the case of Ayub Tuntuyev, a former employee of the Chechen President’s security service. On the first day of the trial, after the prosecution’s accusations were presented, Tuntuyev declared his innocence and said that the case against him had been fabricated. The Court proposed calling all prosecution and defence witnesses and questioning them on March 14 via video-linkup.
Lawyer Tagir Shamsudinov, who is working with Justice Initiative on this case, described the situation as follows: “The first court hearing in the case of Ayub Kharonovich Tuntuyev took place in Rostov on Don on March 6. Criminal charges were laid on the basis of Tuntuyev’s own turning himself in and statements he made under torture, with no lawyer present. The defence wants to have excluded as inadmissible the evidence obtained in violation of the Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and Russian national law”.
What is known is that on May 27, 2015, staff at Prison Colony 6 260 beat Tuntuyev and used electric shock torture in order to obtain confessions and force him to refuse a lawyer’s assistance. In an attempt to cover up the marks left by the torture, staff at the prison colony’s medical unit cut the injured skin from his heels.
On July 8, 2016, the Investigative Committee’s investigations department for the town of Kovrov in Vladimir Region opened a criminal case for use of physical violence against Ayub Tuntuyev by staff at Prison Colony 6 in Vladimir Region, where Tuntuyev is currently in detention.
The criminal case was opened after the European Court of Human Rights communicated Tuntuyev’s application and sent questions to the Russian government on investigating the torture used against him. The application was made by Justice Initiative and notes that Tuntuyev faces pressure, the investigators have been inactive, and it took a long time for a criminal case to be opened.