Novaya Gazeta – October 19, 2021
The Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation ignores the statement and complaints of Abdullah Elismail, the brother of Syrian Mohammed Elismail, who was killed by alleged militants of the Wagner PMC in 2017. This is stated in the statement of the human rights center “Memorial”* and lawyers of the family of the deceased (available to the editorial board).
On March 11, 2021, Abdullah Elismail filed an application with the Investigative Committee of Russia demanding to open a murder case against the criminals with particular cruelty and asked to check whether there are signs of other crimes, including military crimes, in their actions.
“The situation with the inaction of the IC at the request of Abdullah Elismail is not fundamentally unexpected for us, but the way in which the court delays the consideration of complaints about this inaction is unusual,” says lawyer Novikov. “We were prepared for the fact that the investigators would conduct a rather formal superficial check on the application, for example, write that they could not find and interview citizen Dychko, who, as we think, is present on the video recording of the murder.”
According to Novikov, they have no response from the IC, and the court puts forward strange reasons why it cannot consider the complaint, for example, the lack of the applicant’s address. “With a living lawyer whose powers are confirmed by a warrant, the question of the whereabouts of his client-applicant has never before been raised in court. From the outside, it may look as if the IC is afraid to find evidence of Wagnerian crimes, and the court wants to get information from the lawyer about where the brother of the murdered man is, who already has every reason to fear revenge for the fact that he decided to declare a crime, “Novikov said.
Memorial, the International Federation for Human Rights and the Syrian Centre for Media and Freedom of Expression helped the brother of the deceased to prepare a statement to the UK based on evidence, a significant part of which was collected by Novaya Gazeta. The applicant’s interests are represented by Ilya Novikov and Petr Zaikin.
The IC has not yet taken any action on the application of Abdullah Elismail, despite the fact that representatives of the family of the deceased have already filed three complaints about the inaction of the security forces.
On March 26, lawyers officially requested information about the fate of the application, but there was no response.
After that, representatives of the family of the deceased filed several complaints with the court about the inaction of the IC. At first, the complaint was filed on April 19, but the document was returned with a demand to eliminate the defect, since it did not indicate the applicant’s address. After that, on May 4, lawyers sent a second complaint to the court, which was also ignored for a long time. Subsequently, it turned out that on May 12, the complaint was returned due to the fact that it allegedly did not contain evidence that the brother of the murdered Syrian citizen filed a complaint with the IC, Memorial said.
The third complaint to the court was sent by registered mail on July 19, 2021, in which the lawyers fulfilled all the requirements of the court, but, according to lawyers, it is also ignored. On October 1, Zaikin submitted an application to the chairman of the Basmanny Court with a request to inform him in writing about the decision taken on his complaint, in addition, on October 13, he sent a new request to the IC.
In November 2020, Novaya Gazeta already appealed to the head of the ICR, Alexander Bastrykin, with a request to verify the murder of Muhammad Elismail, but the committee did not respond. “Novaya Gazeta” has repeatedly published footage depicting the alleged militants of the “Wagner PMC” with the severed head of Muhammad E. The editorial board managed to establish the identity of one of the participants in the massacre – 30-year-old Stanislav Dychko, who joined the PMC in 2016. Novaya also cited evidence that an extrajudicial execution occurred near the al-Shaer field in Syria.