• Press Release

Russia: Truth and Justice for Victims Of Crocus City Hall Attack Incompatible With Torture of Suspects

March 25, 2024

Reacting to an armed group’s attack on March 22 on the Crocus City Hall concert venue in Moscow’s outskirts, which left at least 137 people dead and hundreds injured, Marie Struthers, Amnesty International’s Eastern Europe and Central Asia Director, said:

“We offer our deepest condolences to the victims of this heinous attack and their loved ones. They deserve justice. This includes full accountability for those who gave the orders and for the perpetrators, and the whole truth about what happened at the venue and what led up to it. While horrifying details of this mass killing continue to emerge, the Russian authorities and media sources have provided deeply disturbing and what appear to be credible images of torture of criminal suspects.”

“Far from upholding accountability for victims, torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment only serves to tarnish and undermine the path to truth and justice. The right to be free from torture and other ill-treatment is absolute and without exception. If committed, it is also a crime and must be addressed as such. Victims will not obtain justice unless those responsible for this atrocity are held to account in fair trial proceedings, fully in line with international standards.”


On March 22, several gunmen dressed in combat fatigues opened fire on people present inside Crocus City Hall, a concert venue in one of Moscow’s suburbs, before setting it on fire. The attack left at least 137 people dead and 180 injured. The armed group ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack and released a gruesome video taken from the bodycam of one of the attackers, which shows people shot with automatic rifles and throat-cutting of one of the concertgoers.

On March 23, a Moscow court ordered detention on remand of four individuals apprehended the same day on suspicion of “act of terrorism” (Article 205(3) (b)). If found guilty, they could be given up to a life sentence.

One suspect appeared in court in a wheelchair having sustained serious injuries. Another had a bandage on the right side of his head; earlier footage suggested that his captors had cut his ear off while interrogating him. A third detained suspect appeared in court with edges of a plastic bag taped around his neck, suggesting the use of a suffocation technique reportedly used by Russian law enforcement agencies. All defendants had black eyes and other signs of injuries. Other footage suggested electrocution of one of the detainees by his captors.

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