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30 September 2016, 15:09

HRC "Memorial" reports wave of kidnappings of North-Caucasian residents

In September, in Chechnya and Dagestan, at least five people were kidnapped, the Human Rights Centre (HRC) "Memorial" has announced today. Rights defenders fear that among the kidnapped persons were those, who were later killed by power agents in the Tabasaran District of Dagestan and presented as militants, who rendered resistance.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on September 19 relatives of Aslan Abdurakhmanov and Said Saidov, two residents of the Dagestani city of Kaspiysk, reported their kidnapping to law enforcement bodies. On September 12, according to a woman from Chechnya, her 40-year-old son Anzor Saraliev, who has lived for 20 years in Germany but visiting once or twice a year his mother in Grozny, was kidnapped by power agents.

On September 25, in Dagestan, agents of some unknown power structure kidnapped, in the afternoon, in one of the central streets of Makhachkala, a native of the republic, who is now permanently living abroad. Two days later, he got in touch with his relatives and said that he was kept at a police station of one of neighbouring republics of Northern Caucasus, the HRC "Memorial" has reported today, noting that the relatives refused to inform, whether he was arrested and the commission of what crimes he was suspected of.

According to the HRC "Memorial", on September 20, a resident of Kaspiysk Ramaldan Ramaldanov was kidnapped. According to a witness, a black Lada-2114 and a silver Lada Priora cars drove up to Ramaldanov's house; about eight people in camouflage and masks came out of the cars. They knocked Ramaldan down to the ground, dragged him into a car and drove away to some unknown place, as rights defenders quote Ramaldanov's relatives.

Until now, the whereabouts of Aslan Abdurakhmanov, Said Saidov, Ramaldan Ramaldanov and Anzor Saraliev are not known, says the today's statement of the HRC "Memorial", received by the "Caucasian Knot".

The statement raises the issue on whether the above Abdurakhmanov, Saidov and Ramaldanov could be among those killed by power agents on September 24 in the Tabasaran District of Dagestan.

On September 24, three armed men were killed in a shootout with power agents in the Tabasaran District of Dagestan. Law enforcers were shelled, when they tried to stop a Lada Kalina car for inspection". According to the Dagestani law enforcement sources, the bodies of the casualties were severely damaged; therefore, a genetic examination was appointed to identify them.

As noted by the HRC "Memorial", for a number of years, the actions of Dagestani "death squads" are "quite typical and standard": one or more persons related to each other, are kidnapped, or they "disappear" under mysterious circumstances, and then the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) or National Antiterrorist Committee (NAC) publish a message about the incident suicide bombing committed by militants or an armed clash, in which power agents usually suffer no losses, but the number of killed militants is exactly the same as the number of missing people, while the subsequent identification of the bodies confirms that the casualties are those, whose disappearance had been earlier reported.

"Power agents explain disappearances by people's going 'to the forest,' and initiate criminal cases, which are immediately closed because of suspects' deaths. Usually, statements of relatives and other witnesses about kidnappings and that the bodies presented for identification have signs of torture, are simply ignored by the police," says the press release of the HRC "Memorial", adding that under this scheme, already this year, disappeared and then declared perished, several residents of Dagestan, including Magomed Suleimanov, Ramazan Rashidov and Shamil Ramazanov, and in 2014 – Arif Mamaliev.

Full text of the article is available on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’.

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