Video message by Zelimkhan Bakaev. Screenshot of video posted by user Artum Lebedev, https://zona.media/news/2017/09/25/drive

25 September 2017, 20:51

Bakaev's friends and rights defenders treat his video appeal as staged

The video, in which the Chechen singer Zelimkhan Bakaev confesses that he is in Germany, is badly directed and poorly staged, Bakaev's acquaintances and rights defenders Svetlana Gannushkina and Tatiana Lokshina told the "Caucasian Knot".

Zelimkhan Bakaev, a 26-year-old native of Grozny, disappeared on August 8. Singer's friends suggested that he could be kidnapped, while others associated his disappearance to a conflict in his family.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on September 24, a video appeared on the Internet, in which the Chechen singer Zelimkhan Bakaev confessed that he was in Germany and invited his friend from Holland to come there.

Zelimkhan Bakaev's acquaintances believe that the video is staged.

"I saw this video and I got an impression of some kind of unnaturalness and staged nature; it seems that everything was deliberately staged," one of the singer's acquaintances told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent on conditions of anonymity.

Tatiana Lokshina, the Human Rights Watch (HRW) Programme Director for Russia, also believes that the video was staged. "It seems at least strange that while his closest relatives are crazy about the unknown, and his mother begs the Chechen leadership to provide at least some information, Bakaev records a cheerful address to a friend. Personally, I have no confidence in the video," Ms Lokshina told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.

Svetlana Gannushkina, the head of the Civil Assistance Committee, does not exclude that the video with Bakaev "was made under pressure." "There is a big question when the video with Bakaev was actually recorded. It's unclear why he recorded an appeal to a friend, when his relatives are searching for him everywhere," Ms Gannushkina told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.

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

Source: CK correspondents

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