Law enforcers, Grozny. Photo by Magomed Magomedov for the Caucasian Knot.

27 October 2017, 05:45

Chechnya: kidnappings become systematic

The situation with people's disappearances in Chechnya is similar to the one observed during the second Chechen campaign, and kidnappings committed by law enforcers have turned into a system, rights defenders assert. According to the calculations run by the "Caucasian Knot", since the start of this year, relatives of at least 43 people have reported their kidnappings.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on October 21, Petimat Mamaeva, a 28-year-old resident of Grozny, who in early September was took away by unidentified power agents from her home to some unknown place, returned home after the story of her disappearance received public resonance in social networks through the appeals of her mother to Ramzan Kadyrov and the public.

"Probably, the head of the Chechen Republic was in good spirits; and it so coincided that the mother's appeal posted in social networks led to the release of her daughter," Alexander Cherkasov, the Chairman of the Board of the Human Rights Centre (HRC) "Memorial", has commented on Petimat Mamaeva's return home.

"It shows that we must fight for people. In most cases, relatives of the residents of Chechnya kidnapped by power agents try not to appeal anywhere, believing that it's senseless, and may even be harmful for relatives," Mr Cherkasov told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.

He added that people's kidnappings and detentions by power agents in Chechnya are not single.

"This is a system; however, the point is in what can help in combating this system of kidnappings, illegal people's detentions and illegal keeping them in custody. Unfortunately, there has been no reliable remedy so far, because legal means that are supposed to work in a normal state are useless in Chechnya," he said.

"The situation resembles the one that was at the beginning of the second Chechen war, when the traceless disappearances were a system; and it was also unclear then how to combat it," said Alexander Cherkasov.

The database on the Chechen Republic, since 1999 (the start of the second Chechen war) to date, contains about 3000 missing people, said Ekaterina Sokiryanskaya, the director of the Centre for Conflict Analysis and Prevention.

"The fact that people are again kidnapped in Chechnya en masse is obvious," Ms Sokiryanskaya told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent, noting that information about kidnappings comes from different sources, from rights defenders and through the media.

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

Author: Oleg Tikunov; Source: CK correspondent

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