19 January 2018, 00:32

Kadyrov's statements raise questions about law enforcers' role in Bakaev's disappearance

The words of the head of Chechnya about the role of relatives in the disappearance of the singer Zelimkhan Bakaev are an actual recognition of the fact that the authorities are aware of the fate and, possibly, murder of a Chechen singer, rights defenders believe.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that Zelimkhan Bakaev's relatives know nothing about his whereabouts since August 8, 2017. Within five months, investigators failed to shed any light on the singer's fate. Igor Kochetkov, the head of the Russian LGBT Network, has associated the Bakaev's disappearance with the persecution of gays in Chechnya.

The head of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, commented on the disappearance of Zelimkhan Bakaev on air of the evening news of the "Grozny" Chechen State TV and Radio Company. On January 17, the video thereof was posted on the YouTube.

Kadyrov rejected accusations of his involvement in the disappearance of the singer, hinting that Bakaev could be killed by his relatives. "The family could not stop him; and then they invited him home. And the brothers, apparently, first and second cousins accused him of being this one... Is there really nobody in the village, among men in the family to admit: 'Yes, we did it'? They perfectly know what their relative was like. Bakaev himself was something beyond understanding..." Kadyrov has stated.

Kadyrov's statement on the Bakaev case "should interest the investigative authorities for information sources," said Tatiana Lokshina, the programme director of the Human Rights Watch in Russia.

"In fact, the Chechen leader said that he knew that Bakaev was dead, that they had committed an 'honour murder' on him. How does he know that – investigators should clear it out. And the words he used in relation to Bakaev are monstrous and unacceptable," Ms Lokshina said.

Law enforcers, as minimum, do not interfere with executions of people with non-traditional sexual orientation, Orhan Jemal, a Forbes' journalist, believes. "Obviously, Kadyrov isn't against this practice. As far as I understand, this happens in a symbiosis of law enforcers with the families that provide information. But this is only my guess," Mr Jemal told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.

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

Author: Alikhan Mamsurov; Source: CK correspondent

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