30 September 2020, 19:37

Russian authorities distance themselves from disappearance of Chechen resident Umarov

In response to questions from the European Court of Human Rights, Russia declared that Movsar Umarov was not taken to offices of the law enforcement bodies in Chechnya and was not subjected to ill-treatment by law enforcers. Human rights defenders consider the above explanations unconvincing.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) considers the issue of special security measures for Movsar Umarov, a resident of Chechnya, whose escape during a special operation was announced by the law enforcement bodies.

The mother of Movsar Umarov stated that her son was detained for watching the video blog run by Tumso Abdurakhmanov, a popular critic of Chechen authorities. According to Eset Umarova, she learned through unofficial channels that law enforcers had tried, by threats of lengthy imprisonment, to force him to help them in catching militants. Then, the woman, as she said, was told that her son had fled. She suggested that Movsar had fallen victim to an extrajudicial execution.

The ECtHR asked the Russian authorities questions about whether Movsar Umarov was detained and on what grounds, and where he stayed at the moment.

On September 25, Mikhail Galperin, Representative of the Russian Federation at the European Court of Human Rights, announced that Movsar Umarov was not detained by Chechen law enforcers and was not taken to offices of any law enforcement bodies. According to the statement voiced by Mr Galperin, Movsar Umarov was not subjected to ill-treatment by the authorities.

The "Committee against Torture" (CaT) did not agree with Mr Galperin. "Till present, no verification of the testimony has been carried out on the spot with the participation of the mother of Movsar Umarov and his brother, who can testify how and under what circumstances they saw Movsar on the territory of the 'Neftepolk', and who of the policemen and fighters of the National Guard of Russia were at the spot. In connection with the above, we cannot consider the explanations of the Russian authorities convincing and will continue to insist on the application of the 'Rule 39'," said Dmitry Piskunov, the head of the CaT's North-Caucasian branch, as quoted in the today's post on the website of the human rights organization.

Let us remind you that the human rights defenders have asked the ECtHR to apply the "Rule 39", which makes it possible to demand from the Russian Federation the interim measures to find the whereabouts of Movsar Umarov, as well as guarantees for his release and safety.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on September 30, 2020 at 03:19 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

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