Publication: Monitor Volume: 4 Issue: 135

On July 11, Adallo Aliev was arrested in the Dagestani city of Khasavyurt and charged with illegal possession of a firearm. Aliev is deputy chairman of the Congress of the Peoples of Chechnya and Dagestan (CPCD). He is also a well-known poet and editor-in-chief of the newspaper “Islamic Way.” Local people are convinced he was arrested for his political views. (Kommersant-daily, July 14)

Aliev is a member of Dagestan’s largest ethnic group–the Avars. When Russian troops were sent into Chechnya, he sent his son to fight for the Chechen resistance and called on other Dagestanis to follow his example. Today, Aliev is one of the most fervent advocates of uniting Dagestan and Chechnya into a single Islamic state, on the model of the nineteenth-century imamate of Shamil. This is also the goal of the CPCD, set up on the initiative of Chechen Foreign Minister Movladi Udugov. The newspaper Aliev edits regularly criticizes the Dagestani leadership and the federal authorities, and supports Dagestan’s “Wahhabis.”

Aliev’s arrest has provoked sharp protests from the Chechen authorities. Shamil Basaev, chairman of the CPCD, said the action was taken on the “personal order” of Dagestani leader Magomed Magomedov, “who is unleashing a campaign against the members of the Congress.” If Aliev was not released within forty-eight hours, Basaev threatened, he would take “appropriate measures.” Basaev was supported by Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov, who has set up a special commission to tackle the issue of Aliev’s release. (Kommersant-daily, July 14)