Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 7 Issue: 33


Usam Baisaev of Memorial told Ekho Moskvy on August 16 that a Chechen police officer had beaten up a lawyer, Dzhabrail Abubakarov, who had been hired by the human rights group to provide legal assistance to Chechen citizens complaining about the use of illegal methods during investigations. “When the lawyer went to the Urus-Martan district police department to arrange a meeting between a person held in police custody and his relatives, the head of the investigation department hit him in the face and broke his glasses,” Baisaev told the radio station. “The investigation department chief was unhappy with Abubakarov because the latter had mentioned his name in an appeal to the prosecutor about the use of illegal methods of investigation with regard to his clients.” Baisaev said Abubakarov has lodged complaints with federal Prosecutor General’s Office, the Chechen Prosecutor’s Office and Russian human rights ombudsman, Vladimir Lukin. “Knowing the morals of the Chechen police and security forces, we fear for the lawyer’s life,” Baisaev said. “Five lawyers have disappeared since the start of the second Chechen campaign. Two of them have been found dead, while the other three are missing.”