Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 8 Issue: 29

– Strasbourg Court Again Orders Russian to Compensate Chechen Victim

On July 12, the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France, ordered Russia to pay the equivalent of more than $56,000 in damages to the relatives of Ayubkhan Magomadov, who disappeared after being detained by Russian forces in the village of Kurchaloi in October 2000. The New York Times reported on July 13 that the ruling, which blamed Russia for failing to make a record of Magomadov’s detention, said that Russia had offered “no plausible explanation as to what happened to him after his detention.” reported on July 12 that the original suit against Russia was filed by the victim’s two brothers, Yakub and Ayub Magomadov, but that Yakub himself disappeared without a trace at the beginning of 2004.

– Chechen Prosecutor: More than 2,000 Kidnapping Cases Have Been Opened

In an interview published in Rossiiskaya gazeta, Chechnya’s chief prosecutor, Valery Kuznetsov, said that more than 2,000 criminal cases on charges of kidnapping have been opened in Chechnya over the past 16 years. “This figure includes all cases reported to law-enforcement agencies since 1991,” Kuznetsov told the government newspaper, adding that the majority of those kidnapped went missing during the active phase of the

counter-terrorist operation and that the following years saw a steady decrease. “In 2006, 196 kidnappings were reported, down from 439 in 2005,” Kuznetsov said. “This year, only 80 incidents have so far been reported.” He added that in a number of cases, “The so-called ‘missing’ were active members of illegal paramilitary formations,” while in other cases, “kidnapped persons were released but still appeared on the ‘missing’ list and were included in official statistics.” People are kidnapped mainly to extort ransoms, Kuznetsov said. “Some kidnappings involve law-enforcement officers,” he said. “Not long ago, we submitted one such case to court. The main defendants are policemen from Grozny. However, such cases are rare now.” The speaker of Chechnya’s People’s Assembly, Dukvakha Abdurakhmanov, said on July 11 a total of 4,300 people have disappeared in Chechnya since 1994: 1,500 between 1994 and 1996 and more than 2,800 between 2000 and 2007 (Chechnya Weekly, July 12).