Tensions between the Dagestani and Chechen governments remain high following the January 10 detention of Zulai Kadyrova, the sister of Ramzan Kadyrov, Chechnya’s first deputy prime minister, who led a convoy of armed men to free her (see Chechnya Weekly, January 19).
The prosecutor’s office in Dagestan’s Novolak’s district, where Ms. Kadyrova was first detained, and the prosecutor’s office in the city of Khasavyurt, where she and her guards were taken, have instituted criminal proceedings against policemen and officers of Chechnya’s security services for committing violence against Dagestani policemen, Itar-Tass reported on January 24. The Dagestani side says that an investigation into the incident found that after the car in which Zulai Kadyrova and two guards were traveling was stopped at a checkpoint just outside Khasavyurt, police discovered that the guards’ business-trip certificates were expired. All three of the Chechen visitors were taken to the local police department, where Ms. Kadyrova was released with an apology after presenting her passport. She then phoned her brother, who showed up shortly afterwards in a convoy of 25-30 trucks with armed men. They beat up two Novolak district policemen at the checkpoint and then broke into the Khasavyurt police headquarters and beat up another police officer.
While Chechen officials claimed that Zulai Kadyrova’s arm was broken during the incident, a source in the Dagestani public prosecutor’s office said that no violence was used against her or her guards. The source said that the North Caucasus branch of the federal Prosecutor General’s Office had ordered top Chechen Interior Ministry officials and other agencies to identify and punish those who roughed up the Dagestani policemen, Itar-Tass reported. According to the news agency, it has been established that the Dagestani police acted well within their authority during the incident.