Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 7 Issue: 2

Kavkazky Uzel reported on January 10 that Aleksandra Zakharova, the London-based lawyer for Rasul Kudaev, the former detainee at the U.S. detention facility in Guantanamo, Cuba, who was later detained by Russian authorities for allegedly participating in the October 13 rebel raid on Nalchik, had sent a statement to the European Court for Human Rights in Strasbourg on behalf of Kudaev’s mother claiming that he had disappeared from a remand prison in Nalchik. Kudaev’s mother, Fatima Tekaeva, said she found out that her son had been removed from the prison when she tried to deliver medicine to him. Prison officials advised her to appeal to Aleksei Sovrulin, head of an investigative unit of the federal Prosecutor General’s Office, concerning her son’s whereabouts. Zakharova, however, reported that Sovrulin hung up on her when she called him on Tekaeva’s behalf. Zakharova said she inquired in the administration of Kabardino-Balkaria Republic President Arsen Kanokov but that the head of the administration, Oleg Shandirov, said he had no information that Kudaev had been removed from the prison. Zakharova said that Amnesty International, which has already expressed concern about Kudaev’s situation (Chechnya Weekly, November 3, 2005), has also directed an inquiry concerning his whereabouts to the Kabardino-Balkarian authorities. Zakharova said that if his whereabouts were not clarified in the near future, she would direct a legal inquiry to the Kremlin.

Kudaev’s mother told Kavakazky Uzel on January 9 that he had been removed from the prison at the end of December after meeting with Kabardino-Balkaria Republic President Arsen Kanokov and presidential envoy to the Southern Federal District Dmitry Kozak and telling them that he had been tortured.