Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 7 Issue: 11

Kavkazaky Uzel reported on March 15 that Chechen law enforcement was trying to track down the kidnappers of Abdul-Vakhab Akhmadov, the head of the finance department of the republic’s Ministry of Housing and Municipal Services. On March 10, the 44-year-old Akhmadov, a resident of Urus-Martan, was abducted on the town’s outskirts by four armed men in military uniforms. According to eyewitnesses, two of the gunmen wore black uniforms and the other two were in camouflage. The victim’s brother, Ramzan Akhmadov, is the head of the well-known children’s dance group “Daimokhk,” and officials speculate that Abdul-Vakhab may have been kidnapped in order to extract a ransom.

The Information Center of the Council of Non-Governmental Organizations reported a number of other kidnappings and attacks on civilians over the last ten days. On March 14, representatives of local “power structures” severely beat a 45-year-old taxi driver whose first name is Said-Ali and is a resident of the village of Nikhaloi. The beating took place after the local “siloviki” stopped Said-Ali’s car without explanation. One of the attackers reportedly tried to shoot him but was stopped from doing so by passers-by. Meanwhile, the body of Aslambek Movsaev, a resident of the Groznensky district village of Chechen-Aul, was discovered on March 13. According to local residents, his body bore signs of torture and a gunshot to the head. Movsaev had been kidnapped on February 25 by a group of armed people in camouflage uniforms and masks. On March 11, Ruslan Dalaev was forcibly taken from his home in the Groznensky district village of Chechen-Aul by unknown armed people. Neighbors said that Dalaev had no involvement in fighting between rebels and security forces in the republic. Around a month ago, Dalaev’s brother and sister-in-law failed to return home after leaving the village in a car that was later found burned out.

The Information Center of the Council of Non-Governmental Organizations reported on March 15 that Islam Esinbaev, a resident of the Groznensky district village of Prigorodnoe, had been dumped on the outskirts of the village after having been detained by members of “local power structures” on March 7. Esinbaev was reportedly severely beaten and tortured while in custody and, according to local residents, remains in grave condition.