Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 7 Issue: 40

Dmitry Grushkin of the Memorial human rights center told Interfax on October 17 that according to the group’s research, 1,948 people have been kidnapped in Chechnya since 2002, and that out of these, 685 were freed, 189 were killed, 1,040 disappeared and 34 are in the authorities’ custody and under investigation. This year, 143 people have been kidnapped, he said. Of these, 70 have been freed, 8 have been killed, 54 have disappeared without a trace and 11 are in the authorities’ custody and under investigation. “Our monitoring shows that in 2006, compared to last year, the number of kidnappings has decreased, but this problem remains relevant,” Grushkin told the news agency. “In our estimation, little has been done to solve it.” As Kavkazky Uzel reported on October 17, in September, Memorial published a detailed chronicle of violent incidents in Chechnya and Ingushetia in recent months. As the website noted, the human rights group reported that zachistki (security sweeps), attacks by unknown persons and shootings take place in the regions on a daily basis.

Meanwhile, Prima-News, citing the Nazran-based Council of Non-Governmental Organizations (SNO), reported on October 13 that a mass grave containing the remains of five victims of extra-judicial execution was discovered near a back road leading to the 1st dairy farm [molsovkhoz] in the Grozny district on October 5. From the remains of the clothes and documents found in the grave, it was determined that the victims were members of the Musaev family – a mother, two daughters, a son and daughter-in-law – who had been kidnapped on January 4, 2004. The SNO quoted local siloviki as saying that the family was murdered by Movladi Baisarov, who until recently headed the FSB’s “Gorets” commando unit, supposedly in revenge for the murder of his brother in a terrorist attack. According to Prima-News, law-enforcement officials in the Sunzhensky district discovered another mass grave, this one containing the remains of ten people.