Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 4 Issue: 25

Contradicting reports by human-rights advocates that “zachistki” security sweeps have significantly decreased this year, Chechens from the village of Gikalo, about three miles south of Grozny, launched a protest rally that began in that village on June 27 and continued on June 30 in front of the Kadyrov administration’s main headquarters building in Grozny.

Correspondent Timur Aliev of Prague Watchdog reported that a crowd of 200-300 demonstrators demanded that the authorities stop illegal arrests and kidnappings. Aliev quoted one demonstrator as saying that “just after the referendum there seemed to be a slight decrease in the number of ‘zachistki,’ but now people are disappearing on a daily basis and peaceful citizens are getting killed.”

Most of the demonstrators are reportedly women whose relatives have disappeared in recent “zachistki” and who are demanding their return–or at least the return of their bodies.