THE PACE OF DISAPPEARANCES ACCELERATES
Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 6 Issue: 21
Kavkazky Uzel reported on May 30 that six people had been kidnapped or otherwise disappeared in Chechnya over the previous several days. The website quoted a Chechen law-enforcement source as saying that a local resident of the town of Samashki was abducted by an armed group the previous day and that a young man had been taken from his home in the northern Chechen town of Shelkovskaya on May 28. The Russian-Chechen Friendship Society (ORChD) on May 31 identified the kidnapped Samashki resident as Aslan Said Aldamov. According to the society’s website (friendly.narod.ru), a group of armed men in camouflage uniforms and masks stopped the car that Aldamov and three other local residents were driving through Samaskhi on May 29, forcing them out of the vehicle and severely beating them before driving off with Aldamov.
Kavkazky Uzel and Interfax reported on May 30 that two people, including a cameraman from a local television station, were kidnapped in Grozny’s Leninsky district, while a young nurse disappeared in the village of Podgorny in Grozny’s Staropromyslovsky district. A 16-year-old girl also failed to return home after leaving her residence in the Chechen capital. Meanwhile, the bullet-riddled body of a 27-year-old local man was discovered in the village of Serzhen-Yurt, Interfax reported on May 29. Kavkazky Uzel reported that the victim had been shot to death in his home by armed invaders. The ORChD reported on May 31 that a “group of unknown armed people in camouflage uniforms” took Khizar Isaevich Dzhambulatov out of his home in the village of Yandi-Kotar in Chechnya’s Achkoi-Martan district on the night of May 28. His whereabouts and fate remain unknown. Interfax reported on May 27 that unidentified armed people abducted Mamed Solsanov, a security guard working for the company Transneftinvest in Grozny. The news agency reported that same day that a resident of the village of Nizhny Noyber in Chechnya’s Gudermes district, Layla Umarova, had disappeared. Interfax quoted sources in the regional administration as saying that there had been several instances of women being abducted in the past few months.
On May 30, friends and relatives of three brothers kidnapped earlier this month in the Groznensky district village of Oktyabrskoe blocked roads in front of government offices in Grozny to protest their abduction. According to Kavkazky Uzel, the protesters claimed that the Chersiev brothers – Adam, Kureish, and Movla – were being held on the territory of an extra-departmental guard (vnevedomstvennaya okhrana) regiment and demanded that they be released. Members of the guard unit, however, denied that they had seized the brothers. Citing the Memorial human rights center, the website reported that the protesters were approached by a man representing the head of Chechnya’s presidential security service (the man, presumably, was a representative of Chechen First Deputy Prime Minister Ramzan Kadyorv), who ordered the protesters leave the area in five minutes or be fired on. The protesters were thereby forced to leave.
According to Kavkazky Uzel, the Chersiev brothers were abducted on May 5 by “staff of republican power structures.” Relatives of the brothers managed to follow the cars in which they were driven away and thus determined that they were taken to the territory of an extra-departmental guard regiment located on Ulitsa Yuzhnaya in Grozny’s Leninsky district. The commander of that unit, however, refused to confirm to the relatives that the brothers were being held there. Still, the relatives managed to establish that the brothers had been seized for the purpose of exchanging them for an unidentified member of the Chersiev family who belongs to a Chechen rebel group.
Earlier, 30 people demonstrated outside government buildings in Grozny demanding information on the fate and whereabouts of Kazbek Visaitov, a resident of the Chechen capital’s Zavodsky district who was abducted by unknown armed people, Interfax reported on May 27.