Two North Ossetian workers were kidnapped on April 17 in Chechnya’s Nadterechny District. The kidnappers are demanding a ransom of $200,000. (Interfax, April 17) Kidnappings are an almost daily occurrence in Chechnya. Kidnapped Chechens and Dagestanis are sometimes released without ransom and, in rare cases, the kidnappers are put on trial in Shariat courts. Other hostages are released only for money and their kidnappers generally go unpunished. So far, the only documented case of a foreigner being released without a ransom and his kidnappers being arrested is that of a Slovak worker whose kidnappers were caught by Chechen police at the moment the ransom money was being handed over. After two weeks in prison, the kidnappers were released on bail. The kidnapping took place in November, but the trial has still not taken place.
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