Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 4 Issue: 29

On August 2 a 16-year-old Chechen girl, Elza Katsaeva, was kidnapped by unidentified gunmen in the village of Samashki. Two days later about a thousand residents of the village, mostly women and children, blocked traffic on the area’s main highway to protest the kidnapping and demand her safe return. The demonstrators demanded personal meetings with representatives of the Kadyrov administration and the Russian military command. Alu Alkhanov, the republic’s minister of the interior, finally agreed to meet with a delegation from Samashki.

Aleksandr Petrov of Human Rights Watch told the website that on average two people per day are now being kidnapped in Chechnya.