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Abubakar Yangulbaev lost hours after Beast’s daily interview about his whole family’s abduction

MOSCOW — All Chechens are afraid of the word “kidnapping”. Anyone who dares to speak out against Ramzan Kadyrov—The Putin-anointed leader of the Russian republic of Chechnya — dreads the heavy footsteps of armed men at their doorstep.

The latest attacks against critics and bloggers began last week. The couple was caught and disappeared without a trace. In many cases, the only “crimes” of those illegally taken away and detained are related to human rights defenders or critics of the regime.

Abubakar Yangulbaev, a lawyer with the Committee for the Prevention of Torture, told The Daily Beast he was “worried sick” on Christmas Eve as he struggled to contact more than 30 members of his family. me.

“I kept checking Telegram channels, seeing terrible news that all Yanbungalayev had been kidnapped, as well as many Musayevs from my mother’s family side,” he said.

On Christmas Day, the scale of the horror was confirmed. “My aunts, uncles, cousins ​​are gone; I learned from the Telegram channels, that the kidnappers took their cell phones, so I made a post with a photo of my family members on saturday and formally appealed to the Investigative Committee,” Yangulbaev, 29, told The Daily Beast in an interview on Monday.

The next morning, he was also arrested.

Oleg Khabibrakhmanov, a public investigator of human rights violations at the commission where Yangulbaev works, told The Daily Beast on Tuesday: “This morning, officials from the Chechen Center for the Prevention of Extremism or simply the political police came to search the house of Abubakar Yangulbaev in the city of Kislovodsk; they arrested Yangulbaev and took him to the police station in Pyatigorsk. So far our attorney, who is just outside the door of the police station, has not been allowed to see his client. Our biggest fear is that they will transfer Yangulbaev to Chechnya, where we constantly see police violations of authority.”

The non-governmental organization Russia’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture said the current list of those who “disappeared” includes more than 50 names, including Yangulbaev’s family. “Our lawyers and observers searched homes and police stations in the Grozny and Urus-Martan regions with the names of the abductees,” Magomed Alamov, a human rights defender at the commission told. The Daily Beast. “Only one police station said they had none of these people arrested, the others sent our lawyers away without any answer.”

Yangulbaev said he left Chechnya after being tortured with electric shock along with his younger brother. He has his own personal memories of what “kidnapping” means.

“I was abducted by six men in plain clothes along with my brother, a student at Chechnya State University, and my father, a Supreme Court judge, in 2015,” he said. said that my father was corrupt and that my brother was with ISIS; they let me and my father go after 10 o’clock but kept my brother in a police basement for several weeks. ”

Yangulbaev said that he tried to move six family members from Chechnya but still many relatives in the territory of this republic are living in fear of becoming hostages. “I suspect that the Chechen authorities punish my relatives for my work as a human rights defender and they may also suspect that I have something to do with the Telegram channel criticizing Kadyrov,” he said. I said. “That’s not true, I don’t work for the opposition, I’m a lawyer at the Committee against Torture.”

Kadyrov, who is called “Putin’s soldiers,” gave a press conference over the weekend denying that this latest kidnapping even took place. According to state news agency TASS, he asserted that the reports were fake news spread by “European bloggers who openly support terrorism”.

“If anything, we will happily consider it. But there is one truth: Chechens never forgive, when someone abuses the dignity of his family, his family members, especially women. They should understand that if they abuse the dignity of my family, my mother, my sisters, my wife, —I swear, I will take it to any court, before the court but I will never let this go. . They should understand that.”

In other words, while he denies the kidnappings, the Chechen leader also confirms that the traditional blood feud still runs in modern Russia — and not only that, revenge on its members in the family can even be done by the public. officials.

“Russian law does not allow for collective liability but Kadyrov does, so anyone who criticizes Kadyrov cannot be safe in the republic,” Alamov told The Daily Beast. “Kadyrov’s men pursued not only the father’s side of Yangulbaev’s relatives, but also the mother’s side, which even according to traditional Chechen rules is completely insane.”

During his annual press conference last week, President Putin emphasized this kind of excess even though it has been allowed to flourish under his rule. “I think this match-fixing is not only unacceptable, it does nothing but harm our country,” he said. “They have to understand that the state will fight this type of crime. We will continue to do everything in our power.”

After being the target of attacks for years, Sergei Shunin of the Committee for the Prevention of Torture says he hopes Kadyrov has finally gone too far, even in the eyes of Moscow.

“Our office was set on fire, our colleagues were attacked and now we hear about the highest number of relatives being kidnapped from just one family,” said Sergei Shunin. “If the governor of Chechnya denies the truth about the kidnappings, we will appeal to President Putin.”

https://www.thedailybeast.com/abubakar-yangulbaev-says-armed-men-kidnapped-30-members-of-his-family?source=articles&via=rss Abubakar Yangulbaev lost hours after Beast’s daily interview about his whole family’s abduction

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