"This family belongs in prison or in the ground" - Chechen authorities detain mother of an activist
Federal judge’s wife ‘kidnapped’ to Chechnya
The authorities of Chechnya, a North Caucasian republic in Russia, forcibly removed the mother of a Chechen human rights activist from her own home in a Russian city and took her to Chechnya. The head of Chechnya believes that the kidnapped woman’s son runs an opposition Telegram channel and promises to severely punish the entire family, Novaya Gazeta reports.
On January 20, in the city of Nizhny Novgorod, representatives of the Chechen police came to the apartment of the federal judge Saidi Yangulbaev, the father of Abubakar Yangulbaev, a former employee of the North Caucasian branch of the Committee against Torture. The security forces tried to kidnap both Yangulbaev and his wife Zarema Musaeva.
The Committee Against Torture stated that the police managed to detain Musaeva. During the detention, the 59-year-old woman was beaten and lost consciousness.
“She was dragged down the stairs like a sack of potatoes, she was wearing a light dress and slippers on her bare feet”, said lawyer Natalya Dobronravova, who witnessed these events.
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The police took Musayeva, who suffers from type 2 diabetes, to an unknown destination without proper clothes, necessary medicines and insulin. According to human rights activists, Yangulbaev’s wife needs to take insulin injections five times a day.
Chechen police officers arrived in Nizhny Novgorod with an order to forcibly bring in Saydi Yangulbaev and his wife for interrogation as witnesses in a fraud case.
At the same time, the immunity of Yangulbaev as a federal judge made such a decision illegal. Moreover, none of the Yangulbaev family members have ever been summoned to the police station or interrogated.
Later, the Chechen Ombudsman Mansur Soltaev published a video of a conversation with Musayeva, in which the woman says that “we bought medicines, no violence [was used against me]”.
Musayeva’s son Abubakar Yangulbaev called what is happening “a complete hell”.
“I have no words. I do not believe that this can happen in Russia. I know my mother, and now on the video she is in a very serious condition”, the Committee Against Torture reported. The day before, Abubakar Yangulbaev told the Dozhd TV channel that he had temporarily left Russia.
Kadyrov: “The whole family has no concept of honor and dignity”
The head of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, commented on Musaeva’s detention and actually confirmed that the reason was his dissatisfaction with the opposition Telegram channel, which, according to the Chechen authorities, was hosted by Abubakar Yangulbaev.
“I declare that this family is should either be in prison or in the ground, and it doesn’t depend on me anymore. I know the mood in society. As long as at least one Chechen is alive, how can they [Yangulbaevs] enjoy life freely? The members of this family will no longer be able to walk, the honor of every representative of our people is so deeply hurt. Always remember this, Yangulbaevs”, Kadyrov wrote on his Telegram channel.
The head of Chechnya stated that Zarema Musayeva “attacked a police officer and almost deprived him of an eye” after being taken to Grozny, “thus having already earned herself an article and a real prison term”.
According to Kadyrov, “the operational activities of the police from the Chechen Republic on Thursday were agreed with their colleagues on the ground, and all their actions were carried out in accordance with the law”.
“Each of the Yangulbaevs got their hands dirty in the vile publications of the Telegram channel. The whole family has no concept of honor and dignity. Not a single self-respecting person will read a channel and meekly listen to how selective curses and insults humiliate his entire nation and, or help these scoundrels earn money on donations”, Kadyrov concluded.
Meanwhile, the Russian authorities prefer to simply “not believe” what happened. Press Secretary of the President of Russia Dmitry Peskov called the news about the kidnapping of the wife of a federal judge “strange”.
“Well, in general, it is a made-up story, of course, we prefer to simply not to believe such reports without receiving any confirmation. We are living in a very untrue time”, Peskov said.