The European Union has called for the release of Zarema Musaeva, the wife of retired Chechen Supreme Court judge Saydi Yangulbaev and the mother of former Committee against Torture lawyer Abubakar Yangulbaev. Formerly Chechen security forces taken away she was taken from an apartment in Nizhny Novgorod and forcibly taken to Chechnya.
“The European Union calls on the Russian authorities to release Musayeva, investigate the case, and put an end to the persecution of human rights defenders and their families, and immediately release those detained under the pretext of trumped-up charges,” says in a message published by the European External Action Service.
They also called on Russia to “promptly and effectively” investigate all cases of extrajudicial executions, torture and other serious human rights violations committed in recent years. The European Union recalled that the Russian Federation is expected to comply with international obligations and national legislation in terms of respect for human rights.
On January 20, in Nizhny Novgorod, Chechen police broke into the apartment of Saidi Yangulbaev. The security forces could not kidnap him himself, since he has a judicial immunity status, but they took away his wife Zarema Musaeva. The pretext for the abduction was that she was allegedly a witness in a fraud case in Grozny, where they were going to take her by force. Musayeva is sick with coronavirus, in addition, she has diabetes. She is dependent on insulin, which she was not allowed to take with her. Her family feared that she might die along the way. As she was being dragged up the stairs, she lost consciousness.
The police and FSB officers of Nizhny Novgorod did not respond in any way to the requests of Musaeva’s relatives for help and allegations of abduction. In the Kremlin declaredwho are not aware of the details of the abduction and prefer not to believe it.
“Committee Against Torture” filed an urgent application to the ECtHR under Rule 39 in connection with the abduction of Musayeva. Rule 39 – “fast legal aid” from the ECtHR. It applies if there is a threat to life or harm to human health, and all national remedies have been exhausted.
Saydi Yangulbaev’s son Ibragim, known for his sharp criticism of the Chechen authorities, in an interview with Dozhd TV channel declaredthat in 2015, together with his father and brother, he was kidnapped and tortured at the residence of Ramzan Kadyrov, and Kadyrov personally participated in the torture. Later, according to Ibragim, his brother and father were released, and he himself was taken to the Terek SOBR (now the Akhmat SOBR), where they continued to mock, after which they kept him in the basement for six months.
Saydi and Abubakar Yangulbaev also spoke about the fact that they were tortured on the orders of Kadyrov. The head of Chechnya accused the Yangulbaevs of involvement in the ADAT Telegram channel, which talks about the crimes committed in Chechnya by the Kadyrovites.
Ramzan Kadyrov named the Yangulbaev family as “accomplices of terrorists” and called on them to detain, and in case of resistance – to “destroy”. Kadyrov also wrote: “Be that as it may, I declare that this family is waiting for a place either in prison or underground. And it doesn’t depend on me anymore.”
Abubakar Yangulbaev asked the Investigative Committee to check Kadyrov’s words because of the threats contained in them. In addition, the human rights activist addressed to Vladimir Putin, urging the president to change the head of Chechnya. “This one (Kadyrov) is all over. This is the edge. The bottom is not just broken, it goes right out. This is no longer tolerable. Change it to a normal intellectual person,” Yangulbaev said.
On January 22, it became known that Saydi Yangulbaev and her daughter left Russia because of fear for his life.