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Sadulayeva and Dzhabrailov Led into Trap by State

Tanya Lokshina of Human Rights Watch has a new piece on the Guardian’s Comment is Free taking a look at the recent string of murders in Chechnya.  What’s interesting here was the transparent way in which the Chechen state security forces got themselves involved in the brutal murders of Sadulayeva and Dzhabrailov, with careless abandon about who would witness what they were doing.  As noted below, they even left a phone number before going about the murder.  Usually one would expect at least a minimal effort to cover up the crime and conceal the state’s authorship, but this is just another unfortunate definition of the impunity which reigns.

This time that of Zarema Sadulayeva and Alik Dzhabrailov, from a small Chechen charity, Save the Generation.

They were found dead in the trunk of Dzhabrailov’s car on the outskirts of Grozny on 11 August, at about 4am, confirming the worst fears of their family and colleagues. They had been led away from their office in the Chechen capital the previous afternoon by five unidentified men, who said they were members of local security services. Three of them were wearing black uniforms and carried weapons.

Several of the men returned to the organisation’s office soon afterward and took Dzhabrailov’s mobile phone and his car. They assured the organisation’s staff that Sadulayeva and Dzhabrailov were all right and would soon come back. They even left a mobile phone number “in case there would be any problems”. In another couple of hours, with Sadulayeva and Dzhabrailov still missing, people tried calling the number – it proved to be out of the coverage area. By the next day there was neither time nor reason to continue to call – the funeral of Sadulayeva and Dzhabrailov had to be arranged.