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Chechnya: activist Zarema Sadulayeva and her husband killed

Seguen os secuestros e asasinatos de activistas humanitarios en Chechenia. Onte secuestraron e mataron a Zarema Sadulayeva e ó seu marido. Copio a información que ofrece hoxe BBC News

Activist found dead in Chechnya

The head of a Russian charity and her husband have been found dead in Chechnya a day after their abduction, activists and officials said.

The bodies of Zarema Sadulayeva and her husband were found with gunshot wounds in a car boot near the Chechen capital Grozny, the interior ministry said.

Armed men seized the two on Monday from the offices of Ms Sadulayeva’s charity, [Spasiom pokolenije] Let’s Save the Generation.

The case follows July’s abduction and killing of activist Natalia Estemirova.

Ms Sadulayeva and her husband Alek Djabrailov were in their mid-20s and had just got married, reports say.

Their bodies were found in the boot of Mr Djabrailov’s car in the Chernorechye suburb of Grozny early on Tuesday, an official at the Chechen prosecutor’s office said. The official, quoted by the Itar-Tass news agency, said the armed kidnappers had been wearing camouflage uniforms.

Let’s Save the Generation helps children affected by violence in Chechnya and works closely with the United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF.

Murder cases

The southern Russian republic was ravaged by war between local separatists and Russian forces in the 1990s.

Ms Estemirova was a prominent campaigner who had been investigating human rights abuses in Chechnya for Memorial. She was found dead shortly after being bundled into a car outside her home in Grozny. Her killing provoked an international outcry.

Memorial’s chairman has accused Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov of involvement in her death. In a radio interview last week Mr Kadyrov denied the accusation, but denounced Ms Estemirova as a person “without honour, merit or conscience”.

In recent years many of Mr Kadyrov’s most prominent critics have been shot dead, including Ms Estemirova and investigative journalist Anna Politkovskaya. He denies any involvement in their murder.

There have been murders or attempted murders in Chechnya, Moscow, the Middle East and Austria. One victim, a former bodyguard, accused Mr Kadyrov of being personally involved in killings and torture.

Copio tamén a información que ofrece hoxe a web do diario británico The Guardian

Outrage over murders of Chechnya aid worker and husband

Assassination of Zarema Sadulayeva and Umar Dzhabrailov will pile pressure on Kremlin to stem wave of kidnaps and killings.

Tom Parfitt in Moscow

Human rights campaigners in Russia have expressed their outrage after a prominent aid worker and her husband were shot dead in Chechnya, less than a month after the killing of Natalya Estemirova.

Zarema Sadulayeva and Umar Dzhabrailov were found with gunshot wounds in the boot of their car in a Grozny suburb last night.

The couple’s assassination will pile pressure on the Kremlin to stem a wave of kidnaps and killings that has seized Chechnya this year. It comes weeks after Estemirova, an internationally recognised activist and head of the Memorial human rights group’s office in Grozny, was abducted and shot dead.

“It is monstrous,” said Tanya Lokshina, deputy director of Human Rights Watch in Russia. “We thought that after Natalya’s death there would at least be a lull. We’re absolutely stunned.”

It was unclear why the couple were killed. Dzhabrailov was a former resistance fighter who had spent four years in prison, and security forces in Chechnya have frequently exterminated people suspected of links to the rebels or “non-traditional” Islam.

The couple were kidnapped at about 2pm yesterday from the central Grozny offices of [Spasiom pokolenije] Let’s Save the Generation, a humanitarian organisation headed by Sadulayeva that has worked in partnership with UNICEF to help children who have lost limbs in mine blasts. A third employee of the group, himself a mine victim in a wheelchair, witnessed the abduction.

“There were five men, three in camouflage, two in black, and they spoke in Chechen,” said Alexander Cherkasov, a senior official at Memorial. “They said they were from the security services and that they had to take the couple for questioning.”

The men left a contact telephone number and returned to the office a short while later to collect Sadulayeva’s mobile and to take Dzhabrailov’s car. Calls to the contact number were not answered and the couple’s bodies were discovered in the car around midnight in Chernorechye, an industrial suburb of Grozny.

In April, Russia announced it was ending its counter-terrorism operation in Chechnya because of an improving security situation after ten years of conflict with separatist and Islamist rebels. The republic’s Kremlin-appointed president, Ramzan Kadyrov, frequently boasts that Chechnya is “the calmest place in Russia” but rights activists say that kidnappings – often committed by uniformed men – have increased since the beginning of this year.

Lokshina said: “Sadulayeva was a humanitarian worker who didn’t do anything to arouse the disapproval of the authorities. It’s hard to say who may have done it and why, but what is clear is that Chechnya is now out of control.”

The Russian prosecutor general’s office said it had dispatched a team of forensic experts to Grozny to investigate the murder.

11 Agosto 2009 - Posted by | Human Rights, Human Rights Watch, Politics, Russia

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