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11.08.2009

Zarema Sadulayeva and her husband murdered in Chechnya

   

The bodies have been found of the Head of the charity “Let’s Save the Generation”, Zarema Sadulayeva and her husband, who were abducted yesterday evening. According to Ministry of Internal Affairs officials, they were found with gunshot wounds in a car boot near Grozny, having been seized by armed men from Zarema’s office in the Chechen capital.

Alexander Cherkasov from Memorial gave the following details yesterday:

“Around 14.00 armed men, two in plain clothes, three in black uniform, appeared in the office of ““Let’s Save the Generation”. They did not identify themselves and said that they were from the enforcement structures. They took Zarema and her husband away, and after a while returned and took away a mobile phone and her husband’s car.”

The regional charity “Let’s Save the Generation” was founded in 2001. Members of the organization consider its main aim to be providing help for children and teenage victims of mines and unexploded shells and their families.

 In 2005 the former head of the organization Murad Muradov was abducted, after being detained by enforcement officers [siloviki]. His body, mutilated beyond recognition was returned to his parents. In the document from the Prosecutor which allowed the parents to take his body, it was stated that no charges had been laid against Muradov.

As reported already, on 15 July Natalya Estemirova, human rights activist from the Memorial Human Rights Centre was abducted from outside her home in Grozny and murdered. The Head of Memorial, Oleg Orlov stated then:

“I know, I am certain who is guilty of the murder of Natasha Estemirova. We all know this man. His name is Ramsan Kadyrov, President of the Chechen Republic. Ramzan had already threatened Natasha, insulted her, and considered her his personal enemy. We don’t know if he himself gave the order, or whether that was done by his closest people so as to please the leadership. And it would seem to suit President Medvedev to have a murderer as head of one of the republics of the Russian Federation”.

When Natasha dared to speak disapproving about young women being made, almost by force, to wear headscarves in public places, there was a conversation with Kadyrov. She recounted how Kadyrov threatened her, saying literally: “Yes, my hands are drenched in blood, and I’m not ashamed of it. I have killed and will kill bad people. We are fighting the enemies of the republic.”

Kadyrov soon afterwards phoned Orlov, saying the allegations were unethical and threatened publicly to take Orlov to court. Oleg Orlov stated just as publicly that he was ready to take part in a such a court case.

On 9 August in a interview to Radio Svoboda, Kadyrov said that he had no reason to kill a woman “who nobody needed” and added that the murdered human rights defender “never had any honour, dignity or conscience”, that she had not taken part in the Grozny Public Council – “she doesn’t go to meetings, doesn’t speak, she throws out all kinds of nonsense, rubbish”.

Alexander Cherkasov has stated that Kadyrov’s last statement about Natalya Estemirova puts a question mark over the possibility of opening the Memorial office in Chechnya which was closed following Natalya’s murder. At present any human rights work is from outside Chechnya.

Natalya Estemirova was the last vital link for all those endeavouring to find out the truth about the murders, disappearances and other abuses taking place in today’s Chechnya.

From information at www.grani.ru

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