Press Release from the Chechen Democratic Party on the Human Rights Situation in the Temporarily Occupied Chechen Republic of Ichkeria in Light of the Military Events in Ukraine.
The Russian Empire, through mass mobilization in the temporarily occupied Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, is reducing the population it despises and using them as cannon fodder. The mobilization in the republic continues to this day, and any expression of disagreement with it carries bitter consequences for the people. Therefore, once again, the temporarily occupied Chechen Republic of Ichkeria finds itself between a rock and a hard place.
Individuals who refuse mobilization face persecution using various harsh methods: the dismissal of relatives from work, the closure of businesses belonging to close ones, blackmail including threats of initiating criminal cases, and the deprivation of previously provided housing due to service.
Many military personnel and police officers who refused to participate in the war against Ukraine have faced the initiation of criminal cases. However, due to the fear of severe persecution of their relatives by the authorities, people prefer not to openly discuss this. The Chechen people do not wish to participate in Russia’s political games aimed at capturing foreign lands, as they themselves are victims of Russia’s aggression.
Currently, the situation regarding mobilization in the temporarily occupied Chechen Republic of Ichkeria is causing concern. People with slightly higher levels of prosperity are leaving the region, and the number of men going to the frontlines is not decreasing. The Russian public perceives the participation of Chechens in the war in Ukraine differently, often viewing it as voluntary. Thanks to this perspective, skillfully maneuvered by Russian journalism to avoid facts, the temporarily occupied Chechen Republic of Ichkeria remains, in the eyes of the ordinary Russian population, the „wealthiest“ subsidized region that isn’t too actively fulfilling its duty to the Motherland.
In essence, it can be concluded that the modern socio-political situation in the temporarily occupied Chechen Republic of Ichkeria can be seen as a continuation of Russia’s historical imperial policy. The participation of Chechens in the annexation of Ukraine, the harsh political regime led by Kadyrov, and other complex realities are linked to Russia’s actions. This process encompasses the subjugation of the temporarily occupied Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, a key factor in the Caucasus, the destruction of its cultural values and national identity, passed from one regime to another, leading to the forced mobilization of Chechens and their participation in aggression against Ukraine, presented to the world as voluntary participation, but in reality, it has an imperial nature.
All human rights organizations have been forced to leave the temporarily occupied Chechen Republic of Ichkeria due to persecution, threats, and attacks.
In the temporarily occupied Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, people are being abducted for ransom or forced outcomes. Those abducted are held for several months in secret prisons while their relatives search for them. They are then dressed in military uniforms, taken to a supposed „operation site“, executed, and weapons are placed beside them to make it look like a legitimate operation. If relatives refuse to pay ransom, false charges are fabricated, and the victims are sent to prison. The commander of a special police unit, Zamid Chalaev, has reportedly mentioned that around 50 people are abducted daily as a preferred alternative to a new war in the republic. These circumstances lead to arrests of people who might be trying to leave for Ukraine if their families cannot pay the ransom.
Lawyer Alexander Nemov, representing the interests of 19-year-old police officer Yasin Khalidov, has sought help from Russia’s Human Rights Commissioner Tatiana Moskalkova. Since Khalidov’s detention at the Kazakhstan border in an attempt to leave the country on May 20, his whereabouts have remained unknown. Nemov has requested the federal ombudsman to inquire with law enforcement agencies. Previous appeals by the lawyer and the media to various authorities, including the Interior Ministry, prosecution office, and security forces of the occupied Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, as well as authorities in Omsk region and the director of the National Guard, yielded no responses.
In the aftermath of an attack on journalist Elena Milashina and lawyer Alexander Nemov in the occupied Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, the list of charges has been expanded significantly. The case now includes charges related to obstructing a journalist’s professional activities, robbery, death threats to the lawyer, unlawful detention, and destruction of documents.
The Minister of Press and Information in the occupied Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, Ahmed Dudayev, publicly reprimanded a local resident who reposted information about the mass casualties of „North-Ahmat“ battalion soldiers in battles near Bakhmut. He labeled these messages as disinformation, denying criticism of Ramzan Kadyrov regarding the killed soldiers from the republic in Ukraine.
Authorities ordered the heads of districts, cities, villages, as well as imams, to provide a specific number of volunteers. Ramzan Kadyrov announced the dispatch of a new group of fighters to Ukraine, who departed from Grozny on July 25. According to some sources, the politician Ahmed Zakayev’s nephew, Khuseyn, was also sent to war along with Kadyrov’s unit, consisting of 200 people.
Security services in the occupied Chechen Republic of Ichkeria visited the relatives of Ali Bataev, who has been in a deportation center in Switzerland since September 2022, awaiting extradition to Russia. He had sought international protection, fearing reprisals from Ramzan Kadyrov’s regime if sent back to his homeland.
We are only publishing the information that has become available, and unfortunately, the names of the majority of the abducted remain unknown.
Currently, the issuance of foreign passports has been suspended, and men aged 18 to 60 leaving the republic are subjected to strict control. There have also been cases where young men who had already applied for foreign passports well before mobilization had their documents taken from their homes by local police stations. The denial of passport issuance is explained by „the interests of the Russian Federation“.
In the occupied Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, every third family lives below the poverty line, having less than 14,000 rubles per person per month. According to published data, out of 107,000 low-income families, 104,000 are large families.