The relatives of Apti Edayev, an inhabitant of the Chechen city of Urus-Martan, have been searching for him for five days already. The young man was detained during a mourning ceremony for one of his fellow villagers. According to relatives, Edayev was detained by unknown men who didn’t identify the unit they belonged to.
The search has not brought any results. Local police stations have denied any involvement in the incident, and yet they have refused to take a written report of the kidnapping from the relatives.
Over the past six months, Chechen authorities have intensified their struggle against dissent and Islamic radicalism. A single comment on a social network is enough to attract the attention of the special services. Young people are often subjected to this pressure.
On 13 March, an article written by journalist Yelena Milashina was published in Novaya Gazeta which describes details of such cases. According to Milashina, about 200 residents of Chechnya, including schoolchildren, have been detained for radical views over this period.
One example is the recent case of Grozny resident, Zalina Abdurakhmanova. She is charged with publically supporting and displaying symbols of radical organisations such as the Islamic State on social networks.
Criminal proceedings were initiated against Abdurakhmanova for spreading ‘propaganda or public demonstration of the attributes or symbols of extremist organisations’.