A Chechen man who had sought asylum in Germany is being held illegally without charge in Chechnya after the German authorities deported him to Russia, sources with knowledge of the matter have told OC Media.
A source close to the family said that German police took 32-year-old Nurmagomed Mamuev from his home in Berlin on 25 March, putting him on a flight to Russia. The family was not informed by German authorities of where he was being taken.
Mamuev received refugee status in Poland in 2009 before moving to Germany where the couple had four children. He had been attempting to appeal a decision denying him asylum in Germany when he was deported.
When Mamuev arrived in Moscow, the source said he was sent by plane to the Daghestani capital Makhachkala, from where he was taken by police car to a police station in the Urus-Martan District of Chechnya.
After being brought to his mother’s house after several hours of questioning, he was then taken by police the following morning. They have not seen him since he was taken over two weeks ago.
Mamuev’s name was not on any public wanted lists in Russia and his family is not aware of why he was detained.
According to another source close to Mamuyev’s family, Nurmagomed was taken by officers of the Second Akhmat Kadyrov Police Regiment, which is based in the Chechen capital Grozny.
The source said no charges had been brought against him and that he was not officially detained. They added that the security forces had forbidden the family from making the situation public, threatening that this would ‘worsen his situation’.
‘The family is negotiating his release with security officials of various ranks. Someone promised to help them with whatever they could, but no one would take decisive action.’
‘Today they were told that his release would not take place due to the fact that information about the detention spread on the Internet.’
The German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees declined to comment on why Mamuev was denied asylum, stating they could not comment on individual cases for privacy and data protection reasons.
They insisted their office monitored the situation in countries of origin of asylum seekers ‘on the basis of diverse sources’.
‘The information centre of the Federal Office evaluates all relevant information about the persecution situation in the countries of origin’, a spokesperson told OC Media.
Persecution of Chechens deported from Europe
Nurmagomed Mamuyev’s detention after being deported from Europe follows a pattern of similar stories of other Chechen refugees.
In 2007, Azamat Baiduev came to Poland and received refugee status, before moving to Belgium. In 2017, he was deported back to Poland and from there he was sent to Russia in 2018.
The day after Baiduev's deportation, Akhmed Gisaev, a Norwegian activist of Chechen origin, reported that Baiduev had been abducted by Russian special services in Chechnya from his home in the village of Shalazhi. After the abduction, the Russian Interior Ministry in Chechnya stated that he was detained on suspicion of participation in the Chechen resistance.
Baiduev’s current condition and whereabouts are unknown.
A year after Baiduev was sent to Russia, a Warsaw court ruled that his deportation was illegal.
Just a week before Mamuev’s deportation from Germany, another refugee from Chechnya, Ilyas Saduev, was deported from France to Russia. He also disappeared after being handed over to the security forces in Chechnya.
[Read more: A Chechen refugee Poland wants to give up to Russia]