Chechen security forces have shot dead Muslim Bisultanov, a prominent government critic, and kidnapped his wife, Chechen public movement 1ADAT has reported.
According to their Telegram channel, on 24 May, three Chechen police officers were detached to kidnap Bisultanov from his home in the village of Znamenskoye. He was reportedly shot dead trying to protect his wife from the harassment of the security forces, after which she was allegedly kidnapped and is being held in the Nadterechny Police Department. Her condition is currently unknown.
Another Chechen Telegram channel, ASTRA, later reported that Senior Lieutenant Rasul Kusiev, Lieutenant Adam Mudayev, and Major Khasan Musaev were among the security forces tasked with kidnapping Bisultanov. Musaev, reportedly, was the officer who killed the activist.
‘He did not hide his oppositional views in relation to the authorities, therefore he was kidnapped more than once. And this time they wanted to kidnap him again’, 1ADAT told OC Media.
According to them, when Bisultanov’s close friend, Ilyas Elmaurzaev, heard the sound of gunfire, he decided to call his friend on by phone. Both Ilyas and his brother Islam were put on a federal wanted list on the same day. Ilyas reportedly managed to leave Chechnya, while his brother surrendered to the security forces voluntarily.
1ADAT also reported that Islam Elmaurzaev was being detained and tortured at the Nadterechny District Department of Internal Affairs. His elder brother was found the next day in Krasnodar Krai, where he was also forcibly kidnapped by Chechen security forces.
Bisultanov’s cousin, Muhammad, was also put on the federal wanted list. According to local reports, he was already at the border attempting to escape Chechnya when he was found and shot at. He is currently being treated in hospital for a gunshot wound.
1ADAT said that the frequency of the abductions of government critics and activists in Chechnya has not abated despite Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
‘During abductions, Kadyrovites [security forces under the head of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov] can also beat and grab household members’, they said.
‘This pipeline for the genocide of the Chechen people, even during the war in Ukraine, does not stop.’
Mass abductions have reportedly taken place in the village Znamenskoye following Bisultanov’s killing, including of children.