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Three Daghestanis disappear in Chechnya ‘after insulting Kadyrov online’

26 February 2020
Nargiz Kazimova protesting outside the Derbent city administration in south-east Daghestan.

Three residents of Daghestan have gone missing in the neighbouring Russian Republic of Chechnya, reportedly after one of them posted a video online taunting the head of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov.

According to family members, Nallan Aliyev, Seidaydin Mustafayev, and Khakim Askerov went missing on 10 February in the Chechen capital, Grozny.  

After reports of the disappearances emerged, photos and a video appeared online, allegedly reposted from the personal Instagram page of Seidaydin Mustafayev. 

In the video, Mustafayev directly addresses the head of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov. ‘You, bearded puppet, Ramzan, stop this clowning, walk like mortals, like people do, go together with the people, you sheep’.

Pictures show him posing in front of the Heart of Chechnya Mosque with a cigarette.

Seidaydin Mustafayev’s wife, Nasiba Mustafayeva, told OC Media that her husband published the video only on his own page, which was not popular.

On Sunday and Tuesday, Nallan Aliyev’s mother, Nargiz Kazimova, held single-person pickets outside the Derbent Administration with a sign reading: ‘Ramzan Kadyrov, my son disappeared in Chechnya, help me to find him!’

Kazimova told OC Media that she last spoke with her son by phone on 10 February and that he was at the Turist hostel in Grozny at that time. He told her he would return home the next day.

‘My son’s trip to Grozny was unplanned, his ID remained at home. As far as I know, he met friends, Seidaydin Mustafayev and Khakim Askerov, who persuaded him to go with them, to see the city of Grozny and relax for a couple of days. They arrived in Chechnya on 9 February’, said Kazimova.

Mustafayev said her husband’s phone was already switched off on 10 February, and Khakim Askerov, who also went with them to Grozny, did not answer his phone.

Mustafayeva said she had contacted the police, the federal security service, and the prosecutor’s office and the security forces of Chechnya, but still had no details of what had happened.

Nargiz Kazimova told OC Media that she received an anonymous call telling her that all three men were in the Oktyabrskiy Police Station in Grozny. She said the Derbent police phoned the Oktyabrskiy police department but that the department did not confirm this to them.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Daghestan told OC Media that on 20 February, they placed Aliyev, Mustafayev, and Askerov on their missing persons list.

On 22 February, the ministry said that Daghestani police officers had visited the police stations in Grozny but did not find the missing men.

The ministry said that the authorities had established that the car in which the three men entered Grozny did not leave the city. They said they would continue the search.

In June 2019, Kadyrov threatened to break the fingers and tear out the tongues of Daghestanis ‘disrespecting’ Chechnya online.

He made the comments after a conflict erupted in Daghestan surrounding the erection and dismantling of a Chechen road sign in Daghestan’s Kizlyar District laying claim to the area.

[Read more: Residents of Daghestan demolish Chechen road sign at the border near Kizlyar]

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