PRAGUE, 8 March, Caucasus Times. Quoting Human Rights Center “Memorial”, Russian Service of Prague-based Radio Free Europe-Radio Liberty told that since the beginning of this year 25 civilians were killed and 28 kidnapped in Chechnya.
At the same time, human rights activists notice that those numbers are approximate since any information about the situation in the majority of the districts in Chechnya is not available.
On 21 February this year Representative of Human Rights Center “Memorial” Dmitry Grushkin announced that since the beginning of 2006 25 civilians were kidnapped in Chechnya. Out of this number, nine persons have been released; nine persons disappeared and one has been found dead. Six more persons who were formerly considered to be missing, are currently under investigation.
According to Human Rights Center “Memorial”, since 2002 more than 1800 residents of Chechnya were kidnapped. Around 1000 of them disappeared. In the opinion of the human rights activists, kidnapping remains one of the most burning problems of Chechnya.
Chechen authorities claim that the numbers of kidnapped persons released by human rights activists are exaggerated. In the meantime, officials in Grozny indicate that fight against kidnapping remains their highest priority.