On July 12, 2019, the General Secretariat of INTERPOL notified the lawyers of the Chechen Charity and Human Rights Association VAYFOND that the native of the Chechen Republic, Mr. Ali Bakaev, is no longer the subject of international investigation. On the recommendation of lawyers, information about this has not been spread until today.

Bakaev Ali Umarovich was placed on the international wanted list upon the request of the authorities of the Russian Federation on June 7, 2017 in connection with the charges of creating an armed formation not envisaged by federal law, as well as assassination attempt against a soldier in the purpose of obstructing his lawful activities.

The authorities accuse Mr. Bakaev of organizing an attack on the military unit of the National Guard in the village of Naurskaya in the Chechen Republic on March 24, 2017. According to their version, six servicemen were killed during the attack, three were injured. Also during the attack, six attackers were killed. Mr. Bakaev himself, according to the investigation, did not directly participate in the attack and on March 22 left Russia for Egypt.

On March 24, 2017, President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin during a meeting in the Kremlin informed about this attack Ms. Marine Le Pen, leader of the National Front French political party: “After the tragic events in London, literally today, in the North Caucasus, in Chechnya, we also had a difficult event: one of the units of our National Guard was attacked by terrorists. We all live in such difficult conditions. We must recognize the reality of this danger and join forces in the fight against terrorism”.

Later, the journalists of Novaya Gazeta newspaper managed to gather evidence that the alleged attackers on the military unit were detained alive and shot in the head. The real reason for the deaths of servicemen and their injuries has not yet been established.

In January 2018, Ali Bakaev was detained by border guards at the Borispol airport in Kyiv at the time of applying for asylum to the Ukrainian authorities. Currently, he is under the temporary protection of this state.

Earlier, the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine notified VAYFOND that it was checking the circumstances that could impede the extradition of Mr. Bakaev to the Russian Federation.

Mr. Bakaev claims that his persecution was initiated exclusively on the political and religious grounds and that he has nothing to do with the criminal offenses imputed to him. There is also every reason to believe that, in the event of Mr. Bakayev’s extradition to the Russian Federation, there is a direct threat to his life including even extrajudicial reprisal.

Today, on the basis of appeals prepared by the lawyers of VAYFOND, INTERPOL removed from the international wanted list more than 10 people who were inherently illegally accused by the Russian authorities of participating in illegal armed groups and promoting terrorist activities. VAYFOND believes that the number of such illegal warrants for international investigation issued against Muslims of the North Caucasus is more than a thousand.

With regards to Mr. Bakaev’s case, it’s not just about fabricating another criminal charge against a Muslim from Chechnya for political and religious reasons. There is a clear attempt by the authorities of the Russian Federation to hide the real facts of the extrajudicial execution of the natives of the Chechen Republic and the death of the Russian military, explaining them by the non-existent so-called “armed formations”. The misinformation in this case is conducted by the authorities at the highest diplomatic level.

VAYFOND welcomes this INTERPOL decision. We believe that it is an essential and qualitatively new confirmation of both the fact of abuse of international legal mechanisms by the authorities of the Russian Federation and the need to reconsider the attitude to requests coming to this organization from Russia.

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