Dear Sir or Madam,

We appeal to you with a request to respond to the terrible lawlessness that is now taking place in Russia, namely in the Chechen Republic, with the relatives of Chechen dissidents, and to appeal to Vladimir Putin with a demand to stop bullying innocent people. Ramzan Kadyrov is the Russian governor of the Chechen Republic. Over the past week, Kadyrov’s men have abducted at least 50 people (the fate of other relatives is not yet known), including women, children, the elderly and the disabled.

 Kadyrov’s men demand a public video apology and an end to all criticism of the offenses in Chechnya and against the Kadyrov regime. By taking innocent people hostage, Kadyrov terrorizes Chechen dissidents by threatening to kill their kidnapped relatives. There are not so many critics of Ramzan Kadyrov, only a few people, while other critics were killed earlier in EU countries, Ukraine and Turkey.

Several dissidents survived the assassination attempts, we are talking about the attack on Chechen blogger Tumso Abdurakhmanov in the Swedish city of Gävle and his brother Mokhmad Abdurakhmanov, who lives in Germany. Among those abducted are relatives of the Abdurakhmanov brothers. Abdurakhmanov Tumso’s mother-in-law and sister-in-law were abducted in the city of Astrakhan, which is completely outside Kadyrov’s jurisdiction. The sister-in-law was summoned to the local department of the Interior Ministry, where she was put in a car with a license plate 95 (the region of the Chechen Republic) and taken to Chechnya. The mother-in-law was abducted from her home – she recently underwent cancer surgery and could not move without a crutch, but, as we learned, the crutch and her other essential   belongings remained at home, suggesting that she was forcibly removed from the house.

Tumso Abdurakhmanov received a message with threats of sexual violence and murder against his relatives: “We will soon start sending you pictures of your loved ones. Some of them will be in a dying and possibly dead state.  If you recognize their broken faces, of course))) My brothers are doing their best with your brothers in our basement.  By the way, your cousin Takhmina, we will have a lot of fun with her.  You have 24 hours to make your last video apologizing to Ramzan Akhmatovich.  And after this video, you stop posting videos against us. Only after that will we start letting your loved ones go one by one.  The clock’s ticking.”

Another Chechen critic, Minkail Malizaev, declared he was sent nude photos of his mother and sister, after being kidnapped by Kadyrov’s men. Then some family members were released, but many are still missing, and no one knows their location.

On December 23, Kadyrov declared: “Those whose mouths bleat obscenely and uncontrollably (i.e., those who do not control their speech), by Allah, even if the world collapses, they will only have time until we get to them! By Allah, if we do not bring them to account, then I will not forgive our descendants if they do not do it in their turn. I will not forgive my family if they do not hold them accountable (i.e., the critics), I swear by Allah, I am afraid to die without calling them to account. We must protect our people, our religion and our culture, so everyone must work along this path (i.e.  work to eliminate dissidents)”.

In the context of various other political problems and events in Russia of “greater interest”, this crime of Russian officials in the Chechen Republic has remained in the shadows. We fear for the lives of those who are kidnapped and for other abductions.

Presently, at least the following people have been abducted:

Relatives of the Abdurakhmanov brothers:

Khasarov Salambek Mayrbekovich (maternal uncle);

Abdurakhmanova Tahmina Zelimkhanovna (cousin);

Abdurakhmanov Deni Inalovich (son of the cousin);

Shaidova Ravza Osmanovna (mother of his wife);

Aybazova Asiyat Hasanovna (sister of his wife).

The cousins of Mansur Sadulaev, founder of the Chechen Human Rights association VAYFOND in Sweden:

Khasanov Khasan Abdutalipovich;

Khasanov Khusein Abdutalipovich;

Khasiev Ibragim Yusupovich.

The relatives of Khasan Khalitov, Chechen blogger and critic of Ramzan Kadyrov living in Turkey:

Uzarov Muslim;

Uzarov Magomed;

Avdayev Abu-Muslim;

Mokhmad (Hassan’s uncle);

Adlan (surname unknown)

Relatives of Minkail Malizaev, Chechen blogger criticizing Chechen authorities:

His brother and sister.

Kadyrov’s security forces also massively abducted representatives of the Musayev and Yangulbayev families, including women and children.

All abducted Musayevs are detained at the Leninsky District Police Department in Grozny.

Their data are:  

Musaeva Zoya;

Musayeva Lamara Shamadovna;

Musayeva Milana Shamadonovna;

Musayev Ahmed Abuyazidovich;

Musayeva Birlant;

Musayev Mokhmad Akhmedovich;

Musaeva Dilnara Akhmedovna.

The Ministry of the Interior of Grozny and the Ministry of the Interior of the District of Urus-Martan detained:

Yangulbayev Shahid Vakhaevich;

Yangulbayeva Zargan;

Yangulbaev Khasan Shahidovich;

Yangulbaeva Kheda Shahidovna;

Yangulbayeva Khadizhat Shahidovna;

Yangulbayeva Zamira Shahidovna;

Yangulbayeva Luiza Vakhaevna;

Abdulkhazhaev Sharani;

Abdulkhazhaev Islam Sharanievich;

Abdulkhazhaev Soslan Sharanievich;

Abdulkhazhaeva Leyla Sharanievna;

Yangulbayev Said-Emin Vakhaevich;

Yangulbaeva Fatima;

Yangulbayev Adam Said-Eminovich;

Yangulbayev Yusup Said-Eminovia;

Yangulbayeva Makka Said-Eminovna;

Yangulbayeva Khava Said-Eminovna;

Yangulbayev Said-Ahmed Vakhaevich;

Yangulbayeva Madina Said-Akhmedovna;

Yangulbayeva Markha Said-Akhmedovna;

Yangulbayeva Zura Said-Akhmedovna;

Yangulbayeva Zainap Said-Akhmedovna;

Yangulbayeva Malika Said-Akhmedovna;

Yangulbayev Said-Mokhmad Said-Akhmedovich;

Yangulbayev Mokhmad-Emin Said-Akhmedovich;

Yangulbayev Mokhmad Said-Alievich;

Dzhabrailova Kuraysh Vakhaevna;

Dzhabrailov Rustam Dzhamilovich;

Dzhabrailova Luiza Dzhamilovna;

Dzhabrailova Zulikhan Dzhamilovna.

Among those abducted are also three minors, two children and a pregnant woman.

Chechen critics, who use their democratic right to freedom of expression, are now terrorized through their relatives, and it is the duty of the democratic community to provide them with support and assistance.

We call on you to defend the innocent people who are not responsible for our actions and deeds, and who are now being tortured and raped in Chechen basements, and to appeal to President Vladimir Putin demanding their release. We recall that Kadyrov is an official subordinate of the Kremlin and has limited power, despite the fact that the Kremlin has given him complete freedom of action against Chechens living both in Russia and abroad.

Your attention and support can save the lives of these totally innocent people and protect our rights to freedom of expression.

This appeal is addressed to:

United States Department of State

 President of the United States, Joe Biden

United States secretary of state, Antony Blinken

American politician Hillary Clinton

President of the European Parliament David Maria Sassoli

European Parliament of Sweden

European Commission

European Council

European Council on Foreign Relations

European Asylum Support Office

OHCHR, Civil Society Section

European Union Agency for Criminal Justice Cooperation

Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs Ann Linde

Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson

Austrian politician Martha Bißmann

Member of the European Parliament Raphaël Glucksmann

Court of Justice of the European Union

OSCE, Secretariat

Human Rights Watch, Sweden

Amnesty International, Russia

Secretary General of Amnesty International Agnès Callamard

Civil Rights Defenders

Front Line Defenders

Human Rights Without Frontiers 

United Nations Watch

World Organisation Against Torture

Reporters Without Borders

International Service for Human Rights

Russian human rights organisation Memorial

Helsinki Committee for Human Rights, Norway

Moscow Helsinki Group

Sveriges Television (Sweden’s Television Stock Company)

BBC, London

The New York Times

The Guardian

French journalist Anne Nivat 

Le Point, France

Le Monde, France

Der Spiegel, Germany

Bild, Germany

Al Jazeera

American actor Morgan Freeman

American actress Jennifer Lawrence

American actress Hilary Swank

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