Movsar Umarov. Screenshot of a video

17 May 2024, 19:25

Rights defenders treat case of missing Movsar Umarov as typical for Chechnya

The decision of the Grozny court to provide Eset Umarova with the materials of the case of her son Movsar's disappearance gives some hope to his family, but investigators are unlikely to make the hope true. The fate of Chechen residents who disappeared like Umarov often remains unknown, human rights defenders have pointed out.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that in the spring of 2023, Movsar Umarov's mother asked to resume the inquiry into his disappearance, but the Supreme Court (SC) of Chechnya rejected the request. In April 2024, a court in Grozny declared illegal the investigators' refusal to provide Eset Umarova with all the materials of the criminal case regarding her son's disappearance.

As stated by Eset Umarova, her son was detained on July 18, 2020, for watching the blog of Tumso Abdurakhmanov, a critic of Chechen authorities. She suggested that Movsar had fallen victim to extrajudicial execution. Movsar's relatives doubt that he is alive because they receive no news from him. Konstantin Gusev, a lawyer for the "Team against Torture" (TaT)* project, has stated that investigators refuse to check those possibly involved in Umarov's disappearance.

The court ruling, which declared illegal the investigators' refusal to provide Umarova with all the materials on her son's case, will allow assessing investigators' work, but there are no specific deadlines for such an assessment.

Svetlana Gannushkina**, the head of the "Civic Assistance" Committee**, treats Umarov's case as typical for Chechnya, noting that the court ruling in mother's favour is "good news." At the same time, she is not sure that investigators will follow the ruling.

A source from the "Memorial" Centre for Human Rights Defence*** also believes that Umarov's case is quite typical for those who go missing in Chechnya. According to his story, most often the fate of those missing cannot be established, especially if the person is directly connected with law enforcement bodies.

*The "Team against Torture" (TaT, formerly the "Committee against Torture" – CaT) was created by the lawyers who had earlier worked for the CaT, which was included into the register of the NCOs performing the functions of foreign agents.

**Included by the Russian Ministry of Justice (MoJ) into the register of foreign agents.

***As reported on the website of the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), the reason for including on March 1, 2024, the unregistered "Memorial" Centre for Human Rights Defence (CHRD) into the roster of foreign agents was the spread of "inaccurate information aimed at creating a negative image of the Russian Federation, as well as the Russian Armed Forces."

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on May 16, 2024 at 01:25 am MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Roman Kuzhev Source: СK correspondent

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