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Human rights defenders applied to the ECHR in order to ensure Salman Tepsurkayev’s safety

News

11 September 2020

Today, on 11 September 2020, lawyers with the Committee Against Torture submitted an urgent application to the European Court of Human Rights on behalf of Salman Tepsurkayev from the Chechen Republic. He was abducted in Gelendzhik by the people who introduced themselves as the Ministry of the Interior officers. Later on, the relatives managed to track the whereabouts of Salman’s phone on the territory of regiment of the Patrol-Guard Service of the Police named after Akhmat Kadyrov in Grozny.

On 6 September 2020, Salman Tepsurkayev was abducted in Gelendzhik. He was a chat moderator of 1Adat Telegram channel which informs about violations of human rights in the Chechen Republic. Witnesses report that the abductors presented their IDs of the Ministry of the Interior officers. For twenty-four hours there was no information about the fate of Salman. But in the evening of 7 September, his phone was turned on again and the relatives managed to obtain his geolocation data, according to which Salman’s phone was on the territory of regiment of the Patrol-Guard Service of the Police named after Akhmat Kadyrov located in Grozny.

On the same day, 7 September, a person under nickname “Hunter” published a video in the chat of 1Adat Telegram-channel, in which Salman Tepsurkayev curses himself and his channel in the Chechen language, after that he attempts to sit on a glass bottle.

Today, lawyers with the Committee Against Torture submitted an application to the ECHR with regard to the violation of Tepsurkayev’s rights, provided by Articles 3 and 5 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms: “prohibition of torture” and ‘right to personal integrity”. Human rights defenders requested that the Court applies “Rule 39” and demands from the Russian Federation to take provisional measures to establish the whereabouts of Tepsurkayev, as well as to ensure the guarantee of his release and safety.

“The information available at the present time gives grounds to think that Salman Tepsurkayev may have been a victim of abduction performed by the law-enforcement officers, – head of the North Caucasus branch of the Committee Against Torture Dmitry Piskounov comments. – Previously, many applicants of the Committee Against Torture told about tortures conducted on the territory of the regiment of the Patrol-Guard Service of the Police named after Akhmat Kadyrov in Grozny. “Novaya Gazeta” published an article on 27 extrajudicial killings in this regiment in 2017. There are fears that such reprisal might await Salman, too, if some urgent measures are not taken. We hope that the intervention of the European Court of Human Rights will help to save his life”.