The Committee Against Torture obtained a video of Salman Tepsurkayev’s abduction


12 September 2020

Yesterday, 11 September 2020, in the course of public investigation, the lawyers with the Committee Against Torture managed to obtain a video which features the process of Salman Tepsurkayev’s abduction by unknown persons in Gelendzhik. Several people in black civilian clothes, participating in this operation, were filmed by the video camera located close to the hotel where Salman was working.

As we have previously reported, 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.

The video record, obtained by lawyers with the Committee Against Torture, features one of the participants of abduction coming inside the hotel through its main entrance at 3.45 p.m. At the same time, across the road another person appears, he is a part of monitoring group, and controls the exit from the hotel. At 3.46 p.m. Salman is brought out of the hotel by two people, one of which is holding Salman continuously. Together they go round the corner of the building and disappear from the camera’s view. A few seconds later a man who was monitoring the hotel exit runs after them.

As we were informed by the witnesses of this incident, Salman attempted to run away from these people, but, when he realized that the exit from the hotel is monitored, he grabbed the column near the reception and asked to call the police. The hotel staff pressed the alarm button to call for security. One of the men involved in Salman’s abduction, came up to him, twisted his arm and pressed him against the column. Salman did not offer any resistance. When the hotel staff attempted to find out what was going on, one of the men showed them the ID of the Ministry of the Interior officer. After that Salman was taken out of the hotel, never seen by his colleagues.

“Based on the content of the video and the witnesses’ evidence, we come to a conclusion that Salman’s abduction was performed by specifically trained people, – head of the North Caucasus branch with the Committee Against Torture Dmitry Piskounov comments. – Due to this, we are more and more convinced that Salman was abducted not by some ordinary people, but by law-enforcement officers”.

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