Russian rights activist abducted, tortured in Magas

Front Line Defenders (FLD) has expressed severe concern over the abduction and reported torture of rights activist Oleg Kozlovsky, when he was planning to return to Russia as soon as possible. It deploed that the situation for human rights defenders in North Caucasus has been deteriorating in recent years.

It has demanded authorities to carry out an immediate, thorough and impartial investigation into the abduction, reports of torture and robbery of Oleg Kozlovsky, with a view to publishing the results and bringing those responsible to justice in accordance with international standards.

Amnesty International has reported on October 15 that that its employee, Oleg Kozlovsky, had been kidnapped and tortured by unidentified assailants in Magas, Ingushetia, October 6. He has been working in the sphere of human rights for more than eighteen years. Presently he has been working as a researcher for Amnesty International.

Kozlovsky arrived in Magas on October 5, the capital of the Republic of Ingushetia, to monitor the protests against a controversial border deal between Ingushetia and neighbouring Chechnya that were taking place the following day. On the evening of October 6, a young man, unknown to Oleg Kozlovsky, came to his hotel in Magas, and invited him to meet one of the rally organisers.

Kozlovsky followed the man outside and was then taken to a car where two masked men presented themselves to him as officials of the Center for Countering Extremism of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Ingushetia, without showing any documentation.

They took away his belongings including his phone and video camera and interrogated him in the car. He was taken to a field where the assailants stripped him of his clothes, took pictures and videos of him, threatening to make them public and to sexually assault him. After multiple mock-executions and threats to kill his children, Oleg agreed to keep everything that happened to him secret in return for his freedom. On the next day he managed to come back to Moscow and his phone and camera were never returned to him.

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