CSO of the Week: Committee Against Torture

Week-ending 20 November 2020

Committee Against Torture is an NGO based in Nizhny Novgorod. Founded in 2000, by 2020 through the efforts of the Committee Against Torture 147 law-enforcement officers have been convicted for using torture.

This week it became known that the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has communicated a complaint filed by the Committee Against Torture in the interests of Salman Tepsurkaev, a native of Chechnya who was kidnapped in Gelendjik, tortured, and has not been seen since.


Caucasian Knot, Wednesday, 18 November 2020: The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has communicated the complaint filed by human rights defenders in the interests of Salman Tepsurkaev, a native of Chechnya, kidnapped in Gelendjik. It has become record fast, the “Committee against Torture” (CaT) has noted. According to Olga Sadovskaya, the head of the CaT’s international legal defence division, earlier, the ECtHR had refused to apply Rule 39 to Tepsurkaev’s case. Rights defenders asked the ECtHR to demand from the Russian Federation security measures to establish Tepsurkaev’s whereabouts, as well as guarantees of his release and safety. According to Ms Sadovskaya, the resumption of the check may be due to the fact that the ECtHR’s attention has been drawn to the case, and the Chechen investigating bodies hurry to create the visibility of investigation.

Caucasian Knot, Thursday, 19 November 2020: After September 6, there was no news from Salman Tepsurkaev, the kidnapped Chechen native, his wife Elizaveta asserts. In their turn, the blogger, Tumso Abdurakhmanov, the activist, Ruslan Kutaev, and the human rights defender, Svetlana Gannushkina, believe that the absence of new videos clips on behalf of Tepsurkaev and any news about him speaks in favour of the version of his murder. The “Caucasian Knot” has reported that on October 15, Chechen investigators refused to open a case on the kidnapping of Salman Tepsurkaev, the moderator of the 1Adat Telegram Channel. On November 17, it became known that the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) communicated the complaint submitted by human rights defenders in the interests of Tepsurkaev. The blogger, Tumso Abdurakhmanov, has treated the fact that videos on behalf of Tepsurkaev ceased to be posted as an alarming sign. “Salman’s story has become too resonant … It is highly likely that in retaliation for the problems he had created, he will be killed, presenting it off as suicide,” the blogger said. Tumso has noted that after the scandal, the 1Adat Telegram Channel became even more popular. “We had expected that people would get scared and stop criticizing Kadyrov; and they would unsubscribe from the 1Adat Channel, but the situation is quite the opposite,” he has explained. According to Ruslan Kutaev, those who had committed the crime against Tepsurkaev “understand that retribution is inevitable; therefore a living witness is a very serious threat to them.”

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