Russia Jails Chechen Asylum Seeker Deported By France: Memorial


Russia jails Chechen asylum seeker deported by France: Memorial

Moscow, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 11th Jun, 2021 ) :The Memorial rights group said Thursday that a Chechen asylum seeker sent back to Russia by French authorities has been sentenced to one-and-a-half years in prison.

French officials deported Magomed Gadayev, a 37-year-old opponent of Chechen strongman Ramzan Kadyrov, to Russia in April.

France cited his links to "the Islamist movement and international jihad" but Amnesty International decried the move, describing him as a "key witness in a high-profile torture investigation against Chechnya's authorities." Oleg Orlov, a senior member of Russia's leading human rights organisation Memorial, said Gadayev had been sentenced to serve time in a penal colony for illegal possession of a firearm.

Orlov said the case was trumped up, underscoring the fact that Gadayev's alleged weapons cache had been discovered after he had returned to Moscow.

"He did not do anything," Orlov told AFP.

He added that Gadayev -- apparently under pressure -- refused to be defended by independent lawyers.

The Chechen court in Achkhoi-Martan that delivered the ruling declined to comment when contacted by AFP.

"The ruling has not yet taken effect," a court spokesman said by way of explanation.

Gadaev fled Russia in 2010, initially for Poland. In 2012, he travelled to France and asked for asylum.

Kadyrov rose to power in Chechnya following two wars between Russian forces and separatists in the 1990s and early 2000s.

His regime has been widely condemned for persecuting rights activists and allegedly imprisoning and torturing opponents.