Russia's Missing Anti-Slavery Activist Likely In Hiding In Terrorist-Held Idlib - Source

Russia's Missing Anti-Slavery Activist Likely in Hiding in Terrorist-Held Idlib - Source

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 15th August, 2019) The exact location of Oleg Melnikov, the founder of Moscow-based anti-slavery volunteer group Alternativa who has gone missing in Syria, has not yet been discovered, but he is most likely to be in a militant-controlled area in Idlib, a source familiar with the situation told Sputnik on Wednesday.

On August 10, Alternativa said that their leader traveling with a "friendly group of human rights defenders" to the border areas of the Idlib province before soon going missing. Earlier in the day, the movement said on its website that Melnikov was alive and hiding from militants who had announced a reward for him.

"If Oleg is in a secret apartment, it is probably someone local hiding him.

But they will not be able to take him to a government-controlled territory. It is too easy to get caught, especially if a reward for his capture has been announced," the source said.

An evacuation plan is still in the early stages of discussion since "nobody knows his exact location," according to the source.

The Alternativa movement has been fighting against modern slavery in its various forms since 2011. According to the organization, it has helped free more than 1,300 people.

In Syria, Alternativa searches for missing Russians. The movement also investigated the kidnapping of Russian traveler Konstantin Zhuravlev, who was held captive by militants from 2013-2016.

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