The Gelendzhik branch of the Russian Investigative Committee in Krasnodar Krai has launched a criminal investigation into the reported kidnapping of Salman Tepsurkayev. The 19-year-old moderator of the Chechen opposition Telegram channel 1ADAT was last seen being tortured and humiliated in a video circulated online in September 2020.
According to the Russian human rights NGO “Committee Against Torture,” the case was opened in November 2020, under the criminal article for abduction by a group of persons by previous concert (article 126, section 2 of the Russian Criminal Code).
Back in September, human rights defenders appealed to state investigators in Chechnya (as well as in Gelendzhik), but they repeatedly refused to open a criminal case over Tepsurkayev’s disappearance, citing a lack of evidence.
According to the Committee Against Torture, Salman Tepsurkayev, who lives in Gelendzhik, was kidnapped by Chechen security forces officers on September 6, 2020, and taken to Chechnya. The video in which he is tortured and humiliated appeared online the next day. Tepsurkayev’s whereabouts remain unknown.