Makhmut Magomadov, human rights lawyer

Re: Makhmut Magomadov, human rights lawyer

To: Vladimir Vladimirovich PUTIN

From: Charles B. Davison

Date: 2005-02-22

I am writing to you at this time concerning the case of Makhmut Magomadov, who is alawyer known for his work on human rights cases in the Chechen Republic. Mr. Magomadov was apparently seized by armed men (who wore camouflage at the time) in Grozny on January 20 and has not been seen or heard from since.

We understand that Mr. Magomadov’s case is only one example of what seems to be a recent pattern of targeting human rights workers and advocates in the Chechen Republic. The Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly’s Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights issued a declaration outlining its concerns, on January 27. In light of the present situation in the Chechen Republic, we are concerned that Makhmut Magomadov may be tortured or killed.

In these circumstances, we respectfully call upon you to ensure the immediate and safe release of Mr. Magomadov, and for steps to be taken to ensure that this event is not repeated in the future. We call for an independent and full investigation into his original abduction and treatment while in custody. Finally, we call upon you to ensure that no similar incidents take place in the future, and that those who work for the protection of the human rights of any person or group in the Chechen Republic (and elsewhere in Russia) are free from threats or acts of violence and harm.