Staunton, June 11 – Chechen siloviki in plain clothes joined Daghestani police to raid a shelter for abused women in Makhachkala. The siloviki carried the young woman back to Grozny, and the Daghestani police opened a case against the manger of the shelter which has provided asylum for North Caucasian women abused by husbands and fathers.
This case is doubly troubling. Not only is it yet another example of Ramzan Kadyrov’s ability to ignore republic borders and send his forces wherever he likes, but it is an attack on the still very fragile system that the founders of the shelter in Makhachkala have worked to establish to protect women in the region.
Far from all the details are yet in, but the basic facts as presented in three very different sources (daptar.ru/2021/06/11/shelter-dagestan/, mk.ru/social/2021/06/11/ubezhishhe-dlya-zhertv-nasiliya-v-dagestane-vzyali-shturmom-izza-chechenki.html and graniru.org/War/Chechnya/m.281971.html) are these.
A young Chechen woman Ayuba Taramova-Khalimat, the daughter of Chechnya’s housing minister, fled Grozny after abuse from her father who reportedly accused her of being a lesbian. No available source provides confirmation of this suggestion, although all sources say she was abused in her Chechen move.
With a friend from Penza, the young woman made her way to Makhachkala and the women’s shelter that the Mariya Movement operated by Svetlana Anokhina, who also edits the North Caucasus Daptar site on the state of women’s rights in the North Caucasus, and her colleagues. When Grozny officials learned where she was, they sent siloviki to Daghestan.
There, the Chechens in plain clothes along with Daghestani police raised the Mariya Center. Frightened, Ayuba raced to the window and said she would jump to her death rather than go back to Chechnya. But from a neighboring balcony, one of the Chechen plainclothesmen seized her. She then disappeared with them.
In support, the Daghestani police detained Anokhina and Makhachkala officials brought charges against her, apparently in the hope that those will be sufficient to force her to close her shelter. But so far, the charges against her carry a maximum fine of 15,000 rubles (200 US dollars), not enough to have that effect against the committed feminist leader.
At the present time, Anokhina and other women’s rights activists in the North Caucasus are concerned “above all” about the fate of the young Chechen woman seized by Kadyrov’s goons. They are calling on society not to forget her and hope that with the help of international attention they will be able to bring her back to the safety of Makhachkala.