A Chechen refugee deported from France to Russia now faces potential torture or even death after being handed over to Chechnya’s security services, Amnesty International said on April 11.
The French branch of the rights group said in an emergency appeal that they were extremely concerned about the fate of Magomed Gadayev, who was deported from France to Moscow on April 9.
The 37-year-old was subsequently handed over by Russian security agents to authorities of the North Caucasus region of Chechnya, Novaya gazeta newspaper reported.
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Under strongman Ramzan Kadyrov, Chechnya's security services are notorious for carrying human rights abuses against political opponents.
“Due to the persecution he has suffered in the past and his role as a witness in proceedings against cases of torture committed by the Chechen authorities, Magomed Gadayev is in danger of being tortured again and, possibly, even killed,” Amnesty said in an appeal for action to French President Emmanuel Macron.
Gadaev is on the board of the Paris-based Chechen diaspora organization Bart Marsho and a member of the Assembly of Chechens in Europe, an organization representing the interests of the diaspora.
He lived in France for around a decade after fleeing Chechnya, where he served prison time on charges of having ties with separatists and was tortured. While in France, he spoke out about torture in his homeland and became a witness in cases related to torture and abductions committed by Chechen security forces.
Amnesty said France violated its international commitments and ignored the decisions of administrative courts when they allowed Gadayev to be deported.