The Moscow-based Memorial human rights center says unknown individuals have abducted four young men in Russia's volatile North Caucasus region of Chechnya.
According to Memorial, residents of the village of Gekhi in Chechnya's central-western Urus-Martan district told the center on February 6 that Movsar Vakhayev, Abdulla Zairayev, Zelimkhan Kulayev, and Akhmed Satayev were taken away the day before at around 10 p.m. local time by unknown individuals in two vehicles.
The witnesses of the apparent kidnapping managed to film the abduction of two of the men on their mobile phones.
Relatives of the abducted men say they have filed a complaint with local police. The kidnapped men's current whereabouts remain unknown.
Kidnapping, torture, and extrajudicial killings have been reported in Chechnya for years and human rights activists blame the Kremlin-backed leader of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov.
Russian President Vladimir Putin appointed Kadyrov to lead the rebellious region in 2007 and has relied on Kadyrov to stabilize Chechnya after two destructive wars, allowing him to rule the region like a personal fiefdom.