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Chechen MMA champion detained on Russian–Ukrainian border

6 June 2017
Murad Amriyev (YouTube)

On 4 June, Chechen world MMA champion Murad Amriyev was detained by police in Russia’s Bryansk Oblast. He was removed from a train after crossing the Russian–Ukrainian border at Suzemka railway station.

Amriyev, who has been wanted by Chechen authorities since 2013, is being held in a temporary detention facility in the city of Bryansk. His relatives, who were contacted by human rights activists from the Committee for the Prevention of Torture, are afraid that the authorities there will hand him over to their Chechen counterparts.

In 2013, Amriyev appealed for help from the Committee for the Prevention of Torture, after what he described as his illegal detention and torture by Chechen police. According to him, Chechen police demanded he sign a statement against his older brother, who lived in Germany, beating him, torturing him with electricity, hanging him from the ceiling, and humiliating him.

After failing to force Amiryev speak against his brother, he was taken home to his parents, who were asked to influence their son to sign the documents or to make Murad’s older brother return to Chechnya. Fearing further persecution, Murad Amriyev left Russia for Europe, where he resumed training and soon became a champion MMA fighter.

Lawyers from the Committee for the Prevention of Torture have appealed to the European Court of Human Rights to prevent Amriyev’s transfer to the Chechen police.