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Mass arrests of Muslims continue in Daghestan

9 November 2017
Pervomayskoye (Alarabiy 93 /Google Maps)

More than 30 men have been detained in Daghestan after Friday prayers. According to witnesses the men were questioned, photographed, and fingerprinted at a police station.

The arrests happened on 3 November after Friday prayers outside two mosques  in Makhachkala and another in the village of Pervomayskoye in Khasavyurt District. Daghestan’s Interior Ministry told OC Media that 25 people were detained in the Makhachkala raids: 15 at the Tanghim Mosque and 10 near the central mosque in the Semender village in Makhachkala’s Kirovsky District. The number of people detained in Pervomayskoye is unknown.

Witnesses say around 50 police officers were involved in the arrests at Tanghim, dressed in both civilian clothes and uniforms.

‘They have a plan: each agent is allocated a precise number of people [to detain]. Some of the agents walk at the mosque entrance, and some drive on roads and detain those who are walking to the mosque. This is a regular practice; systematic work’, one mosque parishioner Magomed Magomedov says.

Witnesses say that such detentions at ‘Salafi mosques’ happen every Friday.

[Read also: The continuing harassment of Arsen Gasanov]

‘Recently they detained a 17 year old guy. He is a student and during his free time he earns money by selling perfume. He was walking passed the mosque, was detained and taken to a police station. In spite of being underage, he was held until the evening and questioned without a lawyer or his parents’, Magomedov says.

Russian rights group Memorial says that everyone who was previously on the republic’s ‘preventative supervision list’ was photographed, questioned and released. And those, who were not on the list were held for longer. ‘Data about family members was recorded, fingerprints taken, photographs made, and many questions were asked’, according to Memorial.

Magomedov told OC Media that putting people on the preventative supervision list is continuing despite a declaration by Daghestan’s Minister of Internal Affairs to the contrary.

‘The list has not disappeared. It’s just that no one is telling us anything. Officially it was kind of abolished, but people are still being kept on record’.

Daghestani weekly Novoye delo reports that police raids near the Selender mosque and Tanghim Mosque also took place on 20 October and 27 October, with over 20 people detained each time.