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Disappeared Mojaheds

Disappeared MojahedsAfter Bidzina Ivanishvili came in power, two Mojaheds disappeared in Georgia. Mikael Kadoev disappeared late last year when he was transported from Batumi to Tbilisi by the officers of the Counter-Terrorist Center of the MIA. Magamed Magamedov disappeared on April 19. Information Center of Kakheti tried to find out whether the trace of the missing Mojaheds goes towards Georgian MIA.

Dagestan Mojaheds Mikael Kadoev, 26 and Magamed Magamedov, 24, are members of the Caucasus Emirate founded by Doku Umarov, self-proclaimed President of Chechen Republic.

 

 

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They arrived in Georgia in May of 2012; Magamedov illegally crossed the border via Lapankuri line of Georgian-Dagestan border. Counter-Terrorist Center of the MIA had information about his illegal border-crossing and stay in Georgia.

From mid-May to mid-October of 2012 Magamed Magamedov lived in Duisi village, Pankisi Gorge. ICK found out that the house where Magamedov lived is located in front of the so-called Vahabiti Mosque, in the center of Duisi village. The house owner is Aniko Machalikashvili. She confirmed that Magamed Magamedov lived in her house. We also estimated that Aniko Machalikashvili is a relative of Emzar Machalikashvili, an officer of the Counter-Terrorist Center and is in charge of the Pankisi Gorge; officer Machalikashvili lives in the Gorge too.

Local Muslims confirmed that Magamedov used to visit the Mosque almost every day and prayed there.

It is noteworthy that Akhmeta police subunit is functioning in Duisi village and over 10 police officers work there including local inhabitants. It is impossible that law enforcement officers had no information about Magamedov’s illicit presence in Georgia.

In his December 26, 2012 petition to the Georgian Ministry of Refugees and Accommodation, Magamed Magamedov noted: “I cannot peacefully live in Russia because of my religion. I was born and lived in Dagestan where I was often arrested, questioned, beaten and tortured. My wounds on the head and broken nose can prove it. Due to similar attitude towards me by the Dagestan authority I had to leave my home and was hiding from local authority during one year because I was under threat of death. I have never been convicted. In May of 2012 my close friend suggested me to leave Russia and go to Georgia. I arrived here because it borders with Dido district of Dagestan republic. Since May of 2012 I have lived in Georgia. Georgian authority, namely counter-terrorist center had information about my presence in Georgia; they questioned me twice and told everything was in order.”

Magamedov said he had contact with Sandro Amiridze, head of Kakheti regional unit of the Counter-Terrorist Center and Emzar Machalikashvili, officer of the same unit. “Since I arrived in Georgia, police initially arrested me in June. I do not remember exact date. When I was brought to Akhmeta district police, I told them to call Sandro. They released me several minutes after calling Sandro,” Magamedov said.

We could not find a document which proved Magamedov’s arrest in Akhmeta police.

Illicit crossing of the Georgian border is punishable by imprisonment from three to five years under Article 344 of the Criminal Code of Georgia.

Article 375 of the Criminal Code of Georgia punishes hiding of the crime by fine or imprisonment up to three years.

Despite that, no investigation was launched against Sandro Amiridze and Emzar Machalikashvili so far. Moreover, the latter still works in the Counter-Terrorist Center and is still in charge of the Pankisi gorge.

Mikael Kadoev Disappeared from the Road

 

At the end of October, 2012 Magamed Magamedov moved to Tbilisi and lived in the rented flat in Tbilisi during one month together with Mikael Kadoev. Late in November they together travelled to Adjara and lived in the house of Temur Bakhuntaridze, their Muslim friend.

On December 13, 2012 officers of Counter-Terrorist Center of the MIA arrested Magamed Magamedov and Mikael Kadoev for illicit crossing of Georgian border in Batumi.

On the same day, Magamedov was taken to Tbilisi. Prosecutor’s Office charged Magamedov under Article 344 of the CCG. Tbilisi City Court sentenced Magamedov to two-month pretrial detention; the accused was placed in Gldani Prison # 8.

On December 16, 2012 Gela Mtivlishvili, head of ICK, visited Magamed Magamedov in prison. At that time Mtivlishvili was member of Public Monitoring Group of penitentiary establishments.

Gela Mtivlishvili, journalist: “I met Magamedov in the evening of December 16. I asked him whether he had any complaints about ill-treatment in prison but he refused. He asked me to find out where Mikael Kadoev was. I promised him to find out whereabouts of Kadoev.”

On December 17, head of Public Relation Unit of the MIA Nino Giorgobiani told ICK that MIA had not arrested Mikael Kadoev.

Nino Giorgobiani, MIA representative: “Kadoev was not arrested. He had all documents in order. He had not illegally crossed the border. He might be in Georgia. We confirm arrest of only Magamed Magamedov.”

Magamedov confirmed in his explanation letter that on December 13, officers of Counter-Terrorist Center arrested Mikael Kadoev in Batumi together with him but they were transported to Tbilisi by different vehicles.

“Before entering Tbilisi, they stopped cars. Several minutes later officers cuffed me; I asked them what had happened and they said Kadoev had escaped. I do not know how he escaped; police officers were armed,” Magamedov wrote in his explanation letter.

MIA did not make any other comment with regard to Kadoev.

On December 26, 2012 with the support of his lawyer Nino Andriashvili from Human Rights Center Magamedov appealed to the Ministry of Refugees and Accommodation and requested asylum in Georgia. The accused noted that he wanted to stay in Georgia and get refugee status because he faces threat in his country of origin.

On December 28, 2012 Ministry of Refugees and Accommodation launched proceeding on Magamedov’s application.

On December 28, 2012, based on the resolution of the Chief Prosecutor of Georgia, Magamed Magamedov was amnestied and criminal prosecution was dropped. On January 14, 2013 Magamedov was released from prison. After that, his wife Kaliman Bagdan arrived in Georgia together with their two under-age children. They rented one room in the house in Kakabadze Street in Tbilisi.

On April 19, 2013, at about 12:40 pm Magamed Magamedov disappeared from Tbilisi. Ministry of Refugees and Accommodation had not granted refugee status to him yet.

“Magamed Magamedov’s application is being processed and before final decision is made, asylum-seeker shall be protected from deporting to the country of origin or third country, where his life is under threat due to his racial, religious or ethnic belongings or for the membership of any social group or for his political affiliation,” head of the Department on Repatriation and Refugee Issues at the Ministry Zaza Imedashvili told ICK.

 

Disappearance from Kakabadze Street

Magamed Magamedov’s wife Kaliman Bagdan recalled that she last saw her husband at about 12:40 pm when he left home to attend a prayer at Mosque together with his friends.

Sayd Akhverdiev, Magamedov’s friend: “We were waiting for Magamed at Guramishvili Avenue where he had to come from Kakabadze Street. We had appointed meeting at 13:00 pm and then intended to go to the prayers together. When he did not appear, we called him on the phone but it was unavailable. Then we went to his house and the wife said he had left. Magamed did not arrive in Guramishvili Avenue so he got lost before reaching the central street. We have been looking for him since then.”

Mirza Mikatadze, Magamed Magamedov’s friend: “When Magamed went missing we tried to contact him on the phone several times but it was unavailable. On April 20, early in the morning at about 4:30 am I received a message that Magamedov’s cell phone was switched on. I saw the message about half an hour later because I was sleeping and could not hear it timely. When I called him back it was already switched off.”

 

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There are several versions about Magamedov’s disappearance.

According to one of the versions, he travelled to Turkey from Georgia and then to Syria where he is fighting together with rebels against Syrian president Bashar Al-Asad. Magamedov’s brothers exclude this version. Mirza Mikatadze said Magamedov would not have left his family without attention and gone to Syria; besides that he would have informed any of his friends about it.

ICK managed to contact Kists in Syria. According to current information, over 200 Kists are in Syria fighting against President Bashar Al-Asad’s regime. They said Magamed Magamedov is not with them and if he were in Syria they would have known about it.

It is noteworthy that Magamed Magamedov held only Dagestan passport and he could not officially cross Georgian border with this passport.

Second version about his disappearance is connected with his alleged transfer to Russian government by Georgian authority.

Georgian MIA does not confirm Magamedov’s detention. MIA representative Salome Tsereteli clarified that on April 20, Magamed Magamedov’s friend appealed to Gldani-Nadzaladevi district police unit regarding his disappearance and investigative activities were officially launched. Magamedov’s wife Kaliman Bagdan and his friend Mirza Mikatadze confirm that police has already interrogated them.

MIA Deceives Prime-Minister too

 

At the press-conference on May 14, 2013 head of ICK Gela Mtivlishvili asked Prime-Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili about disappearance of Mojaheds.

Gela Mtivlishvili, journalist: After government was changed in Georgia, two Mojaheds disappeared – Mikael Kadoev in December of 2012 and…

Bidzina Ivanishvili, Prime-Minister: I do not know it and cannot answer your question; you are telling a story. Similar questions are very difficult for me [to answer]. Ok, go on, go on.

Gela Mtivlishvili – second - Magamed Magamedov disappeared in April of 2013, who had applied to the Government of Georgia for shelter and for refugee status. It is significant fact.

Bidzina Ivanishvili: I cannot say anything about Mojaheds at all. I will inquire about it after the press-conference by all means. I will also find out partiality of your question too.

Manana Tokmajishvili, representative of the PM’s press-center: Gela I can interfere in your conversation. MIA’s press-center notified to us that nobody had disappeared and the MIA does not confirm this fact.

Bidzina Ivanishvili – while you were asking the question, they got in touch with the ministry. Your question was so resonant that entire Ministry got bothered.

Gela Mtivlishvili – how could it be false, two people are disappeared. I named both of them and what do you mean that they have not disappeared?

PM did not answer this question.

Muslim Temur Bakhuntaridze’s explanation letter to ICK also confirms that Georgian MIA spread false information when neglecting the disappearance of Mojaheds. Bakhuntaridze witnessed how Kadoev and Magamedov were arrested on December 13, 2012 after what the detainees were taken to Tbilisi.

“Mamagemodv and Kadoev were visiting me during one month. On December 13, it was midday when officers of Counter Terrorist Center arrested three of us near Khopa market in Batumi. They immediately released me saying they did not need me. But they took Magamedov and Kadoev. About 3-4 hours later I learned that the detainees were taken to Tbilisi. I have not seen Kadoev since then; they delivered only Magamedov to Tbilisi. A month ago Magamedov also disappeared,” Temur Bakhuntaridze said.

ICK got in touch with Magamed Magamedov’s mother Hurulun Abdulkadirova who lives in Khasviurt, Dagestan.

“I heard about my son’s disappearance later. As I was told he got lost on April 19. Several days before, local police officers visited us in Dagestan and looked for him. I also learned that Russian authority had sent a letter to Georgian police about looking for Magamedov before my son disappeared. After that he got lost,” the mother said.

Mother of the missing Mojahed doubts Georgian MIA officers arrested her son to transfer him to Russian authority.

Head of Georgian nongovernmental organization Human Rights Priority, lawyer Lia Mukhashavria said if Magamedov had received refugee status in Georgia, our government would have been responsible for his disappearance. However, this time the Georgian government is free of responsibility.

“According to practical experience, if the person had disclosed his personality, Georgia used to sell this information to Russian Special Forces that is human trafficking. I do not know who exactly is involved in this affair now but if Russian Special Forces are eager to arrest somebody, people get disappear here. It is not excluded that same happened in Magamedov’s case too. It is long experience in Georgia. State does not grant refugee status to people in order to get rid of responsibility afterwards. If Magamedov had the status, the state would have been responsible for his disappearance. Now, the government cannot bear any responsibility at all,” Lia Mukhashavria said.

Gela Mtivlishvili | Information Center of Kakheti

 

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