Russia: October 28, 2003


The police assert that some 2,000 people are currently reported as missing in Chechnya, in actions going back to 1999. The police say almost all of these are the result of criminals kidnapping for ransom, with 300 having been kidnapped this year alone. But anti-government groups assert that the actual number of missing is as high as 4,000 and that at least half of them were grabbed by rebels or Russian troops. Kidnapping for ransom has been a major criminal enterprise in Chechnya for years. Kidnapping suspected enemies has also been a favorite tactic of Chechens, and was adopted by some police and army units as well.  


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