Chechen Refugee Arrested in Croatia
Croatian media sources have reported that a male Chechen refugee was arrested in Croatia and is at risk for extradition to Russia.
According to the reports, on September 16 at about 8:30pm, 33 year old Chechen refugee Aslan Kagermanov was arrested by Croatian police while he was crossing the border from Slovenia into Croatia in a car due to the Russia’s interpol warrant, which has been out for him since 2005. He was placed in custody for extradition on Saturday September 17 after the decision of the Zagreb County Court.
According to reports from the International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights and the Human Rights Center, in 2004, Aslan Kagermanov’s father was abducted by Russian forces in the Russian occupied Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, for being unwilling to capture Aslan. His father was kept in a secret detention center in Chechnya for one year. Aslan Kagermanov has managed to run away from Chechnya and asked asylum from Austria. Aslan was living in Graz, Austria for the last seven years and he had been granted refugee status there. It is highly possible that Aslan is a former member of the Chechen mujahedeen and Russia’s claims have no ground.
On the other hand, authorities from the Croatian Interior Ministry told the media that Aslan’s refugee status cannot impact the decision in his arrest and extradition procedure. However, in reality, if Croatia expels Aslan, it is a clear violation of international law.
*Text was translated by Waynakh Online and edited by Michael Capobianco