Kadyrov orders universal DNA testing in Chechnya to help identify children kidnapped by ISIS

© Said Tsarnayev / Reuters

Head of the Chechen Republic Kadyrov visits a polling station during the presidential election in Tsentoroy.

 

The head of the Chechen Republic has ordered a universal DNA test to help identify and retrieve Russian children who had been taken to terrorist-control territories in the Middle East.

“We are now actively working to establish the fates of Russian citizens – women and children – who have ended up in Iraq and Syria, and help them to return. At present, in order secure the return to Russia of children who were born in Middle Eastern countries, I have ordered a collective gathering of DNA test material,” Ramzan Kadyrov wrote in his latest post on popular Russian social network, Vkontakte.

“This would not only help to establish the children’s relatives, but also would help to give the kids Russian citizenship,” he added.

The head of Chechnya also wrote that his special envoy to the Middle East and North Africa, Ziyad Sabsabi, had reached an agreement with the Iraq that all court cases involving Russian citizens would now be considered by the same judge. This will expedite cases, permitting Russian children to return home.

In April, a court in Iraq sentenced 19 Russian citizens, all of them women, to life in prison for involvement with the Islamic State terrorist group (IS, formerly ISIS). Most of the convicts protested the ruling, saying that they had been brought to the IS-controlled regions of Iraq by their radicalized husbands against their will. Many of these women remain in custody with their small children, who can be considered Russian citizens on the basis of their mothers’ nationality.

In late April, a member of the Chechen Human Rights Council, Heda Saratova, told reporters that she and her colleagues had reached an agreement with the Iraqi authorities to allow these children to be brought back to Russia.


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