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Russia: Dagestan Muslims Protest Putin's Secret War

June 25, 2012|

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Dagestan Muslims protest on the side of a federal highway after police threw grenades into a private mosque in Uzun-Otar village and killed Nariman Aligadzhiyev, a father of four children, who had built the small mosque in his garden for the village's Muslims. Image by Anna Nemtsova. Russia, 2012.

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Dagestan Muslims protest on the side of a federal highway after police threw grenades into a private mosque in Uzun-Otar village and killed Nariman Aligadzhiyev, a father of four children, who had built the small mosque in his garden for the village's Muslims. Image by Anna Nemtsova. Russia, 2012.

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Dagestan Muslims protest on the side of a federal highway after police threw grenades into a private mosque in Uzun-Otar village and killed Nariman Aligadzhiyev, a father of four children, who had built the small mosque in his garden for the village's Muslims. Image by Anna Nemtsova. Russia, 2012.

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It has been five years since Svetlana Isayeva, the founder of the Mothers of Dagestan NGO, saw her 25-year old son for the last time. She says he was taken by Russian security forces and "disappeared." This year Dagestan had a record number of disappearances: 33 people have gone missing since January 2012, Isayeva said. Image by Anna Nemtsova. Russia, 2012.

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Police arrested approximately 100 young Salafi believers as they were praying on Friday in the Sovetskoye village mosque. They beat them and shaved their beards. The victims said that massive beatings, insults and torture by police and federal security service push peaceful believers towards radicalization. Image by Anna Nemtsova. Russia, 2012.

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Police arrested approximately 100 young Salafi believers as they were praying on Friday in the Sovetskoye village mosque. They beat them and shaved their beards. The victims said that massive beatings, insults and torture by police and federal security service push peaceful believers towards radicalization. Image by Anna Nemtsova. Russia, 2012.

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Police arrested approximately 100 young Salafi believers as they were praying on Friday in the Sovetskoye village mosque. They beat them and shaved their beards. The victims said that massive beatings, insults and torture by police and federal security service push peaceful believers towards radicalization. Image by Anna Nemtsova. Russia, 2012.

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Police arrested approximately 100 young Salafi believers as they were praying on Friday in the Sovetskoye village mosque. They beat them and shaved their beards. The victims said that massive beatings, insults and torture by police and federal security service push peaceful believers towards radicalization. Image by Anna Nemtsova. Russia, 2012.

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Women whose family members had been abducted or arrested by law enforcement agencies came to protest on the night of the special operation in Kirovsky region of Makhachkala on May 12, 2012. Image by Anna Nemtsova. Russia, 2012.

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A crowd of enraged women stormed the courtyard of
Kirovsky police station in Makhachkala looking for their husbands and sons who were locked in the basement cells, where they were thought to be beaten or, worse, tortured with electricity. Image by Anna Nemtsova. Russia, 2012.

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A crowd of enraged women stormed the courtyard of
Kirovsky police station in Makhachkala looking for their husbands and sons who were locked in the basement cells, where they were thought to be beaten or tortured with electricity. Image by Anna Nemtsova. Russia, 2012.

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A crowd of enraged women stormed the courtyard of
Kirovsky police station in Makhachkala looking for their husbands and sons who were locked in the basement cells, where they were thought to be beaten or tortured with electricity. Image by Anna Nemtsova. Russia, 2012.

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A crowd of enraged women stormed the courtyard of
Kirovsky police station in Makhachkala looking for their husbands and sons who were locked in the basement cells, where they were thought to be beaten or tortured with electricity. Image by Anna Nemtsova. Russia, 2012.

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A crowd of enraged women stormed the courtyard of
Kirovsky police station in Makhachkala looking for their husbands and sons who were locked in the basement cells, where they were thought to be beaten or tortured with electricity. Image by Anna Nemtsova. Russia, 2012.

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A crowd of enraged women stormed the courtyard of
Kirovsky police station in Makhachkala looking for their husbands and sons who were locked in the basement cells, where they were thought to be beaten or tortured with electricity. Image by Anna Nemtsova. Russia, 2012.

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Crowds of women look for their husbands and sons, locked in police basement cells in Makhachkala. Image by Anna Nemtsova. Russia, 2012.

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From left to right: Zhanna Ismailova is showing a picture of her youngest son, Rashid Ismailov, 26, who was abducted on May 8, 2012. Wwitnesses saw him being dragged away by men in black uniforms. Oksana and Burliyat Danilin are showing pictures of their husband and son Timur Danilin, 35, abducted on March 24, 2012. Timur managed to call his wife's cell and say: "Please save me from here." Those were the last words she heard from him. Image by Anna Nemtsova. Russia, 2012.

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From left to right: Zhanna Ismailova is showing a picture of her youngest son, Rashid Ismailov, 26, who was abducted on May 8, 2012. Wwitnesses saw him being dragged away by men in black uniforms. Oksana and Burliyat Danilin are showing pictures of their husband and son Timur Danilin, 35, abducted on March 24, 2012. Timur managed to call his wife's cell and say: "Please save me from here." Those were the last words she heard from him. Image by Anna Nemtsova. Russia, 2012.

Relatives of abducted young men and women, mostly Salafi Muslims, protest in Dagestan against local police and federal forces, who they say torture with electricity or "disappear" their beloved ones. After the parliament elections, Moscow deployed the military "to prevent and counter terrorism and extremism" in the region. Everyday, thousands of Russian units and armored military vehicles patrol this area, 120 miles north of Iran. Meanwhile, both Salafi imams and Dagestan's administration seem to have lost control over the escalating civil war between local police and Islamist insurgents.