Tajik deceived by ISIS recruiters is hiding from terrorists’ revenge and justice system
Having escaped from the recruiters of the terrorist organization “Islamic State”, a resident of Tajikistan Abdusami managed to return to Moscow where he is living at the moment. As reported by the radio “Svoboda”, the runaway is afraid of being arrested and deported to Tajikistan or being caught by the terrorists.
Abdusami went to Turkey in search of a job at a construction site. Once he arrived to the workplace, some armed people ordered him to go across the Syria border. Abdusami did not know what to do: being arrested and deported to Tajikistan where he was accused of having been involved in a terrorist organization activities or being abused by those who took him to Syria.
Abdusami’s wife is sure that he has not done anything wrong. She talked to a group of journalist in one of the Moscow restaurants. Human rights activists believe that the best thing Abdusami can do is to ask law-enforcement agencies for help.
A representative of the human rights organization “Memorial” from Moscow Bakhrom Hamroev thinks that this case can be used a legal precedent for the similar cases. The specialist adds: “I have studied the case of this young man. He was deceived. They told him that he would work, but he turned out in the military zone. It is very important for the society to know about this”.
The extradition treaty was signed between Russia and Tajikistan. Some Tajiks were reported to have been arrested and deported to Tajikistan in a way which does not correspond to the agreement. Abdusami states that those who enticed him into Syria threaten him.
Russian rights activists claim that a great number of people from Central Asia who turned out to be in the “Islamic State” be deceptive means. They were either kidnapped or threatened. Yet, they do not make attempts to escape as they think that they would be arrested in their country for taking part in terrorist activities. Those, who manage to escape, have to hide because they are not sure whether they are able to prove their innocence in countries such as Tajikistan. Authorities of the countries alike used to claim that those who return from “Islamic State” pose threat to the country.
Abdusami says that he was not going to join the terrosists. He arrived in Russia to find a job. He has worked in Moscow since 2008 at construction sites and has recently received a temporary residence permit.
He finished working on one of his building projects in Odintsovo in 2014. He was looking for another job when some of his former colleagues told him that they found “a good job” in Turkey and offered him to go with them.
He talked to his wife and decided to go to Turkey as one of his close friends was among those colleagues. Abdusami prefers not to say his friend’s name. He calls him Rahim. Abdusami says that they were brought up together with Rahim as brothers as his mother raised Rahim too.
Abdusami told us that they were met by a Tajik in the Istanbul airport. The man took them to a flat where they were supposed to wait for the others. There was another Tajik who provided them with food. Some of the men kept silent and Abdusami thinks now that they might have known where they were going.
Three days later, they gave bus tickets to seven of them and they were going somewhere during 18 hours. After this, they were taken to a house where there were about 30 people. They told them to have some rest. According to Abdusami, there were people from different countries in the house. They were from Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and North Caucasus of Russia. Some man came at 3 am and told them that they would have to walk the rest of the way as the road is very muddy.
“I did not suspect anything. But when they came for us, I started thinking that something was wrong. They were local people with guns. We walked 700-800 meters. Then we were told to go across the border between Turkey and Syria,” says Abdusami.
We were brought to a house where there were a few hundreds of people. We were told to wait for some days before we could go further. There were people from Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Caucasus, Turkey, America, Indonesia and local Arabs. His former colleagues were there as well as his friend Rahim.
Abdusami states that at that point he realized that he was deceived and enticed to Turkey. He called Rahim’s father to Tajikistan so that to persuade him to leave. Abdusami was worried that if he left without Rahim, he would be accused of enticing Rahim into Syria. As Rahim did not want to talk to his father, Abdusami was accused of this.
Abdusami tried to make some video records on his phone, but a man from Dagestan noticed it and his phone was taken away from him. He was “arrested” and taken into the basement. He was released 10 days later. Once he woke up in the middle of the night and left the place. He only had his passport.
Abdusami states that it was not very hard to escape. Most of the people are just afraid of doing this. There is a psychological barrier. He says that many people were afraid of returning home because Tajikistan authorities would not believe them and put them to prison.
Abdusami reached Istanbul and met his wife there. They came back to Moscow together. In the meantime, Rahim’s father went to the police in Tajikistan and accused Abdusami of taking his son to Syria.
Abdusami says that Tajikistan authorities called hi few times and started placing pressure on his family. When his brother returned to Tajikistan, the police took into custody for 4 days and tortured. According to Abdusami, his brother was released only when his mother managed to find and give $3000 to the police.
Abdusami’s situation has not been confirmed by third party sources.
Hamroev and his colleagues from “Memorial” advise Abdusami to go to the authorities and try to chasten hi conscience and name. Hamroev stated that about 10 immigrants from Central Asia asked him for help within the last year. They said that they were taken to the Middle East by a deceptive way and they turned out in a situation similar to Abdusami’s.
Vitaliy Ponomarev, director of the Central Asian programme at “Memorial” believes that people are afraid of going to authorities and therefore, they go underground. Likewise, Abdusami goes out only for work. Human rights activists cannot but admit there might me more risks than advantages of going to the police.
“If he goes to authorities, his case will become a significant precedent. Yet, it is hard to predict what kind of consequences it might have for him,” – says Ponomarev.
Despite all the fears, Abdusami’s wife says that the idea of clearing his name is very important. They are eager “to resolve this issue in a legal way and keep on living”.