[JURIST] Chechen human rights activist Zarema Sadulayeva and her husband Alik Dzhabrailov were found dead in the trunk of their car Tuesday, after being abducted Monday. Saulayeva and Dzhabrailov were taken [Moscow Times report] from the office of her organization, Let's Save the Generation, which works to aid children affected by violence in Chechnya. The pair were reportedly removed by a group of men dressed as security officers, and police initially failed to take action when the kidnapping was reported by Russian human rights group Memorial [advocacy website, in Russian]. Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] called [press release] for Russian authorities to "ensure that the investigation into the murders of Chechen civil society activists Zarema Sadulayeva and her husband, Alik Dzhabrailov, is effective and independent." On Wednesday, the Russian Prosecutor General's Office Investigations Administration for Chechnya said that the number of kidnappings and murders in Chechnya has increased [RIA Novosti report] dramatically since the beginning of the year.
Tuesday's killing comes less than a month after the death [JURIST report] of Russian human rights activist Natalia Estemirova [BBC obituary]. Also last month, the body of Russian human rights activist Andrei Kulagin [JURIST report], missing since May, was found in a quarry. In January, Russian human rights lawyer Stanislav Markelov was shot and killed [JURIST report] in Moscow. Markelov represented journalist Anna Politkovskaya [BBC obituary], who was shot to death [JURIST report] in October 2006. In April, Russian Human Rights Commissioner Vladimir Lukin [official profile] expressed concern [JURIST report] that activists in Russia were being attacked with greater frequency. According to HRW, more than 100 European Court of Human Rights [official website] judgments have found that Russia is responsible for grave human-rights violations in Chechnya.