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Amnesty worker claims he was abducted and beaten in Russian Caucasus

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An Amnesty International researcher said Monday he was abducted and brutally beaten by men claiming to be from the Russian security service after he travelled to the North Caucasus to monitor peaceful protests.

Oleg Kozlovsky was in the volatile Ingushetia region, where thousands have protested in recent weeks over a Moscow-backed deal that would hand over territory to the neighboring region of Chechnya.

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A man claiming to represent a leader of the protest movement came to Kozlovsky’s hotel on the evening of October 6 and led him to a waiting car, Amnesty said in a statement.

Once the researcher was in the vehicle, two masked men entered, one of whom punched him in the face, before driving him to a field outside the regional capital Magas.

“They held a gun to my head and told me they were going to kill me,” Kozlovsky said.

“The men identified themselves as being officers of the local Centre for Combating Extremism, a special police unit.

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“They demanded to know the names of my contacts in Ingushetia and threatened to kill my wife and children if I reported what happened.”

In a Facebook post, the Russian national said the men also threatened to rape him.

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But he added: “I won’t be bullied into silence. It’s imperative that the world knows the risks that human rights defenders and activists face in Russia.”

The attackers staged two mock executions and took photos of Kozlovsky naked, which they threatened to release if he told anyone about the ordeal, according to the statement.

They later took his phone and camera before driving him to the nearby region of North Ossetia and releasing him near an airport.

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Amnesty said it had complained to the Russian authorities.

Rights workers in Russia and particularly in the Caucasus region regularly report attacks and harassment.

The head of the Chechen branch of Russia’s top rights group Memorial was detained in January and is on trial on drugs charges that campaigners say are trumped up.

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The group’s office in Ingushetia was also torched in January in an arson attack.

© 2018 AFP

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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RNC’s Ronna McDaniels scorched for calling Elizabeth Warren a ‘liar’: ‘Every word Trump utters is a lie’

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The Republican National Committee chairwoman faced swift backlash for calling Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) a liar for claiming Native American ancestry.

President Donald Trump has repeatedly slurred Warren as "Pocahontas" to mock claims about her background, and the Democratic presidential candidate apologized Monday to Native American tribal leaders for any harm she had caused by promoting DNA test results to prove native ancestry generations ago.

RNC chair Ronna McDaniel gleefully mocked the Democratic presidential candidate.

Elizabeth Warren by the numbers:

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Trump’s rabid fans will back his racist lies — but some might not appreciate him wrecking the economy

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‘Paranoid’ GOP lawmaker who is obsessed with ‘Biblical War’ sought GPS devices to track adversaries: report

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Republican state Rep. Matt Shea of Spokane, Washington reportedly sought GPS devices and other spycraft to use against his political adversaries.

The revelations are part of a trove of emails obtained by The Spokesman-Review.

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