Alek (Umar) Dzhabrailov

Alek Dzhabrailov worked at Let’s Save the Generation charity with his wife, Zarema Sadulayeva. The charity was located in the city centre of Grozny, the capital of the Chechen Republic. The organization provided aid to Chechen children affected by the violence that has swept the Caucasus region since the 1990s. More specifically, the organization provided psychological counselling and physical aid to orphans, disabled children, and others affected by the wars in Chechnya.

On August 10, 2009, Alek Dzhabrailov and Zarema Sadulayeva were kidnapped and murdered. They were kidnapped from their office in broad daylight by five unknown assailants. In an interview for the Guardian, a senior official from a Russian human rights organization, Alexander Cherkasov, said that two of the kidnappers were dressed in black, while the other three were in camouflage. A colleague of the couple witnessed the abduction stating that the kidnappers introduced themselves as members of the Chechen security services. The kidnappers stated that the couple was needed for questioning and before leaving, they left behind a contact number. Soon after the abduction, two of the assailants returned to take Zarema Saduilayeva’s mobile and Alek Dzhabrailov’s car. After they left, the couple’s colleagues called the contact number left by the abductors, but there was no answer. The next morning around midnight, the bodies of Alek Dzhabrailov and Zarema Sadulayeva were found tortured and pierced with gun shot wounds. On August 11th, Alek Dzhabrailov would have celebrated his 33rd birthday.

On August 11, 2009, Vladimir Markin, a spokes person from the Russian Prosecutor General’s Investigative Committee launched an investigation and stated that a group of experts have flown in to assist in the case. Ramzan Kadyrov, the head of the Chechen Republic, declared the case as an inhuman crime and that he’ll take personal control of the investigation. However, Sadulayeva and Dzabrailov’s colleagues criticized the efforts.

According to initial investigation reports, Alek Dzhabrailov was killed because he was involved in recent Chechen warfare. His wife was just collateral damage, which their colleagues refuted because of the torture endured by Sadulayeva.

On July 15, 2012, the news outlet, Caucasian Knot published an interview with Human Rights Watch/Russia senior official Tatiana Lokshina. In the interview she stated that the witness testimony by the couple’s colleague revealed that one of the kidnappers was a police officer who passed away during a police drill, resulting in the closing of the case.

On January 22, 2015, the Novaya Gazeta’s investigative journalist Elena Milashina stated that the murder has yet to be fully investigated. Similarly, the cases invovling the murders and kidnappings of human rights defender Natalya Estemirova and activist Zarema Gaysanova have yet to be solved.

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Region:Europe & Central Asia


Department/Province/State:Chechen Republic



Date of Killing:10/08/2009

Previous Threats:No information

Type of Work:NGO member

Organisation:NGO “Save the Generation” (“Spasem pokolenye”) in Grozny, Chechnya

Sector or Type of Rights the HRD Worked On:Civil and Political Rights

Sector Detail:Abuse of power/corruption, Freedom of Assembly, Freedom of Association, Freedom of Expression, Minority Rights, Right to Eduction/Student Rights, Women's Rights

More information:Front Line Defenders

1This database records an individual's chosen gender identity. If they do not self-identify as male or female they can use the option of recording other/neither or use the term NBGI (non binary gender identity).