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Unconfirmed reports by Russian and foreign media indicate that a former Guantanamo Bay inmate, Ruslan Odizhev, was killed in a police raid this morning in Nalchik, capital of the Russian Republic of Kabardino-Balkaria. Odizhev was on a federal wanted list in connection with a series of violent raids on government buildings in October 2005.

In March 2004, the United States government transferred Odizhev, along with six other men, to Russia under diplomatic assurances that they would not be mistreated. In March 2007, Human Rights Watch released a report on the fate of these seven men, which found that all had suffered serious mistreatment ranging from harassment by the authorities to torture.

Of all the Guantanamo detainees returned to Russia, Odizhev may have had the most to fear: his mother told Human Rights Watch that security forces kidnapped him in May 2000 and brutally tortured him in connection with a series of apartment bombings in Moscow and Volgodonsk in1999. He fled Russia soon after his release. If he had stayed, his mother told Human Rights Watch, “they would have killed him.”

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