First anniversary of the death of Ichkerian President Abdul-Khalim Sadullayev
By Ruslan Isayev
CHECHNYA - June 17 marked the first anniversary of the death of Abdul-Khalim Sadullayev, President of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria. He was killed in the so-called "Indian" neighbourhood on the outskirts of his native city of Argun.
Sadullayev spent the night there with several guerrillas and was killed as the result of a short gunfight after someone informed on him. Two law enforcement officers who took part in the operation - a policeman and an FSB official - also died in the clash. The other guerrillas managed to escape. Sadullayev’s body, like those of hundreds of other guerrillas, has not yet been returned to his relatives for burial.
As Ichkerian Vice-President, Sadullayev automatically became President after the death of Aslan Maskhadov in March 2005. During the short period he spent in the post, Sadullayev continued the moderate policies of his predecessor, and rather clearly defined the main areas in which the guerrillas were to operate. In his rare interviews for some international media, Sadullayev categorically rejected violence against civilians and expressed the belief that the armed resistance should not be dependent on "circumstances".
Abdul-Khadim Sadullayev was born in the city of Argun 40 years ago. After attending Argun’s 3rd School, he became a student at the philological faculty of the Chechen-Ingushetian State University in Grozny. He studied Islam from childhood, and by the age of 20 was considered an authoritative member of the younger generation of Islamic scholars. He had an excellent command of Russian and Chechen.
By the beginning of the first war, while he was still a student at the University, a circle of friends formed around him, and his unit of 30 men took an active part in battles in the Shalinsky district and the city of Argun.
Between the two wars Sadullayev was Imam of the Argun mosque, and after the war gave sermons on local television.
Before the beginning of the second war, following a decree by President Maskhadov, Sadullayev became a member of the State Committee for the Sharia reform of the Ichkerian Constitution. Later, Maskhadov made him Vice President.
After the onset of the second war, the authorities, who were aware of Sadullayev’s authority among Chechnya’s young people, tried to get him to halt the armed resistance, but he remained firm. In 2003 his wife, Khatimat, was detained for purposes of blackmail, but he refused to give himself up. It was subsequently reported that she had been brutally murdered.
(D/T) RELATED ARTICLES:
· Chechen resistance leader Abdul-Khalim Sadullayev killed in Argun (PW, 17.6. 2006)
· The Presidents of Chechnya (PW, 21.4.2006)