Russia: Makhachkala woman gets 8 years in jail for husband's involvement in IS

SOT, Zagidat Abakarova, convicted mother and wife (Russian): «Yes, well, they either went downstairs or just simply stayed at home.» RT filmed an exclusive interview with Zagidat Abakarova in Makhachkala, who was sentenced to eight years in prison for being part of the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS; formerly ISIS/ISIL), after being saved from Syria and brought to Russia. Reportedly, she... Еще won't go to jail until her youngest child turns 14 years old. Her youngest baby is just one year old now. According to Zagidat, she had been living in Syria for seven months and was pregnant with her third child. She stated that her husband had been drawn to Islam. «[My husband told me] it was safe to go there, he said it was not how it was being shown, [there was no bombing, no war],» Zagidat said. Reportedly, she and her husband had lived in the city of Tabqa for two years, which was under IS' control, then they moved to Raqqa. «I told my husband that I wanted to go back, that I couldn't live there. But the moment I started talking about it — we had fights,» she remembered. «He told me 'if you want to leave — leave, but I will not let you take the kids away.' I knew he was able to do that, he had that sort of character, and I was afraid,» Zagidat added. Her husband was killed in a drone strike leaving her and three children all alone when they lived in Raqqa. Zagidat was reportedly one of the seven women and 14 children brought back to Russia in 2017, as part of a campaign organised by Chechen officials to repatriate the families of men who went to fight with militants. The refugee was detained by police upon arrival to Grozny, and three months later she was convicted and sentenced for being part of an illegal armed group. Zagidat lives with her mother in Dagestan now. According to her, she is forbidden to leave the region. Her mother, Kheda Saratova emphasised that «these people need rehabilitation, they need to be close to their family members, under the care of their mothers.» The lonely widow said that it is difficult to find work for her since she is on the official police list. But still, Zagidat keeps enjoying life with her children for as long as she can. «Now we go everywhere!» She said.

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