Kadyrov at the meeting with law enforcers. Screenshot of the Grozny TV Channel report https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hfo3TU0-nQg

24 August 2018, 08:23

Kadyrov threatens using tough force against rights defenders

The head of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, has announced "sanctions" against human rights defenders, threatening to apply harsh measures to those of them who decide to visit the republic. Local residents believe that power agents will take these statements as a call for action.

On August 20, a series of attacks took place against the power agents in Chechnya. Attacks were committed in the Shali district and in Grozny. Four militants were killed, and the fifth was injured in an unsuccessful attempt at self-explosion and later died in the hospital. The terrorist organization "Islamic State", banned in Russia, took responsibility for the attacks.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that Kadyrov treated the rights defenders, who criticized the work of the police after the series of attacks committed in Chechnya on August 20, as enemies of Chechnya, equating them with militants.

Also, the head of Chechnya announced a ban on the appearance of rights defenders in the republic, the "Novaya Gazeta" writes. According to his story, the appearance of them in Chechnya will inevitably entail a "mortal danger."

The "Novaya Gazeta" published a full translation of Kadyrov's speech on human rights defenders in Russian. The head of Chechnya once again called Oyub Titiev, the head of the Grozny representative office of the Human Rights Centre (HRC) "Memorial", a drug addict. Kadyrov added that after the trial, none of the human rights activists should come to Chechnya.

"After recent events in the republic, no human rights activists should come here... I don't care even if the whole world community condemns me!.. They are corrupt and have no other goal, other than aggravating the situation in Chechnya, and causing us more harm. I see them as terrorists, or extremists... They are invited everywhere, awarded in the USA... but they do not protect my rights," quotes Kadyrov's speech the "Novaya Gazeta".

Besides, the head of Chechnya expressed regret that his name is on the sanctions list, and he has no right to "go to Europe."

"Why don't they protect my rights?.. Since I have no right to go to Europe and the West, I can declare that their employees, who call themselves human rights activists, do not have the right to visit my republic! I imposed sanctions on them," declared Kadyrov.

Kadyrov also made it clear that the visit of representatives of human rights organizations to Chechnya would inevitably mean a mortal danger for them.

"If they think they can go [here], <...> it's not for long. <...> They'll kill me, or they'll be banned from visiting and staying in Chechnya, because they hinder peaceful life in the republic. I officially declare to human rights defenders that after the end of the trial, they will be banned from visiting Chechnya, as well as terrorists and extremists, because these "human rights activists" are provocateurs," Kadyrov concluded.

The statements by the head of Chechnya, who also touched on the issue of wearing beards by young men and demanded from law enforcers to "know what each person does," is fraught with a new round of violence in the republic, local observers has stated.

"Such authorities' statements usually lead to 'witch-hunting.' Again, those who wear beards, rights defenders and all who are dissatisfied with what is happening in the republic are targets for attacks, and power agents will once again get carte blanche for any actions," said Abuyazid, a former employee of one the republic's ministries.

Law enforcers perceive such Kadyrov's statements as a signal to action, Marina, an activist, has noted.

"Law enforcers will strive to 'give a result', and we know perfectly well what this means. I think that the general situation in the republic will worsen, and Kadyrov made it clear that he will not allow human rights activists to continue working here, so this is also a serious signal for them," she told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on August 24, 2018 at 02:35 am MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Gor Alexanyan; Source: CK correspondent

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