Ramzan Kadyrov at a meeting with the Chechen government, November 5, 2019. Screenshot from the video posted by ChGTRK 'Grozny' at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rPQzE5F2u0w

07 November 2019, 08:29

Kadyrov's demand to reveal critics of authorities threatens the freedom of speech

At a meeting with the Chechen government, Ramzan Kadyrov has demanded to reveal authors of negative materials about the republic and social network users, who comment them. This demand looks like another threat of persecution for the right to have one's own opinion, Galina Arapova, a media lawyer, believes.

A report about the November 4 extended sitting of the Chechen government, at which Ramzan Kadyrov blamed the provocateurs creating a negative informational background around the republic, was broadcast on the same day in the night news programme of the "Grozny" TV Channel.

At the sitting, Ramzan Kadyrov stated the need to strengthen the fight against those who disseminate gossips and lies on the Internet to create a negative image of the region's leadership. "In particular, Ramzan Kadyrov has noted that anyone who infringes on the honour and dignity will suffer the most severe punishment," the author of the message posted on the page kadyrov_news95 on the Instagram has commented on the video from the sitting.

The demand to identify critics of the authorities on the Internet, voiced by Ramzan Kadyrov, may be another threat of persecution for the right to have one's own opinion, said Galina Arapova, Director of the Media Rights Defence Centre.

She has treated the situation as "persecution for criticism." "In any case, this is an attack on the freedom of speech and the right to speak out; and this threat is addressed not only to residents of Chechnya, but also to everyone who writes about this region. And we have seen this many times; it's enough to recall the threats addressed to the "Novaya Gazeta" journalists and to the editor-in-chief of the 'Caucasian Knot'," the media lawyer has explained.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on November 6, 2019 at 09:23 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Source: CK correspondents

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