Aslan Maskhadov. Screenshot of the post from his account

23 August 2020, 11:06

Rights defenders point to threat to Maskhadov due to his criticism of Chechen authorities

The Chechen authorities are worried about the existence of such authoritative opponents as Anzor Maskhadov; therefore, he is in danger, human rights defenders assert. Maskhadov has preserved the archives of the President of Ichkeria*, his father, and is voicing out facts that are disadvantageous to the Chechen authorities, the blogger, Tumso Abdurakhmanov, has noted.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that Anzor, a son of Aslan Maskhadov, the late President of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria*, who lives in Norway, said about the pressure being exerted on his relatives who remained in Chechnya.

The Chechen Republic of Ichkeria* was an unrecognized separatist entity (1991-2000), created after the collapse of the USSR on part of the territory of the former Chechen-Ingush Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic. The entity was liquidated by the Russian federal troops during the second Chechen military campaign. The election, won by Aslan Maskhadov, was held in January 1997.

The Chechen authorities intend to use Maskhadov's relatives for propaganda purposes, says Tumso Abdurakhmanov, a blogger, also living in Europe. "They will be periodically shown on local TV, forced to scold Anzor, praise the authorities and the like. Propaganda is an integral part of the dictatorship," the blogger told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.

One should fear for Anzor Maskhadov's life, Abdurakhmanov has claimed. "His criticism may not be so painful for the regime in Chechnya, but the archival materials he publishes are very inconvenient for them; therefore, he is at risk. These archives are inconvenient because there are a lot of contradictions to the current Kadyrov's and his supporters' words and actions," Mr Abdurakhmanov believes.

The Chechen authorities are rather dissatisfied with the very presence of an authoritative opponent than with the publication of archives, believes Alexander Cherkasov, the chairman of the board of the Human Rights Centre (HRC) "Memorial". "Why does Ramzan (Kadyrov) see a threat from various prominent people in emigration? It's very important for him to have no alternative authoritative figures and statements of different public opinions," Mr Cherkasov has explained.

* Chechen Republic of Ichkeria is recognized to be a terrorist organization in Russia and participation therein is a criminal offence

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on August 22, 2020 at 08:02 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Anastasia Kirilenko; Source: CK correspondent

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