Tumso Abdurakhmanov (left) and Minkail Malizayev, bloggers who reported the kidnapping of their relatives in Chechnya. Screenshot: YouTube TV Caucasus https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gnL7tcElXpU

24 December 2021, 00:04

Human rights defenders analyze context of kidnapping of relatives of blogger Tumso and other critics of Ramzan Kadyrov

Kidnapping of relatives of blogger Tumso Abdurakhmanov and other critics of the Chechen authorities was committed against the background of the trials against the “Memorials”* NGOs (the International Historical, Educational, Charity and Human Rights Society “Memorial”* (International Memorial) and the Human Rights Centre (HRC) “Memorial”*), when the main attention of Russian and foreign human rights defenders is focused on those trials and somewhat distracted from Chechnya, human rights defenders note. They call the kidnapping of relatives a historically alien practice in the Caucasus.

The “Caucasian Knot” has reported that on December 22, opposition blogger Tumso Abdurakhmanov reported about the kidnapping of his relatives living in Chechnya. On the same day, blogger Minkail Malizaev, known for criticizing the Chechen authorities, announced the kidnapping of his relatives in Chechnya, and Tumso Abdurakhmanov posted information that a similar fate befell relatives of Mansur Sadulaev, a founder of the “Vayfond”.

According to Ruslan Kutaev, the president of the Assembly of Caucasian Nations, taking relatives hostage is a historically untypical practice for the Caucasus. “Never in the Caucasus, in inter-Caucasian relations, and especially among Muslims, people have ever been punished for deeds they have not committed,” Ruslan Kutaev explained in his comment to the “Caucasian Knot” correspondent.

Relatives of both Tumso Abdurakhmanov and Minkail Malizaev have in general already refused their support, Ruslan Kutaev said. “But earlier, when relatives renounced family members, they were no longer involved, but here it is too much, and something like that has never been practiced by anyone,” Ruslan Kutaev noted.

Svetlana Gannushkina, the chair of the “Civic Assistance” Committee**, noted that it was not only the relatives of Tumso Abdurakhmanov and Minkail Malizaev who were detained. “Other critics of the Kadyrov regime also reported about the detention or kidnapping of their relatives. Apparently, on the eve of the New Year, a campaign was launched to put pressure on critics with the aim of returning them to Chechnya through the persecution of their relatives,” the human rights defender suggested.

“These are very dangerous times. Trials are under way to liquidate the ‘Memorial’* (trials on lawsuits to liquidate the ‘International Memorial’* and the Human Rights Centre (HRC) ‘Memorial’*, – note of the ‘Caucasian Knot), and international public forces have been diverted from Chechnya. Rubati Mitsaeva has been involved in the campaign. Both carrot and stick were put into operation,” the human rights defender stated.

* The organization is included by the Russian Ministry of Justice in the register of NPOs performing the functions of a foreign agent.

** The organization has been put on the register of foreign agents by the Russian Ministry of Justice.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on December 23, 2021 at 05:56 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Source: CK correspondent

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