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Senior Chechen Official Denies Declaring Feud Against Blogger

Popular on social media in Chechnya, Tumso Abdurakhmanov is seeking asylum in Poland.

14 March 2019

A critic of the Chechen government living in Polish exile says a close ally of Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov has threatened his life.

 

 

The affair began in late February when Tumso Abdurakhmanov, a blogger who fled Chechnya three years ago, held an online conversation with the Russian republic’s information minister.

 

As Caucasian Knot reported, when the talk turned to the Chechen-Russian wars of the 1990s, Abdurakhmanov said Kadryov’s father, Akhmad Kadyrov, had declared jihad, urging Chechens to fight the Russian forces.

 

Abdurakhmanov also said he considered Akhmad Kadyrov a “traitor,” Crime Russia writes.

 

Akhmad Kadyrov was chief mufti of the self-declared Chechen state during the first Chechen war in 1994-1996, although at the outset of the second conflict in 1999 he switched sides, building on his newfound alliance with Moscow to become the republic’s president in 2003. He was assassinated in 2004.

 

Magomed Daudov, the speaker of the Chechen parliament and a fierce defender of Ramzan Kadyrov, last week reacted angrily to the assault on the elder Kadyrov’s reputation, calling Abdurakhmanov "an enemy to me and my brothers.”

 

Daudov said he would track Abdurakhmanov down but was "not going to kill" him, although he used the Chechen term for "blood feud,” The Associated Press reports

 

Chechen government representatives later said Daudov’s words had been wrongly translated and that he had said nothing about a blood feud, according to Crime Russia.

 

Allegations of extremism have made Abdurakhmanov a controversial figure in both Chechnya and Poland, where he lives in hiding.

 

Poland has provided subsidiary protection to Abdurakhmanov’s wife and three young children, accepting that they cannot safely return to Chechnya, but rejected his asylum appeal on unspecified security grounds, the AP wrote in January.

 

Abdurakhmanov fled Chechnya in 2015 after coming under suspicion of belonging to a Wahhabi cell, the Polish website Onet wrote last year. He also denies Chechen law enforcement’s allegation that he fought with militants in Syria, Caucasian Knot reported in September.

 

 

  • The Polish border guard service informed Abdurakhmanov in December it had begun a deportation process against him, the AP cited Amnesty International as saying. Amnesty said he would be a serious risk of torture if returned to Chechnya.

 

  • His case also sheds light on the precarious situation for Chechen asylum seekers in Poland. Human rights groups have accused Poland of denying Chechens and other asylum seekers the chance to lodge asylum requests and of sending them back to Belarus.

 

  • As Russian citizens, Chechens can travel to the Belarus-Poland border without a visa. Many use the border town of Brest as a base from which to illegally enter Poland.
Compiled by Ky Krauthamer

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