Khasan Khalitov, screenshot of a video posted on the YouTube channel "Havaj Dudaev"

03 July 2024, 16:03

Kidnapping of Khalitov's relatives alarms rights defenders

The kidnapping of the relatives of Khasan Khalitov, a Chechen blogger living abroad, is revenge for his call to Aishat Kadyrova, the current Vice-Premier of Chechnya; threats to Khalitov were voiced out by Adam Kadyrov, a son of the head of Chechnya, human rights defenders report, expressing concern for the health condition of the blogger's relatives, especially his elderly father.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that Khasan Khalitov, one of Ramzan Kadyrov's critics, reported that several days ago authorities summoned his father and two brothers to Grozny for a talk; and since then their whereabouts remain unknown.

The situation with Khalitov's relatives is extremely worrying, an activist of the "Vayfond" Association has stated. "As Khalitov reported, he had a conversation with Aishat Kadyrova, the daughter of the head of Chechnya and a high-ranking official there. Khalitov tried to find out about the fate of those earlier kidnapped in Chechnya, and also asked a question about the origin of the fabulous wealth of the Kadyrov family. In particular, he pointed to the fact that Aishat's accessories cost hundreds of thousands dollars. But after that, Kadyrov's son Adam called Khalitov and promised to kill him within two weeks. Soon after that, Khalitov's relatives were kidnapped," the activist has stated.

In the opinion of the "Vayfond" source, the main reason for such a violent reaction of Kadyrov's men is the exposure of financing sources of the Kadyrov family that recently appeared in the media. "Schemes of stealing and laundering of budget money by Kadyrov and his entourage were exposed. This is an inconvenient topic for them. That's why we see such an aggressive reaction," the source has suggested.

Svetlana Gannushkina*, the head of the "Civic Assistance" Committee*, has stated that the goals of kidnapping relatives could be either a desire to silence the critics of Chechen authorities or to drag them over to their side. "There were cases when, through blackmail and kidnappings, relatives were forced to stop the oppositional activities and pass over to Kadyrov," she has noted.

*Included by the Russian Ministry of Justice (MoJ) into the register of foreign agents.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on July 2, 2024 at 07:07 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Source: СK correspondent

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