In late December 2021, dozens of people have been reported abducted in Chechnya, all of whom are relatives to vocal critics of the Kadyrov regime.
The Chechen Republic is notorious for its relentless persecution of unwanted individuals, including members of the opposition, journalists, human rights activists and sexual minorities. The attempt to silence two prominent bloggers and three human rights activists in exile, by holding their relatives as hostages, illustrates the reign of lawlessness in the republic.
These local attempts at extrajudicial and collective punishment, comes at a time when the human rights situation in the Russian Federation is quickly deteriorating. Memorial, one of Russia’s most important human rights watchdogs, has recently been ordered by the Supreme Court to shut down its operations, and the threat of impunity is growing.
The Norwegian Helsinki Committee is thus gravely concerned. And hopes that the guarantor of the constitution will use his powers to restore order, release political prisoners and safeguard the rights and freedoms of all citizens of the Russian Federation.