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Monday, January 30, 2023

A Chechen opposition blogger liquidated

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Gaston de Persigny
Gaston de Persigny
Gaston de Persigny - Reporter at The European Times News

A Chechen opposition Telegram channel reports that prominent blogger and dissident Tumso Abdurakhmanov has been killed in Sweden, RFE reports.

Channel 1ADAT on December 5 quoted unidentified sources as saying that Abdurakhmanov had been shot dead and that his brother Muhammed had been placed under police protection.

Anzor Maskhadov, a prominent leader of the Chechen diaspora, confirmed the information, adding that Abdurkhmanov was killed by several unknown assailants.

Neither 1ADAT nor Maskhadov confirmed that the alleged killing took place in Sweden, where Abdurakhmanov lived and received political asylum.

Swedish police refused to confirm media reports and speculation.

“Swedish police authorities are aware of media reports about the murder of a person who resides in Sweden,” commented police press officer Irene Sokolov in a written response to a question from Caucasus.

Reports that Abdurakhmanov, 36, had been killed appeared on social media on December 1 but could not be confirmed. RFE/RL’s Caucasus.Realities and Chechen opposition groups said they were unable to contact the blogger and that his representatives had no connection to him or his brother.

Swedish officials told the media on December 2 that they had no information on Abdurakhmanov’s whereabouts.

In January 2021, two Russian citizens from Chechnya received long prison terms in Sweden after being convicted of the February 2020 assassination attempt on Abdurakhmanov.

One of the men, Ruslan Mamaev, testified that he acted on the orders of the Chechen authorities, who promised to pay him 50,000 euros.

Kadyrov, who has ruled Chechnya since 2007, is often accused by Russian and international rights groups of being complicit in gross human rights abuses, including kidnappings, torture, extrajudicial killings and crimes targeting the LGBT community.

Abdurakhmanov, a popular YouTube blogger who has been highly critical of Kadyrov and his government in Chechnya, left Russia in 2015. He was granted political asylum in Sweden.

He has not posted on his Telegram channel since the evening of November 30. “Usually Tumso warns when his Telegram channel will be inactive, but yesterday he didn’t,” one commenter wrote under the post.

Abdurakhmanov’s last YouTube video was posted a few weeks ago.

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