Prominent Chechen Blogger, Kadyrov Critic, Killed In Sweden

05-12-2022 12:59:05 Caucasus

A prominent critic of Chechen strongman leader Ramzan Kadyrov has been killed in Sweden.

Colleagues of Chechen blogger Tumso Abdurakhmanov told RFE/RL’s Russian Service that he had been shot dead on the night of December 1-2, confirming earlier reports of his killing.

Swedish authorities have not issued a statement on the matter.

The Chechen opposition Telegram feed 1ADAT on December 5 also confirmed that Abdurakhmanov had been killed and that his brother, Mukhammad Abdurakhmanov, was under the protection of Swedish security forces.

Reports that Abdurakhmanov, 36, had been killed emerged on social media on December 1 but could not be confirmed. RFE/RL's Caucasus.Realities and Chechen opposition groups reported they were unable to contact the blogger and that his representatives said they had not been in contact with him or his brother.

Swedish officials told RFE/RL on December 2 that they had no information about Abdurakhmanov’s whereabouts.

In January 2021, two Russian citizens from Chechnya were given long prison sentences in Sweden after being convicted of attempting to kill Abdurakhmanov in February 2020.

One of the men, Ruslan Mamayev, testified that he had been acting on the behest of Chechen authorities who promised to pay him 50,000 euros ($50,000).

Kadyrov, who has ruled Chechnya since 2007 with a cult of personality around him, is frequently accused by Russian and international human rights groups of overseeing grave human rights abuses including abductions, torture, extrajudicial killings, and targeting the LGBT community.

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

He has not posted on his Telegram channel since the evening of November 30. "Normally, Tumso warns when his Telegram channel won't be active, but yesterday he did not," one commentator wrote below the post.

/RFE/RL

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