Person of the Week: Ramazan Dzhalaldinov

posted 6 Jun 2016, 08:08 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 6 Jun 2016, 08:19 ]
Ramazan Dzhalaldinov is a resident of the village of Kenkhi in south-east Chechnya who, as RFE/RL has reported, in April made a video appeal to President Putin to complain about corruption among local officials. Thereafter he became the centre of an extraordinary series of events. The Telegraph noted that, according to Kommersant, soon after the video appeared local residents were 'prevented from entering or leaving the village and questioned individually about Mr Dzhaladinov's whereabouts.' On the night of 12-13 May Dzhalaldinov's house was burned down and his family threatened, with the chief suspects being law enforcment officers. However, Ramzan Kadyrov, the head of the Republic of Chechnya, suggested that Dzhaldinov had set fire to his own home. On 20 May local residents of Kenkhi condemned Dzhalaldinov at a public meeting and denounced his criticisms as 'lies.' On 21 May, as RFE/RL reports, Ramazan Dzhalaldinov was quoted by the Daghestani newspaper Novoe Delo as saying he 'does not regret' having gone public with his criticisms of local officials and will 'continue to fight for our rights'. Nevertheless, on May 30 2016 Kadyrov posted on Instagram video footage of Dzhalaldinov admitting that he had made 'a very big mistake.' The Moscow Times writes: 'Ramazan Dzhalaldinov also accused the media of distortion in the message broadcast by Chechnya's state television company Grozny. “I apologize to [Chechen leader] Ramzan Kadyrov that this has happened. I apologize to the entire people [of Chechnya] and ask others like me not to do the wrong things,” he said. In the message, Dzhalaldinov compared Kadyrov to the “shining of the sun” and said that 99 percent of media information on his story was lies. He maintained that nobody asked him to apologize.' 

Photo: YouTube screen grab via Radio Svoboda

Liz Fuller, 'One Whistle-Blower Seemingly Coerced Into Apologizing To Kadyrov; A Second Remains Defiant,' RFE/RL, 31 May 2016
'Man Whose House Was Torched Apologizes for Criticism of Kadyrov,' The Moscow Times, 31 May 2016
Roland Oliphant, 'Police "surround" entire village in Chechnya in hunt for man who dared to complain about local officials,' The Telegraph, 17 May 2016
Liz Fuller, 'Chechen Leader Denies Whistle-Blower’s Home Intentionally Destroyed,' RFE/RL, 15 May 2016