Tanya Lokshina: 'Public humiliation forms part of Kadyrov’s latest strategy to eradicate dissent in the republic. [T]he worst punishment is reserved for Chechens themselves. Those who dare to post critical comments online are increasingly being tracked down and penalised'

posted 12 Oct 2016, 01:07 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 12 Oct 2016, 01:11 ]
'Public humiliation forms part of Kadyrov’s latest strategy to eradicate dissent in the republic. For close to a decade the young leader has been exercising tyrannical rule over Chechnya. A free press no longer exists, and the few journalists from independent Russian and foreign outlets reporting on ongoing abuses inside the republic find themselves at great risk of harassment, arbitrary detentions and even violent attacks by security officials and their proxies. But the worst punishment is reserved for Chechens themselves. Those who dare to post critical comments online are increasingly being tracked down and penalised. A recent report by Human Rights Watch described how local authorities retaliate against people who show dissatisfaction with the Chechen leadership and its policies. It found that the onslaught against dissent has intensified over the past 18 months, with even the mildest criticism on social media ruthlessly punished through unlawful, punitive detention, enforced disappearances, cruel and degrading treatment, death threats, threats against family members, and physical abuse of family members. This severe and sweeping repression by the local authorities is designed to remind the Chechen public of Kadyrov’s total control, and to contain the flow of any negative information from Chechnya that could undermine Russia’s support.'

- Tanya Lokshina, Russia Program Director, Human Rights Watch


Source: 
Tanya Lokshina, 'Public humiliation: Chechen leader's simple strategy to control social media. Ramzan Kadyrov is punishing ordinary people who criticise his rule with televised shamings, as well as detentions and abuse,' Human Rights Watch, 10 October 2016
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