For several months, the Chechen Republic has been rounding up members of the close circle of Ramzan Kadyrov, the head of the republic. Through torture and beatings in secret prisons, they are being made to confess to treason, Novaya Gazeta reports.
According to the news agency, the detainees and their relatives are having all of their property confiscated, and are being forced to pay millions in “donations” to the Akhmat Kadyrov Foundation. The round-ups began after the resignation of Ibrahim Temirbaev, who had been the mayor of Argun for 15 years.
Novaya Gazeta writes that, after resigning, Temirbaev made negative comments about Kadyrov and his family in several phone calls. This led to the arrest of Temirbaev himself, as well as his relatives and bodyguards. The former mayor’s appointees were reportedly all fired. His house was searched, and allegedly found to contain a large number of weapons. The authors of the article believe that Temirbaev could be facing criminal charges.
The Chechen government has also been persecuting the two former Chechen lawmakers Idris Gaibov and Shamil Magomaev. The two had been arrested and tortured before. This time, Gaibov managed to flee the republic, but Magomaev was arrested. The fugitive parliamentarian is apparently being held at a police department in Chechnya’s Kurchaloyevsky District.
According to Novaya Gazeta’s sources, the detained Chechen officials include regional Minister of Emergencies Ruslan Yakhyev, former Minister of Forestry Dikmagomed Mulaev, former Deputy Prime Minister Khalid Vaykhanov and the regional head of traffic safety Shamkhan Denilkhanov. Novaya Gazeta claims that Ramzan Kadyrov’s wife Medni has now joined the list.
The journalists believe that this list of persecutees is incomplete. Arrests are reportedly taking place in the ancestral villages of the detainees, and relatives are being forced to write letters of resignation.