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‘No rights violations in Chechnya’, says Chechen human rights commissioner

20 June 2024
Mansur Soltaev. Image: Grozny.tv

Chechnya’s Human Rights Commissioner has claimed that his office has found no record of a single human rights violation in the Russian republic in 2023. 

In his annual report on human rights in Chechnya, Mansur Soltaev claimed that all violations reported against ethnic Chechens were committed outside of Chechnya.

He said his office had received 1,615 requests in 2023 — 396 more than the previous year. His report indicated that 30.6% were from other parts of Russia, of which 135 were related to violations of the rights of Chechens drafted to fight in Ukraine and their families. 

An additional 231 requests were from convicts, more than 40 were claims of illegal criminal prosecutions, and more than 20 were related to ‘unreasonable preventive measures’, the report said.

Despite Soltayev’s report claiming there were no human rights violations in Chechnya, the Russian republic made headlines over incidents of abuse, murder, and abduction throughout the year.

In July 2023, journalist Elena Milashina and lawyer Alexander Nemov were attacked in Chechnya on their way to Grozny to cover the trial of Zarema Musaeva, the mother of the Yangulbaev brothers who run the opposition 1ADAT Telegram channel.

Soltaev was reportedly ordered by Chechen Head Ramzan Kadyrov to escort the pair out of Chechnya to a hospital in North Ossetia. He issued a statement telling them to directly contact him should they visit Chechnya again.


Musaeva was detained in 2022 amidst increasing reports of her deteriorating health condition.

Seda Suleymanova, a 26-year-old domestic abuse victim from Chechnya, was also reportedly abducted from her home in Saint Petersburg. Human rights activists fear that she may have been killed by her family in Chechnya, with the authorities in Chechnya and in Russia refusing to investigate her potential murder.

Suleymanova was last seen in September 2023, in a video published by Soltaev on his Telegram following her alleged abduction to Chechnya. In his post, Soltaev assured his readers that the woman was safe.

In September 2023, Kadyrov’s son, Adam Kadyrov, made headlines after his father published a video of him beating a man accused of burning the Quran.

Nikita Zhuravel was initially charged in Volgograd for ‘insulting the religious feelings of believers’, before being transferred to Chechnya.

Opposition bloggers and Telegram channels have also reported mass kidnappings and murders taking place in the republic, with 351 kidnappings and three murders reportedly taking place in Chechnya since 2023.

Mansur Soltev has been sanctioned by the United States, the European Union, and Ukraine, with Washington citing his reported association with human rights violations and abuses.

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