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Russia designates Chechen activist in exile ‘foreign agent’

20 February 2024
Aslan Arzuyev.

Russia’s Justice Ministry has reportedly added Aslan Arzuyev, a Chechen human rights activist based in Germany, to its register of ‘foreign agents’.

According to the ministry, Arzuyev ‘made calls for action, the results of which could lead to a violation of the territorial integrity of Russia’, ‘disseminated false information aimed at creating a negative image’ of the country and the army, spoke against the war in Ukraine, and created material in collaboration with‘foreign agents’.

Arzuyev is chair of the Human Rights Center Ichkeria, an organisation based in Germany that claims to support Chechens with immigration and legal procedures, conduct investigations, and raise awareness about issues faced by Chechens. 

In October 2019, Arzuyev held rallies demanding an investigation into the murder of Georgian-Chechen Zelimkhan Khangoshvili in Berlin. Khangoshvili was wanted by the Russian authorities and had survived earlier assassination attempts. 

Two years later, Arzuyev announced that four of his relatives had been kidnapped, stating that his cousins, uncle, and second cousin had been detained in the villages of Katar-Yurt and Achkhoy-Martan. 

At the time, Arzuyev accused both Federal Security Service (FSB) officers and the regional head of the department of internal affairs of involvement in the arrests. He claimed that the arrests were directly related towards his criticism of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Head of Chechnya Ramzan Kadyrov, as well as his calls for Khangoshvili’s death to be investigated. 

Arzuyev termed the kidnapping ‘the revenge of Putin’s gang for human rights and social activism’.


Arzuyev has not responded to OC Media’s request for comment.

Read in Georgian on On.ge.
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