YouTube unblocks documentary about Chechen leader
YouTube has reinstated access on its website to the documentary film The Family about Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov. The film was posted by Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s NGO Open Russia in late May, and then removed by YouTube on June 2 in response to a copyright complaint.
The message published on Open Russia’s website states that YouTube has reviewed and ultimately rejected copyright complaints made by the head of the company T&K Production Ilyas Synbulatov. Open Russia claimed that no copyright laws were violated in the making, production or distribution of the film.
By June 4, the video of the documentary had gathered 978,000 views on YouTube. The film is also available on Vimeo.
As a result of YouTube’s prompt review of the appeal filed by Open Russia [in response to the initial copyright complaint], the block was taken down, and the complaint from T&K Production has been rejected.
The NGO Open Russia presented its 30-minute film entitled The Family. A film about Ramzan Kadyrov, whom Putin calls a son, on May 25, 2015.
The documentary talks about the Chechen leader’s role in Russia’s power structures, shows how he established special security agencies in Chechnya, and details human rights violations such as kidnappings and torture in the region.
The film claims that in addition to billions of dollars in federal subsidies for Chechnya, Kadyrov personally obtains money from a “complex system of tributes” based on monthly fees paid by every Chechen out of their salary. This has since been confirmed in an investigative report published by the Russian newspaper Kommersant.