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Chechen blogger and Kadyrov critic Tumso Abdurakhmanov is missing in Sweden
Chechen opposition blogger Tumso Abdurakhmanov, who lives in Sweden, has stopped communicating, reports Vayfond, a Chechen human rights organization based in Sweden.
On December 1, at the lastest, Telegram posts appeared alleging that Abdurakhmanov had been murdered. A video was posted of the allegedly dead blogger, but some users commented that the video showed a different person.
On December 2, Shamil Albakov, spokesperson for the Assembly of Chechens of Europe told publication Kavkazsky Uzel that there was no reliable information about the death of Abdurakhmanov. “According to the information we have, it isn’t true. There’s talk of the murder of a young guy in Sweden who was Tumso’s neighbor. But it’s unconfirmed,” said Albakov.
Vayfond representatives also told Kavkazsky Uzel that they’re disinclined to believe reports of Abdurakhmanov’s death. The organization said that the blogger sometimes goes offline. On December 3, Vayfond posted on its Telegram channel that Abdurakhmanov had still not been in touch. His brother, Mokhmad Abdurakhmanov, was also not reachable.
The last video on Abdurakhmanov’s YouTube channel, which has 475,000 subscribers, was posted on November 7. In it, the blogger describes how the political party Golos Chechenii [Voice of Chechnya] started. As Kavkazsky Uzel points out, Abdurakhmanov usually posts videos around once a week. His channel has not taken such a long break this year.
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Tumso Abdurakhmanov is known for criticizing Chechen authorities. He left Russia in 2015, he says, after a conflict with Ramzan Kadyrov’s relatives. The blogger received political asylum in Sweden. In Chechnya, Abdurakhmanov is accused of having links to the Islamic State.
In 2019, Magomed Daudov, speaker of the Parliament of Chechnya, declared a blood feud against Abdurakhmanov. However, Chechen authorities later denied this.
In 2020, a man broke into Abdurakhmanov’s apartment and hit him in the head with a hammer. The blogger managed to grab the hammer and call the police. In 2021, the attacker, Ruslan Mamayev, received a 10 year prison sentence (which was later extended by two years). An accomplice, Elvira Shabayeva, who helped Mamayev break into the apartment, got eight years.
The prosecution linked the attempt on Abdurakhmanov’s life to his criticism of Chechen authorities and to Daudov’s announcement of a blood feud. It was revealed in court that meetings, including in Grozny, the capital of Chechnya, had been held to plan the attack on Abdurakhmanov, and that Mamayev was allegedly promised 60,000 Euros (around $63,000). The court did not reveal who ordered the hit.
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