Opponent of Chechen authorities forced to torture himself on camera
Residents of Chechnya were outraged by a video in which a naked young man is forced to sit on a bottle as punishment for collaborating with a Telegram channel that criticizes the Chechen authorities. The moderators of the channel 1ADAT stated that the man was kidnapped and publicly humiliated by security forces.
The video, which is just over a minute long, portrays a young man, stripped naked, reciting his name and surname, reports Caucasian Knot. The man says that he is the head of the channel 1ADAT, which he calls a “dirty group” and a “fake”. Next, the man in the video berates himself and his family while sitting on a bottle.
The person in the video was not the head of the channel, he just moderated the chat for a while, channel representatives say. “On September 5, he stopped communicating with the administrators, and yesterday [September 7] this video was uploaded to the general chat. We do not know where he is now”, reports the Russian publication MBH Media, quoting the channel’s representative.
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An appeal to the independent media published on the channel claims that the moderator was “identified” by the security forces and reports that two law enforcement officers in black uniforms had visited him.
The 1ADAT community publishes reports about the abductions and detentions of Chechen residents, about the luxurious lives of high-ranking officials. The community has about 8,200 subscribers on Telegram, 22,000 on Instagram, and 1,290 on Youtube.
“Any resident of the Chechen Republic can contact us. We will publish anonymously, and if they want help, we will help them with human rights organizations and journalists”, reads a post published by the channel on June 22. In a news report about the channel, the anchors call 1ADAT “a popular movement against the dictatorship”.
The ombudsman’s office in Chechnya replied that they knew about the incident, but the victim himself and his relatives had not contacted them. “The staff of the ombudsman, for their part, are ready to start investigating the circumstances surrounding the video incident”, reports Kavkaz.Realii, quoting the representative of the Chechen Ombudsman.
Outrage in Chechnya
The video sparked the outrage on social media, as many felt that it dishonored the Chechens.
“You don’t need to show these things! I’m tired of these videos, humiliating us in front of people”.
“So this is how you present our people to the rest of the world”.
“Those who have done this cause and will continue to cause only disgust, hatred and contempt. This truly disgraces our entire people”, write users.
“No one has the right to do this to a person, no matter what he does or says. After all, this is a humiliation that will follow not only him, his mother and father, but also all his relatives and friends, the whole family, for life. Such things have never been forgiven and are not forgiven, and sooner or later they will have to answer for this”, Sahib, a resident of Chechnya, told Caucasian Knot.
Public apologies and confessions given by people after coming into conflict with the Chechnyan authorities and with President Ramzan Kadyrov personally are commonplace in the republic. Recently, the power structures of Chechnya have been actively trying to search for and punish the authors and subscribers of anonymous opposition channels and internet communities.