Ramzan Kadyrov, a man with a long history of crushing dissent and systematic human rights violations, calls on the UN to intervene

Chechnya’s strongman leader, Ramzan Kadyrov, has made an unexpected foray into US politics by suggesting that Donald Trump might have a thing or two to learn from him about human rights.

In a social media post published early on Tuesday morning, Mr Kadyrov demanded American authorities “put an end” to “mayhem” and “illegal actions against citizens”.

“Police are lynching people right on the streets of American cities,” he wrote. “They are strangling citizens, beating them up, ramming them with cars.”

Mr Kadyrov called on international institutions and the United Nations to intervene to protect against “human rights violations … and extrajudicial executions”.

The comments will have surprised many of his compatriots in Chechnya, the Islamic republic on Russia‘s southern border, where he has a long history of crushing dissent and systematic human-rights violations.

Mr Kadyrov has been accused of being responsible for the killings of several prominent critics, including the journalist Anna Politkovskaya, who was gunned down at her Moscow home in 2006; activist Natalya Estemirova​, abducted from her home in Chechnya in 2009; and opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, who was shot near the Kremlin in 2015.

The Chechen leader has also been credibly linked to the abduction, torture and murder of LGBT+ people living in Chechnya in a series of “purges“ beginning in 2017. In an interview with HBO, Mr Kadyrov attempted to brush off the allegations by claiming “no such people” existed in Chechnya.

This no-nonsense style has been on display in recent weeks too. Erring on the stricter side of a Covid-19 lockdown, Mr Kadyrov first sent his feared security forces to patrol Chechen streets with sticks. Then, he suggested executing those who failed to self-isolate properly. In May, he appeared to succumb to the virus himself, although he doggedly refused to admit falling ill.

“Sadly, the situation in Minneapolis has deteriorated to such an extent that some of the world’s toughest dictators can now legitimately use it to demand respect for human rights from President Trump,” she said.

“If the US fails to deal with its domestic challenge in line with the high principles it promotes worldwide, the devaluation of human rights will be catastrophic.”

Oliver Carroll

Original Source: The Independent