Several prominent human rights activists have expressed grave concern over the plan of Chechen dictator Ramzan Kadyrov to open so-called Chechen Cultural Centres in several countries in the EU. The regime in Grozny, with Moscow’s acquiescence, intends to open such centres in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, and Poland, each home to a large Chechen diaspora.
The human rights activists remind the EU states of the reason that such sizable diaspora of Chechens have come into being: the establishment of a totalitarian regime based on violence, fear, and denunciation. The activists call on the EU states not to allow the establishment of Kadyrov’s semi-embassies in their territory.
The signatories of the appeal are US human rights activist Nadezhda Banchik; Mayrbek Taramov, chairman of the Chechen Human Rights Centre in Sweden; Viktoria Pupko, president of the Boston Committee against Ethnic Cleansing; Said-Emin Ibragimov, chairman of the French-based Peace and Human Rights association; and Yelena Maglevannaya, journalist and human rights activist currently residing in Finland.
“All independent sources report that Moscow’s puppet ruler, Ramzan Kadyrov, has created a regime of totalitarian regime aimed at the devastation of yet another generation of Chechens through physical terror and moral corruption,” the signatories write. They ask whether EU states wish for such a regime to spread its influence and culture of violence on their territory.
Kadyrov’s so-called cultural centres would only serve the purpose of destabilising Chechen diasporas in Europe, killing politically active Chechen refugees, pressuring EU countries not to accept more Chechen refugees, and intimidating those who have managed to flee to return, the signatories say.