A well-known Chechen blogger and dissident, who lives hidden in a country of the European Union, has assured that he has suffered an attack on his life. Tumso Abdurajmánov has published a video on his YouTube channel that shows the moments after the attack and the alleged attacker. Abdurakhmánov, who fled Chechnya almost five years ago, is accused by the government of Ramzán Kadírov, Putin’s ally, of ties to ISIS. The blogger, very critical of the Chechen regime, assures that it is an excuse to persecute him. What happened with Abdurajmánov, who is now hospitalized and under surveillance, as explained by his brother, coincides with a series of attacks on Chechen dissidents in Europe.
The video shows Abdurajmánov, scruffy, trying to retain an apparently injured man whom he inquires: “Who is sending you? Where are you from? How do you know my address? “The alleged aggressor, from the ground, replies shortly that his name is Ruslán, which was sent by a man named Abdurajmán, from Grozny.” He did not want to kill you, only scared you, “he says. Chechen dissident answers ironically raising the hammer with which he was supposed to be attacked, and that he could use against his aggressor: “Did you come to hit me on the head with this hammer to scare me?”
The 34-year-old blogger Abdurajmánov, who in his YouTube videos – with nearly 150,000 subscribers – talks about Chechnya and the Kadirov government, is believed to be in Poland. A few months ago, he explained to EL PAÍS that he was trying to get asylum there – after trying unsuccessfully in Georgia – but that he was in the process of deportation. In a Skype interview and after another email conversation, Abdurajmánov insisted that he had truly feared for his life for a long time. “The promises of blood revenge against me are constant and very real. And they have increased much more since Magomed Daudov [conocido como Lord, el jefe del Parlamento de Chechenia] speak against me and threaten me directly a year ago, “he said.
After one of his videos, in which he spoke of Kadirov and his repression of human rights, the head of the Chechen Parliament defined him as “an enemy to me and to my brothers.” In a direct with his followers from his Instagram account, which he later hid, Daudov declared that he was not going to “kill” the well-known blogger but would take action against him. “We will fix it according to Muslim law. From now on, when you go to bed be sure to lock the door. Be alert when you go outside. And if you get kicked in the back, know that it is not an accident, “he said.
The Chechen human rights organization Vayfond, based in Sweden, claims that what happened to Abdurajmánov is an assassination attempt. “An unidentified person broke into his apartment and tried to kill him with a hammer. However, there was a fight during which Tumso Abdurajmánov managed to neutralize the attacker and call the police, “he explained in a statement. Now, he remains hospitalized and under the surveillance of the authorities for protection, according to what his brother, Mahmud, told the independent online newspaper Nudo Caucásico.
A few months ago, the blogger claimed that he had taken extreme precautions and that his lawyers were trying to appeal the denial of his request for asylum in Poland. Warsaw rejected the protection on the grounds that it poses a “possible security threat” to the country due to its possible links with extremist organizations; although the specific reason is classified. However, Poland has granted subsidiary protection to his wife and three young children. What, according to Amnesty International, which has mobilized for the case, means that they “accept that there is a threat to their lives in Chechnya.” Still, the blogger could have sought refuge in another EU country.
What happened with Abdurajmánov follows two murders of Chechen opponents in EU countries. Last August, Zelimjan Jangoshvili, a Georgian of Chechen origin, was shot dead in a park in Berlin. The German prosecution suspects that Russia is behind the death of Jangoshvili, who fought in the second Chechen war against Russian forces. A few months ago, an investigation by the Bellingcat, Der Spiegel and The Insider media identified the alleged perpetrator of the crime as a member of the Russian special forces. According to his report, the murder was “planned and organized by the FSB (the intelligence agency heir to the Russian KGB).”
A few weeks ago, another Chechen dissident, blogger Imran Aliev, known as Mansur the Elder, was killed in a hotel room in the center of the French city of Lille. According to various media, the police also suspect that his death “for political reasons” was ordered around Kadirov.