Freedom House: Chechen President’s Crackdown on Internet Bloggers Unconstitutional | Freedom House

Freedom House: Chechen President’s Crackdown on Internet Bloggers Unconstitutional

Washington
Freedom House condemns the Chechen government’s attempts to further curtail freedom of expression in Chechnya by vowing to identify and silence internet bloggers critical of President Kadyrov and members of his administration.
 
During a televised interview on April 1, 2010, the Kremlin-appointed president of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, attacked internet bloggers and online commentators for “spreading lies and rumors” about the conditions in Chechnya, calling them “enemies of the Chechen people,” and vowed to use “all possible means to identify and punish” those responsible.
 
“Branding voices of dissent as liars and dangerous provocateurs has too frequently become the preferred excuse for repressive regimes to justify restricting freedom of expression,” said Jennifer Windsor, Freedom House executive director. “Freedom House calls on the Russian government to uphold its constitution’s absolute guarantee of the right to free expression and to allow its people to express opinions freely without fear of retribution.”
 
Local human rights groups have regularly accused President Kadyrov’s militia of involvement in abductions, torture and extortion and several prominent opponents of the regime have been killed in recent months. President Kadyrov is also currently embroiled in a defamation lawsuit against Oleg Orlov, head of the human rights organization Memorial, over comments Orlov made about Kadyrov’s culpability in the kidnapping and murder of human rights activist Natalia Estemirova.
 
Chechnya ranks in the bottom tier of the world’s most repressive regimes, earning it a spot in Freedom Houses annual Worst of the Worst: The World’s Most Repressive Societies 2009 report.
 
Chechnya is rated Not Free in Freedom in the World 2010, Freedom House’s survey of political right and civil liberties and Not Free in Freedom of the Press 2009.
 
To learn more about Chechnya, read:
 
 
 
 
 
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Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.

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