(Washington) The United States announced Monday that Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov is no longer allowed to enter the United States, accusing him of “gross violations” of human rights in his country.
France Media Agency
Washington has “a great deal of credible information that Ramzan Kadyrov has been responsible for gross human rights violations for more than 10 years, including acts of torture and extrajudicial killings, ”US Foreign Minister Mike Pompeo said in a statement.
Visa applications from Mr. Kadyrov, his wife Medni or their two daughters Aishat and Karina, will be refused, he said, on the basis of a law punishing foreign officials suspected of violating human rights.
The United States “encourages” other countries to do the same.
Washington had already declared Chechen Prime Minister Muslim Khuchyev undesirable in the United States.
Ramzan Kadyrov responded by posting to Telegram messaging a picture of himself with assault weapons with the comment: “Pompeo, we accept the fight!” From now on, things will get more interesting! “
On social media, he then deplored the “truly abject” decision to include his family in these sanctions.
“OK, let's say I violated 100 times human rights. But how do you explain the sanctions against my wife and daughter? What crimes have they committed and what rights have they violated? He asked, accusing US officials of being “schemers” and “global liars and provocateurs”.
Ramzan Kadyrov, 43 years, has been holding an iron fist for more than 10 in the Russian Caucasian republic, Muslim and conservative, ravaged by two separatist conflicts at the end of the years 90.
Having come to power in Chechnya after the assassination of his father Akhmad in a bomb attack in 924, he orchestrated the fight against separatists and jihadists at the cost, according to human rights defenders, of countless exactions and extrajudicial executions.
Several Chechen dissidents have been assassinated in recent months in Europe. Mamikhan Oumarov, 43 years, critical voice towards the Chechen regime and who had requested political asylum in Austria, was shot dead in early July near Vienna.
In January 2020, Imran Aliev, a blogger from 44 years old, had been found stabbed dead in a hotel room in Lille (northern France).
In February, Toumso Abdourakhmanov, a Chechen blogger critical of Ramzan Kadyrov, was attacked in Sweden.
M. Kadyrov is close to Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Russia has vowed to respond to Washington's decision.
“It will be difficult to take reciprocal measures, but we will reflect,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told Russian news agencies.