Officials from Russia’s North Caucasus republic of Chechnya have called on members of its diaspora to stop their countrymen from “disgracing the Chechen people,” the independent Novaya Gazeta newspaper reported Monday.
This is the first time that the Chechen diasporas of the U.S. and especially Canada have been called upon to stop fellow Chechens who behave inappropriately, the newspaper said. Novaya Gazeta linked Delimkhanov’s pointed appeal to Canada's Chechen community with the country’s 2017 acceptance of 50 LGBT refugees from the region after they were reportedly tortured and threatened.
The Novaya Gazeta report strongly hints at a pattern of encouraging violence and vigilante behavior against those seen as 'inappropriate' by Chechen officials.
“You all know who behaves improperly and who does what,” Adam Delimkhanov, a State Duma deputy from Chechnya often called Kadyrov’s “right-hand man,” said to more than 500 Chechen diaspora members at a meeting in Moscow earlier this month.
“I'm telling you, those who live in Europe, America and Canada: Stop such people! By law, with our traditions and customs, we should resolve their problem,” Novaya Gazeta quoted Delimkhanov as saying. “We implore you, don’t let them embarrass the honor of our nation.”
Delimkhanov encouraged attendees to threaten offenders with handing them over to Chechen authorities in order to stop their behavior.
“You’ll tell them: Enough, you’ve messed up, stop or we’ll inform Chechen authorities and put you in their hands.”
According to Novaya Gazeta, Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov has been actively trying to control the Chechen diaspora since he came to power in 2007.
In 2017, members of Germany's Chechen community reportedly received video messages featuring a masked man threatening to “correct” those who stray from Chechen traditions.