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Jailed Mother of Kadyrov Critic Denied Parole

Zarema Musaeva. Yelena Afonina / TASS

A court in Russia’s republic of Chechnya on Tuesday denied a parole request for the mother of a prominent critic of Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov.

Zarema Musaeva, mother of activist Abubakar Yangulbaev and wife of the retired federal judge Saydi Yangulbaev, was handed a five-and-a-half-year prison sentence in July on charges of assaulting police officers and fraud. 

Chechnya’s Supreme Court in September reduced her sentence by six months, citing her chronic disease as mitigating circumstances. 

Musaeva, 54, was also allowed to be transferred from a penal colony to a prison settlement, a remote area where inmates are allowed to roam under the watch of guards.

On Tuesday, the Shali City Court rejected Musaeva’s parole request, siding with the prosecution and the prison colony’s arguments that “the goals of the punishment have not been met,” according to the rights group Crew Against Torture.

The group said Musaeva’s lawyer can file another parole request in six months. 

Civil rights activists criticized Musaeva’s jailing as retaliation for the political activities of her three sons Abubakar, Baysangur and Ibragim Yangulbaev — who are all vocal critics of Kadyrov.

Musaeva was violently detained by Chechen law enforcement in January 2022 at her home in Nizhny Novgorod, some 1,800 kilometers north of Chechnya where she was transferred to stand trial.

Chechen security officers had also tried detaining her husband but were unable to arrest him due to his judicial immunity.

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