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Kadyrov Takes Mom's Advice, Drops Libel Case

Kadyrov, seen here in 2007, was told by his mother, Aimani, that it was against Chechen traditions to enter into disputes with the elderly. Vladimir Filonov

Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov has withdrawn his libel lawsuits against two prominent rights activists and the liberal newspaper Novaya Gazeta after human rights activists, religious leaders and, finally, his mother asked him to drop the cases, his spokesman said Tuesday.

Kadyrov had filed libel suits against Lyudmila Alexeyeva, head of the Moscow Helsinki Group, Oleg Orlov, head of rights watchdog Memorial, and Novaya Gazeta — all having accused the Chechen leader of ordering kidnappings and killings in the North Caucasus republic.

Numerous human rights activists and Public Chamber members had called on Kadyrov to drop the proceedings, and the Chechen president "stresses that the opinion of the people who have addressed him in letters is very important to him," his spokesman, Alvi Karimov, said in a statement posted on the Chechen government's web site Tuesday.

But Kadyrov was apparently also nudged within his own family: His mother, Aimani, asked him to withdraw the lawsuits, saying it was against Chechen traditions to enter into disputes with the elderly, Karimov said.

Senior Chechen religious leaders had also asked Kadyrov to withdraw the lawsuits, Karimov said.  

The prominent public figures who wrote to Kadyrov suggested that he should focus on solving the economic and social problems in Chechnya instead of "wasting time on litigation," Karimov said.   

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