A vocal critic of strongman Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov has reportedly been hospitalized after being beaten and having his family threatened by a Chechen state television journalist.
Minkail Malizayev’s wife and children were deported from Germany last week after their asylum application was rejected, the Kavkaz.Realii news website reported.
In a YouTube video published Sunday, Malizayev said he refused to record a video apology to Kadyrov after sending an audio apology to a man who introduced himself as state Chechen television correspondent Beslan Dadayev.
Televised apologies by ordinary Chechens who criticize the Russian North Caucasus republic’s leader occur regularly in Chechnya.
According to Malizayev, Dadayev said he was sent by his boss Akhmed Dudayev and Kadyrov with a warning that “your wife will be raped and we will kill all your children if you don’t record a video address.”
The fate of Malizayev’s family in Russia remains unclear, Kavkaz.Realii said.
“They beat me severely […] They broke my hand, my foot, and injured my head,” Malizayev said, naming Dadayev and a Berlin-based Chechen he called Mayirbek as his attackers.
Kavkaz.Realii reported that a “group of anonymous avengers” tracked down and beat Dadayev and his partner later on Sunday, citing an uncorroborated video that claimed to show the act of revenge.
“If I get deported, death awaits me in Russia,” Malizayev said in closing.