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9 Feb, 2010 13:39

Mother makes Chechen president withdraw lawsuit against HR activists

The mother of the president of Russia’s Chechen Republic has asked her son to withdraw lawsuits against human rights activists. She said quarrelling with people much older than you is against Chechen traditions.

“Chechens have always backed before those of superior age, even if they did not agree with their opinion,” said Aimani Kadyrova, as cited on the official website of the Chechen president. Other respectable people in Russia, statesmen, journalists, clerics, sent similar appeals to Ramzan Kadyrov, the statement adds.

Apparently Kadyrov, 33, acted in accordance with the said traditions, since he humored the request and withdrew his lawsuits. The Chechen leader sued for slander Oleg Orlov, 56, head of the Memorial organization, and Ludmila Alekseeva, 82, head of the Moscow Helsinki Group, both of which are renowned Russian human rights organizations.

Orlov earlier put personal blame on Kadyrov for the death of Memorial employee Natalya Estemirova, who went missing in Chechen capital Grozny in July 2009. Her body was later found in neighboring Ingushetia.

As for Alekseeva, at a media conference in May 2008, she stated that “Kadyrov’s gangs are moving around Chechnya, killing, kidnapping people, doing whatever they want”. Kadyrov was suing her for slander as well for these words.

Another defamation lawsuit withdrawn by Kadyrov on Tuesday was against the Novaya Gazeta newspaper. He was seeking compensation for a report on a killing of Kadyrov’s former guard in Vienna and which accused the Chechen president of murder, torture and threatening.

Aimani Kadyrova is involved in public work in Chechnya, patronizing a number of charities.

However, despite the official version, the motivation behind Kadyrov’s move is not transparent at all, said editor in chief of Suddeutsche Zeitung Moscow Bureau, Sonja Zekri.

“Frankly speaking, I had a good laugh when I heard that all of a sudden Kadyrov discovered that he has a mother and all of a sudden he started, after all these years, listening to what his mother said,” Zekri told RT.

“I didn’t find it convincing at all and I though that might be something – he mentions today that he might run for the second time for president of Chechnya and it might be something for home consumption showing that he is a good son,” she added.