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Chechen leader's son gets third medal after beating blasphemy accused

Chechen leader's son gets third medal after beating blasphemy accused
October 25, 2023 Web Desk

MOSCOW (AFP) - The teenage son of strongman Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov has been awarded a third medal by the Russian authorities, after he violently beat a prisoner accused of burning the Koran.

Kadyrov has led Russia's Muslim-majority Chechen region since 2007, imposing an authoritarian regime that has been accused of numerous human rights abuses. "I have decided to award Adam Kadyrov with the highest state award of the republic," the head of Russia's southern Karachay-Cherkess region, Rashid Temrezov, said Wednesday.

Temrezov did not mention the beating in his statement, which praised the 15-year-old for his "personal contribution to the development of interethnic and interregional unity and the strengthening of traditional Islamic values."

He had already received the Order of Duslyk medal from the head of Russia's Tatarstan region and the Hero of Chechnya award from his father, a move criticised by Tatarstan lawmaker Azat Khamaev. 

Khamaev later issued an apology for his criticism. Russian officials largely turned a blind eye after Kadyrov in September shared a video of his son beating a prisoner accused of burning a Koran in front of a Mosque.

Kadyrov, one of President Vladimir Putin's most vocal supporters, has been accused by rights groups of brutally crushing all opposition and turning Chechnya into his personal domain. He has repeatedly advocated for Moscow to use extreme military options in its Ukraine offensive and previously announced he would send his three teenage sons to fight.