STOCKHOLM – Chechen blogger escapes attempted murder

Chechen blogger Tumso Abdurahmanov, a vocal critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, who has been hiding in Sweden, escaped attempted murder last week after being the target of an attack, Swedish Radio reported on Wednesday.

It was unclear, at first, where the attack had even taken place.

While it was first reported that the attack happened in Poland, Norwegian television then claimed the scene of the incident was in Gävle, a town in Sweden. The Swedish Security Service, known as Säpo, said it had been aware of the event but refused to comment. 

Yet, a 20-year-old Russian citizen has now been taken into custody, according to Swedish Radio.

The Chechen blogger’s lawyer, Jens Sjölund, commented, however:

“My client woke up when he was being hit on the head. Someone unknown to him had infiltrated his home. During a short struggle he managed to defend himself and reverse the situation,” the lawyer explained.

After the incident, Abdurahmanov even released a video clip, in which the presumed attacker lies on the floor, claiming he came from Moscow and was sent by a man in Grozny, Chechnya. The man also claimed that Abdurahmanov’s mother was being held captive.

This is not the first attack targeted against Chechen dissidents. Last August, Chechen dissident Zelinham Hangosvili was murdered in Berlin, for which investigative journalism website Bellingcat accused Vadim Krasikov, a Russian citizen with connections to the secret service. And just a month ago, another Chechen blogger, Imran Aliev, was murdered in the French city of Lille.

(Pekka Vänttinen | EURACTIV.com)

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