RFE/RL – Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (Author)
A prominent Chechen blogger, Tumso Abdurakhmanov, says he has been detained in the Georgian capital, Tbilisi.
Abdurakhmanov told RFE/RL via an audio message that he was detained in Tbilisi on July 16. It is not clear why Abdurakhmanov was detained, but he said that he is not facing potential extradition to Russia at this point.
Abdurakhmanov fled Chechnya, in Russia's North Caucasus, in November 2015 after officials there accused him of fighting alongside the extremist group Islamic State (IS) in Syria.
Abdurakhmanov has said that he has never been to Syria, and contends that the charges against him are politically motivated.
He says that he came under pressure in Chechnya after failing to clear the way on a road for a motorcade escorting Islam Kadyrov, a cousin of Moscow-backed Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov. Islam Kadyrov was Ramzan Kadyrov's chief of staff at the time.In November 2016, Georgian authorities rejected Abdurakhmanov's request for political asylum. Abdurakhmanov appealed the decision and his appeal is currently under consideration by Georgian authorities.
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