The head of the North Caucasus region of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, long accused of grave human rights abuses, has been named “distinguished human rights defenders” by the regional human rights ombudsman.
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Ombudsman Nurdi Nukhazhiyev, at a ceremony in Grozny on December 30 that was not attended by Kadyrov, said the Kadyrov family had made an “enormous contribution…to securing human rights and strengthening the state.”
A video of the ceremony was posted on the Internet by Grozny state television.
In addition to Kadyrov, the medals were awarded to his father, former Chechen President Akhmad Kadyrov, and his mother, Aimani Kadyrova.
Akhmad Kadyrov was president of Chechnya from 2003 until his assassination in May 2004.
Earlier in the month, Kadyrov’s daughter, Aishat Kadyrova, who serves as Chechnya’s culture minister, was awarded the medal For the Defense of Human Rights.
Russian and international human rights monitors have for years accused Ramzan Kadyrov of overseeing grave human rights abuses including abductions, torture, extrajudicial killings, and the persecution of the LGBT community.