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Chechnya TV Shows Trio Confessing To 'Witchcraft'

The three "repent" on camera and promise to stop "doing bad things." 
The three "repent" on camera and promise to stop "doing bad things." 

GROZNY, Russia -- Two women and a man have been shown on state-run TV in Russia's North Caucasus region of Chechnya confessing to "witchcraft."

The Chechen State Television and Radio Corporation (ChGTRK) on September 21 aired a report in which the three "confess to having a long-term contract with the devil."

The trio, from the Urus-Martan district southwest of Grozny, were identified as Zina Chakayeva, Maya Zilbukharova, and Tagir Mutayev.

In the TV report, the three are shown in a room with a chief physician at the so-called Center for Islamic Medicine in Grozny, Islamic cleric Adam Elzhurkayev, who calls them "Satans."

Elzhurkayev alleges that the group "cheated ordinary people by predicting their future and removing jinxes" for many years, which he says is against Islam.

The three "repent" on camera and promise to stop "doing bad things."

The husband of one of the women is seen saying he was guilty of allowing his wife to perform "witchcraft" and promising to control her activities in the future.

Earlier in September, the channel aired two reports in which several women also confessed to "witchcraft."

The detention and public condemnation of those allegedly involved in witchcraft have been hailed by many social-media users in the mostly Muslim-populated region and other parts of Russia.

However, others challenged the crackdown, asking whether it is compatible with Russian law.

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