In a disturbing video that has emerged, Salman Tepsurkayev, a Russian teen who was critical of Chechnya leader Ramzan Kadyrov is forced to sit on a bottle as an act of apology, the Daily Beast reports.
In news that has emerged overnight and so far only reported in the Advocate and The Daily Beast. The teen was forced to strip naked by Kadyrov’s men for daring to criticise the regime on social media.
The 19-year-old had been a moderator of an anti-government Telegram channel that was targeted at the Russian republic of Chechnya, which is governed by Vladimir Putin ally Ramzan Kadyrov.
Kadyrov and his militia are notorious for their brutal persecutions and for forcing Russians to publicly apologise for social media posts and blogs that are critical of the regime. The video, which was reportedly recorded on Monday night, takes these acts to a new low.
In the video Tepsurkayev apologizes in the Chechen language and then he turns away from the camera, grabs an empty bottle and sits on top of it. The video went viral in Russia.
In Chechnya, however, many called for a radical response. Ekaterina Sokirianskaya, director of The Conflict Analysis and Prevention Centre, which monitors Chechen Telegram channels said, “People are furious, many call to take up weapons; I can also see posts of other nationals in Northern Caucasus saying that if Chechens tolerate this, they have been morally murdered.”
Dozens of bloggers posted videos in support of the teen. “They humiliate, destroy people in Chechnya with cynicism,” video blogger Dmitri Ivanov, who posts under the name Kamikadzedead, said on his YouTube channel. “And now they put disloyal Chechens on a bottle and shoot videos about it.”
A long-time monitor of Chechnya’s human rights violations, Sokirianskaya said she was bombarded with messages from Chechen nationals all over the world. “Chechen women and men said they felt sick, shocked, humiliated; many did not know how to continue their life with dignity,” Sokirianskaya told The Daily Beast.
“The Kremlin officials should realise how much Chechen people respect traditions, many take this public rape allegedly forced by authorities personally, such horrible violation is a provocation of violence,” Sokrianskaya said.
In June this year, HBO aired Welcome To Chechnya a film that documented the widespread anti-LGBTQ purge that was being undertaken by Ramzan Kadyrov.
Kadyrov denies the abduction, torture and imprisonment of LGBTQ people, telling film maker David France, “we don’t have such people here.”