Chechen leader's son not investigated for beating prisoner as he is under-age - agency

  • World
  • Wednesday, 04 Oct 2023

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting with Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov in Moscow, Russia, September 28, 2023. Sputnik/Mikhail Metzel/Pool via REUTERS/ File Photo

(Reuters) - The son of Ramzan Kadyrov, leader of Russia's Chechnya region, will not be investigated for beating up a prisoner accused of burning the Koran as he is only 15, the Russian online news provider Baza reported on Wednesday.

Kadyrov had said he was proud of his son Adam for acquiring "adult ideals of honour, dignity and defence of his religion", recirculating a video in which a young man in khaki punches and kicks a man cowering in a chair before wrestling him to the floor and slapping him on the head.

The prisoner, Nikita Zhuravel, had complained about the attack in August to Russia's human rights ombudswoman, who said she had referred the issue to her counterpart in Chechnya.

But Baza, which has close connections to Russian security services, said the Chechen interior ministry had declined to open a case because Adam Kadyrov was under 16, the age of criminal responsibility.

Ramzan Kadyrov enjoys wide leeway from President Vladimir Putin to run Chechnya ruthlessly as his personal fiefdom, but angered even pro-Kremlin hardliners with his praise for his son's actions in beating up an ethnic Russian.

The alleged Koran-burning did not take place in Chechnya but Russian investigators said they had transferred Zhuravel to Chechen custody because Muslims there saw themselves as victims of the incident.

Ramzan Kadyrov, who turns 47 on Thursday, has ruled Chechnya with an iron fist since becoming president in 2007. He has enjoyed generous funding from Putin to ensure the mainly Muslim region's loyalty to Moscow and rebuild it from the devastation of two wars that prevented its secession from Russia.

Kadyrov has been giving increasing publicity to Adam and his two older brothers, the eldest of whom was photographed with Putin in the Kremlin in March.

(Reporting by Reuters; Writing by Kevin Liffey; Editing by Gareth Jones)

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