A self-exiled Chechen human rights activist and critic of the Russian region’s leader Ramzan Kadyrov, Mansur Sadulayev, has reportedly been detained in Sweden at the request of Russian authorities.
Sadulayev, who has been living in Sweden since 2017, is known as a supporter of Chechnya’s independence from Russia.
From his residence in Sweden, he has been a harsh online critic of Kadyrov, describing him as “the chief of the Russian occupational administration.”
Russian media reported that Sadulayev was detained on July 9 upon his arrival at a Stockholm airport, quoting another activist, Tumso Abdrakhmanov.
He has since been taken to a police facility in Sweden’s eastern city of Norrkoping.
No official comment has been issued of the arrest.
Together with other self-exiled activists, Sadulayev formed the Swedish-based Vayfond Charity and Human Rights Association, a nongovernmental organization that aims to protect the rights of Chechens and to seek justice for Chechens and other ethnic groups in Russia’s North Caucasus region who are persecuted for “religious and political reasons.”
The activists accuse Kadyrov of ruling through repressive measures and creating a climate of impunity for security forces in the province.
They accuse him of persecution of political opponents by Chechen authorities that include forced disappearances, torture, and extra-judicial killings.
Kremlin critics say President Vladimir Putin turns a blind eye to the alleged abuses and violations of the Russian Constitution by Kadyrov because he relies on the former rebel commander to control separatist sentiments and violence.