Tumso Abdurakhmanov, a Chechen dissident known for his vocal criticism of Chechnya’s strongman leader Ramzan Kadyrov, has reportedly been killed.
According to Chechen opposition movement 1ADAT, the dissident blogger was reportedly killed shortly after going missing in Sweden.
“Tumso was shot at night by a group of people,” 1ADAT said in a social media post Monday, citing unidentified sources.
1ADAT also claimed that Abdurakhmanov’s brother Muhammad had been “hidden away by the intelligence services.”
Anzor Maskhadov, a prominent figure among Chechenya’s European diaspora, confirmed Abdurakhmanov’s death. The news was later reported by Radio Svoboda, an affiliate of U.S. media outlet Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL).
Abdurakhmanov, 36, had previously survived an attempted assassination in Sweden two years ago when he was attacked in his home by an assailant wielding a hammer. A Swedish court sentenced the suspects to ten and eight years in prison, respectively.
The dissident had been living in exile since 2015, when he fled Chechnya due to threats to his life. He was denied asylum in Poland and has since remained in hiding in Sweden.
Swedish police have yet to confirm the reports surrounding Abdurakhmanov’s death.
Since his rise to power in 2007, Kadyrov has ruled the semi-autonomous republic of Chechnya like his personal fiefdom. He is routinely accused of orchestrating human rights abuses including assassinations, abductions, torture, extrajudicial killings, and purges targeting the local LGBTQ+ community.
Despite his harrowing human rights record, Kadyrov remains an influential figure in the world of mixed martial arts. He founded his own MMA organization and gyms—all of which were placed under U.S. Treasury sanctions—and has rubbed shoulders with some of the most well known figures in the sport, including former UFC champions such as Kamaru Usman, Justin Gaethje, Henry Cejudo, Frank Mir, Chris Weidman, Fabricio Werdum, Frankie Edgar, Kamaru Usman, and Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Kadyrov also has a longstanding relationship with UFC star Khamzat Chimaev, a Chechen native who currently resides in Sweden.
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