Ramzan Kadyrov, Akhmad Kadyrov’s son and the head of his private army, personally took part in the torture of an imprisoned Chechen, according to a January 13 article by Nick Paton Walsh of the British daily The Guardian.
The young Chechen, for whom the British journalist used the pseudonym “Arbi,” told Walsh that police of the Kadyrov administration had arrested him about two months ago, accusing him of fighting as a rebel guerrilla. Arbi admitted that he had fought on the separatist side in the first Chechen war (as had Kadyrov himself), but said that “now I was staying at home.” The police took him to an abandoned building and beat him with a metal bar and with their Kalashnikov assault rifles. Two days later they took him to the notorious detention center at Hosi Yurt in eastern Chechnya, where he suffered another three days of beatings.
In was in Hosi Yurt that Ramzan Kadyrov personally visited the cell in which Arbi and three other captives were being held. According to Arbi’s account, Ramzan asked “Do you know who I am?” Arbi, who had previously seen his face on television, answered respectfully that he did recognize him. Ramzan then “hit me in the head,” Arbi said, “and kicked me in the groin. They beat me and broke my nose.”
Arbi was later released after his family paid a ransom through a police contact; he did not see Ramzan again. Asked by Walsh to comment, a spokesman for the Kadyrov administration denied the ex-prisoner’s account, suggesting that “there are many people in Chechnya who look like Ramzan.”