GROZNY, April 11 (RIA Novosti) – Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov on Thursday urged journalists working in his region to come up with unbiased criticism of any wrongdoing by the local authorities and officials.
“Who, if not you, will uncover the shortcomings and mistakes of the authorities? I call on you to impartially reveal all errors made by officials, this will only help us improve our work,” Kadyrov said at a meeting with journalists from local and federal media outlets.
“I’ve even invited human rights activists and asked them to voice all their complaints to me in person, instead of making up stories to please their foreign sponsors. No one was able to come up with any arguments,” he said.
Kadyrov, who rose to power in the republic in 2007 shortly after the 2004 assassination of his father Akhmad, who was also head of the republic, has been accused by various human rights activists of restoring what he says is law and order in the republic by abusing human rights and instituting a regime of fear.
Critics have accused the leader of involvement in a string of high-profile killings in recent years, including those of human rights advocate Natalia Estemirova and journalist Anna Politkovskaya.
Kadyrov has consistently denied any role in the murders and claims that his critics are conducting a smear campaign against him.