Freedom House – on transnational repression

Freedom House - on transnational repression

Of the 26 assassination attempts recorded in the organization’s report, 7 are associated with Russia

Human rights organization Freedom House presented a report on «transnational repression» – persecution of people by the authorities of their native countries outside the territory of these countries.

«Dozens of governments around the world systematically use violence against forced emigrants and diasporas, transcending national borders in an effort to stifle opposition sentiments», – noted in the organization’s press release.

The organization cites the 2018 assassination of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey as one of the clearest examples of transnational repression..

According to Freedom House, a total of 608 cases of direct transnational repression have been recorded since 2014, including killings, abductions, attacks, detentions and illegal deportations. In such actions 31 countries were noticed, and repression took place in 79 different countries. A total of 3.5 million people have been affected by direct or indirect repression.

The section on Russia in the report notes that its efforts are focused on two main lines: the pursuit of former insiders, whom the Kremlin considers a threat, and a large-scale campaign against Chechens challenging the leader of the republic, Ramzan Kadyrov. The authors note that 7 out of 26 recorded assassination attempts are associated with Russia. So, in just the last two years, three immigrants from Chechnya have been killed in Europe..

Freedom House - on transnational repression

According to the authors of the report, «the Kremlin’s approach to transnational repression is a natural continuation of its concept “political war”». According to the report, the Kremlin’s willingness to kill those it considers its enemies has manifested itself in at least four countries: Ukraine, Bulgaria, Germany and the United Kingdom. Examples include the poisoning of former intelligence officer Alexander Litvinenko in 2006 and the attempted murder of former double agent Sergei Skripal in 2018..

The report also notes that Russia is actively using the so-called «red cards» Interpol – international wanted list notifications. According to the authors of the report, Russia accounts for 38 percent of all issued in the world «red cards» (for comparison, the US accounts for 4.3 percent, China – 0.5 percent).

In addition, opposition-minded Russians living abroad are subject to surveillance and hacker attacks..

According to human rights activists, the Russian authorities tightly control cultural institutions and Russian-language information resources abroad in order to extend their influence to Russians living in other countries, but at the same time do not exert direct pressure on the diaspora as a whole..

An exception to this rule is Kadyrov, whose regime actively persecutes representatives of the Chechen diaspora, including through digital platforms. In September 2020, he announced the creation of a special agency to communicate with compatriots living abroad and promised to do good for Chechens «good», but bad – «what you need».


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