Open Letter to Maher Zain
Aset Sabdulaeva, Deputy Chairman of the Union of Chechen Youth “Noxchiycho”, has published an open letter addressing to singer Maher Zain who showed up recently at an opening ceremony in the Russian occupied Chechnya.
Montreal, 22 May 2014
Subject: Open letter regarding your participation at the opening of the mosque built in honor of Ramzan Kadyrov’s mother in Chechnya
Dear Mr. Zain,
On your official Facebook page I saw a video filmed in Chechnya. I found out that, on the invitation of the bloody ruler of the Russian occupied Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, you attended the concert on the 16th of May 2014. I have to admit that I am very sad about your participation at this event organized by a person who has been accused for violation of human rights and freedoms in my country. In fact, Kadyrov invites different stars from around the world in order to raise his own fame and make a self-promotion as a prosperous leader who builds luxurious buildings and huge mosques. However, under these beautiful mosques lay thousands of innocent people. His aim is to hide the crimes of the war that took lives of 300 000 Chechen civilians for past 15 years.
Also, Kadirov is accused for ordering the murder of the key-witness Umar Israilov in Austria. Mr. Israilov supposed to appear at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg witnessing the crimes and tortures committed by Kadyrov personally. Medical records and injuries of Mr. Israilov confirmed the allegations presented by the victim:
“(…) In the gym, Ramzan Kadyrov showed me some sort of machine with a handle and told me that he had just obtained it and was going to try it out on me. Kadyrov’s guards forced me to sit down on the seat of one of the weight training machines and attached a wire to my ear, and another one to my little finger. Kadyrov then started to twirl the handle and he electrocuted me. I felt terrible pain in my head and hand. I can’t really find the words to describe the pain but it felt horrible. I could not stay seated. The current forced me to stand up. Kadyrov twirled the control handle for some seconds and then stopped. He laughed at my reaction to the current. His guards then forced me back onto the seat and Kadyrov started twirling the handle again. He repeated this procedure several times, each time inflicting electric shocks on me. After a few minutes, Kadyrov’s guards took me back to my cell. Kadyrov always came to the base in the evening (…).”
Mr. Israilov’s case is an example among thousands similar cases. Today Chechnya is in a state of fear. People face daily abductions and crimes committed by Chechen authorities that are not held accountable in front of justice. Given the fact that Kadyrov has an absolute power within Chechnya, he and his men do whatever they want. No democratic principals exist in Chechnya. The reports of European Council prove that Kadyrov is guilty for crimes committed against Chechen population since he is in office. It is enough to check the Wikipedia profile page of Kadyrov in order to understand what kind of person he is. Also, I invite you to read the reports of Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, or the International Federation of Human Rights.
Such mega events organized by Kadyrov is nothing, but a “propaganda and self-promotion of the President.” Unfortunately, you are not the only star who took part at the concerts organized by Kadyrov. Please, refer to the open letter written by the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights that addresses Mr. Kevin Costner, Ms. Vanessa Mae, Ms. Eva Mendes, Shakira and Hilary Swank. It is worth noting that Shakira and Eva Mendes rejected the offer. Also, Hilary Swank who went to the birthday party of Kadyrov apologized publically after being criticized by human rights activists. Therefore, I urge you to question yourself and reflect upon your visit to Chechnya; is it appropriate for a Muslim star to be the guest of a bloody ruler? This letter contains all the details justifying that Kadyrov is a dictator whose invitation should be rejected although he rewards with huge amount of money.
I believe in the message of love and peace you send to people through your songs. I believe in the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) whom you praise in your songs and who thought us to support those who are oppressed and to struggle against those who oppress innocent people. I believe in freedom and justice. If what you praise in your songs is something that you believe as well, please, do not participate at the events organized by a killer and a dictator. My people – is a deeply injured lonely wolf with bleeding wounds, suffering in silence at the ignorance of the whole world for last 20 years. Please, do not be an ignorant and silent accomplice in crimes committed by a dictator who deserves the condemnation by the international community.
The Deputy Chairman of The Union of Chechen Youth “Noxchiycho”