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Chechnya elects President amid calls for missing persons probe

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Chechnya elects President amid calls for missing persons probe

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The Chechen parliament has applauded the election of the Republic’s new President: a 30-year old accused by his critics of kidnap and murder. Ramzan Kadyrov- the man nominated by Russian President Vladimir Putin- received 56 of the 59 parliamentary votes.

Kadyrov’s father, the previous President, was killed in a bomb blast two years ago.

Putin hails him as the strong leader Chechnya needs to stabilise and rebuild the Russian republic devastated by years of conflict between separatists and pro-Moscow forces.

But European Human Rights delegate Thomas Hammarberg has called for light to be shed on what happened to an estimated 2,500 Chechens who’ve gone missing in the last decade.

“I propose a truth commission be set up in order to clarify as much as possible the fate of those disappeared and also to clarify other past crimes.”

On meeting Hammarberg this week, Kadyrov said that in his former post as Prime Minister he wasn’t in charge of human rights but will, as President, look into the matter.