Anyone who publishes footage of officers detaining people who violate coronavirus quarantine on social media should be put to work as janitors as punishment, Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov has said.
The republic of Chechnya in Russia’s North Caucasus is under one of the country’s strictest coronavirus lockdowns, with steep fines for going outside without a pass and the region’s borders closed to the rest of Russia. Last week, a video posted to YouTube showed a Chechen officer unsuccessfully chasing down an alleged lockdown violator.
“If someone records with their phone as they detain someone who violated self-isolation … bring them in, make them work. Let them work as janitors in hospitals, in the Interior Ministry and other institutions. Let them see what condition the medical staff is in. … Because of these people, the number of infections is increasing,” the regional Caucasian Knot news agency quoted Kadyrov as saying at a televised coronavirus task force meeting Tuesday.
“Then they will understand what we are talking about,” he added.
Kadyrov, 43, has previously said that people who break quarantine should be “killed,” and likened Chechens who do not self-isolate and infect others to “terrorists” who should be buried in pits.
In March, a controversial video posted online showed Chechen officers armed with plastic pipes patrolling the streets to enforce compliance with the lockdown.
Chechnya has confirmed 615 coronavirus cases and eight deaths as of Tuesday, but observers warn these numbers could be higher.