Dismissed for starring in The Family

June 2, 2015
Alikhan Akhemodov in the Family
Alikhan Akhemodov in the Family

Relatives of Chechen people who appeared in The Family, the Open Russia documentary film that takes a highly critical look at Ramzan Kadyrov, leader of the Russian Republic of Chechnya, are now being dismissed from their work.

On 1st June, the mother of Alikhan Akhemodov, who had agreed to talk on camera about   incidents of torture at a Chechen OMON [riot police] base, was fired from her work. The woman was given a simple explanation for her dismissal: “It’s all because your son starred in The Family.”

Alikhan Akhemodov is a former criminal investigator in the Grozny Department of the Interior (ROVD). In the film it is stated that he was subjected to “brutal beatings at a Chechen OMON base, ordered by personal decree of OMON commander Alikhan Tsakaev, a former classmate of Ramzan Kadyrov’s.”

The Family was released on May 25, and has already been viewed by more than a million people (source Open Russia).

The next day, Ramzan Kadyrov uploaded to his Instagram account, a “trailer” for a future Hollywood feature film, a thriller entitled Those Who Have Not Understood Will Understand, in which he claims to have a starring role.

Prior to its release, The Family was already in the news. On April 16, Open Russia’s Moscow offices were searched, and computers and hardware seized. Mikhail Khodorkovsky, founder of the Open Russia movement, linked the actions of the Ministry of Internal Affairs to the making of the film.