Chechnya Just Implemented the Harshest Anti-Terror Laws Anywhere

Scene after gunfight Dec 4, 2014, that left at least 20 dead Photo: Saslanbek Isayev/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Just a day after a deadly terrorist attack in the Chechen capital of Grozny, the North Caucasus republic’s leader announced sweeping anti-terror laws that may just be the harshest in the world, punishing the terrorist’s family as well as local officials. The buff pro-Kremlin social media aficionado made the announcement on his usual mode of communication, Instagram.

“If a militant in Chechnya kills a policeman or any other person, the militant’s family will be immediately banished from Chechnya without the right to return, and their house will be razed to the ground,” Ramzan Kadyrov wrote as part of his announcement, apparently borrowing a tactic from Israel’s anti-terrorism playbook. To avoid such punishment, Kadyrov wrote that a father who suspects his son is radicalizing must turn him over to the authorities or “stop him using other means,” remaining frighteningly ambiguous about what those other means might be.

In addition, Kadyrov announced that he expects local leaders to immediately tender their resignations if even one person from their districts takes up arms against the state…

If they are kicked out of Chechnya, where will they go? Some other part of Russia, is my guess — so how does that reduce the overall violence in Russia? It doesn’t. But that is not Kadyrov’s problem.