Chechen leader banished from Facebook, Instagram after US sanctions

Washington, Dec 29 (IANS): Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov has been publicly banished from Facebook and Instagram because of US sanctions, a media report said.

The US Treasury Department on Wednesday had sanctioned Kadyrov and four other Russian officials for human rights violations.

Until this week, the Chechen strongman, who has led the semi-autonomous Caucasus enclave since 2007, was seen ranting, wishing and posting selfies for all to see on Facebook and Instagram, reports The Washington Post.

He posed with French actor Gerard Depardieu and American boxer Floyd Mayweather.

He posted videos of him beating up his Sports Minister in a boxing ring, showcased a humiliating apology from a political opponent in Siberia and also cursed the US as a supporter of terrorism.

Now they were all gone: wiped clean in what is apparently the first time anyone has been publicly banished from Facebook and Instagram.

A spokesman for Facebook told The Washington Post on Wednesday that the Chechen leader was banned not for a violation of the social network's terms of service but because of his inclusion on the sanctions list.

For the moment, Kadyrov appears to be the only Facebook and Instagram exile over sanctions.

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