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'Lock up your wives and don't let them use WhatsApp'

The leader of Chechnya made the calls after a story of an arranged marriage spread on the messaging app.

Russia Chechnya Ramzan Kadyrov Source: Musa Sadulayev/AP/Press Association Images

THE LEADER OF Chechnya has reportedly called for husbands to lock up their wives and ban them from using WhatsApp.

Reports of an arranged marriage has sparked controversy in the Russian state, with the story spreading on the messaging service.

The boss of the local police force, who is approaching 50, married a 17-year-old girl over the weekend.

The bride was his second wife, which is allowed under Islamic law but not Russian.

Kheda Goilabiyeva, Nazhud Guchigov, Magomed Daudov A scene from the wedding. Source: AP

Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov is considered to have voiced support for polygamy previously – and his chief of staff was best man at the wedding.

Grozny, a state-run television station, quotes Kadyrov as saying that the public need to ‘behave like Chechens’, and not to spread rumours.

“Do not write such things,” he said, according to the BBC, “Men, do take your women out of WhatsApp.”

Lock them in, do not let them go out, then they will not post anything.

He is seen in the footage reprimanding members of the public for sending messages about the wedding.

The story was first revealed by investigative paper Novaya Gazeta, but Kadyrov has branded it “full of lies”.

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Kabyrov has enjoyed an exclusive relationship with Putin, who saw him as the linchpin for peace in Chechnya after two devastating separatist wars that killed tens of thousands.

In exchange for restoring stability, Putin gave Kabyrov, a former rebel, carte blanche to run the region in the North Caucasus as his personal fiefdom and funded a costly reconstruction.

Lavish reconstruction projects along with Kadyrov’s promotion of Islamic law and his rejection of federal controls have helped swell his popularity, enhancing stability.

The Kremlin, in turn, has sheltered the Chechen leader from criticism over killings, abductions, torture and other abuses by his feared security forces.

Additional reporting by The Associated Press

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Nicky Ryan

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