Umarova has applied for asylum in Finland, saying she is afraid for herself and her children.
“I’m afraid to live in a country that doesn’t protect us, where masked men can barge into my house and take away my son, and where I don’t have the right to defend my opinion,” Umarova said.
According to the singer, Muslims and people from the Caucasus are being persecuted and killed in Russia. She said the situation has further deteriorated in the country after the recent elections.
“Life in Russia is worse than ever,” Umarova said, explaining that as a mother of three children she does not have the power to fight the system.
Umarova is regarded as one of the most famous Chechen singers today. She performed in Finland on July 7 at the PAX festival, organised in Helsinki by a Finnish peace organisation.