russian lawyer and journalist brutally attacked in chechnya
Last updated on July 7th, 2023 at 06:41 am
In the early hours of Tuesday morning in the Russian region of Chechnya, armed masked men attacked and severely hurt a prominent female journalist and a lawyer, according to the journalist, her employer, and rights organizations.
Alexander Nemov, a lawyer, and Yelena Milashina, a well-known journalist for the Novaya Gazeta newspaper, were being attacked as they were traveling from the nearby airport to Grozny, the capital of Chechnya.
Both survivors have been transferred to a hospital in a nearby area and are anticipated to be flown to Moscow for additional treatment. They had been scheduled to attend a court hearing in the case of a woman they believed was being unfairly persecuted for political reasons.
It was just like any other kidnapping. Milashina told a Chechen human rights official, Mansur Soltayev, as she lay in the Grozny hospital before being moved, “They tied my hands, kneeled me down, put a gun to my head, pinned (our driver) down, threw him out of his car, got in, and bent our heads down.”
Experience the shocking truth behind the harrowing ordeal faced by courageous journalists Milashina and Nemov, as revealed by the esteemed illegal rights organization, Memorial. Prepare to be astounded as you delve into a world where brutality knows no bounds – a world where these fearless individuals were subjected to relentless kicks, even to their very faces. The sinister threat of death loomed ominously over them, while a chilling gun was callously pressed against their heads. To add insult to injury, their invaluable equipment was ruthlessly confiscated and destroyed, leaving them defenseless. Brace yourself for an account that will leave you questioning the depths of humanity.
“Caution has been duly issued,” they were sternly reminded amidst the relentless blows. “Vacate this space immediately and refrain from any further expression,” Memorial asserted resolutely in an official statement conveyed via Telegram.
A picture of Milashina, whose newspaper’s license was revoked in Russia last year, showed her lying on a hospital bed with bandages on her left arm and proper hand and reports that several of her fingers had been broken. Her attackers had doused her in green dye and shaved her head.
The Kremlin claimed that President Vladimir Putin had been informed of “a very serious attack” that required an investigation and “energetic measures” to be taken in response.
We’ll resolve it, wrote Ramzan Kadyrov, the leader of Chechnya and a close Putin ally, on Telegram. I have given the competent services the go-ahead to do everything possible to find the attackers.
The attack was denounced and an investigation was demanded by some Russian lawmakers and officials in Moscow. Tatyana Moskalkova, Russia’s human rights commissioner, argued that those responsible should face consequences.
Chechen senator Mokhmad Akhmadov was quoted by RIA as saying that he thought Kadyrov would find the truth and that he did not believe the attack had received official approval.
Milashina has spent years looking into alleged human rights violations in Chechnya, including what she claimed was the widespread detention and torture of gay men there. She has also faced numerous threats, including to her life.
After Kadyrov labeled her a terrorist in a social media post and she was attacked in Chechnya in 2020, her employer evacuated her from Russia last year.
Kadyrov disputes claims of rights violations and claims that those making them are out to discredit Chechnya and its leaders.
The lawyer who was traveling with her, Nemov, was reportedly stabbed in the leg by the masked assailants, who used three cars to block the vehicle he and Milashina were in, according to the rights group “Team against Torture.”
Milashina and Nemov, who were said to have sustained numerous fractures in the attack, were in Chechnya to attend Zarema Musayeva’s sentencing. Zarema Musayeva was charged with assaulting a police officer and fraud, both of which she denied, in a case that some viewed as retaliation against her husband and sons, who Kadyrov believed to be disloyal and had fled the country.
Musayeva was found guilty on Tuesday and given a five-and-a-half-year prison term by a Chechen court.
The Nobel Peace Prize winner Dmitry Muratov’s Novaya Gazeta was stripped of its media license by a Russian court last year; Muratov claimed the decision was made for political reasons.