A prominent Russian investigative journalist has been brutally attacked on a business trip to Chechnya, a Russian republic ruled by Vladimir Putin’s close ally Ramzan Kadyrov, who had previously described the reporter as a “terrorist”.
Elena Milashina, 45, and lawyer Alexander Nemov, who was also badly beaten, were detained by masked gunmen as they arrived in the regional capital Grozny for a trial related to human rights abuses.
The couple received death threats and had guns pointed to their heads, reportedly, while Milashina had her head shaved and her fingers broken in a brutal assault.
The reporter, who works for the banned independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta, also received head injuries, fainted multiple times and was sprayed with green dye in the vile attack.
Nemov, 35, was stabbed with a knife and sustained injuries to his legs, according to human rights group Team Against Torture, but still intends to attend the trial, which they both traveled to the state to attend.
Reporter Elena Milashina, who works for the independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta, also received head injuries, fainted several times and was sprayed with green dye.
Chechen human rights commissioner Mansur Soltaev in hospital visiting Ms. Milashina, a journalist for the banned independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta.
Lawyer Alexander Nemov and Ms. Milashina board an ambulance at the Grozny hospital
Kadyrov, sanctioned in the West for alleged human rights abuses, is one of Putin’s staunchest supporters in the war with Ukraine.
He previously branded Ms. Milashina a terrorist, one of those who were supposedly “always destroyed” in her republic.
Rumors have swirled in recent days about his health amid claims that he is suffering from acute kidney or liver problems.
Referring to the attack on Ms. Milashina and Mr. Nemov, the human rights group Memorial said in a statement on Telegram: “They were brutally kicked, including in the face, threatened with death, a gun was pointed to their heads and They took away their equipment.” removed and crushed.
‘While they were being beaten, they were told: ‘You have been warned. Get out of here and don’t write anything.
They were hospitalized and the prominent investigative journalist is to be transferred to another Russian region for further treatment.
Chechnya is a Russian republic ruled by Vladimir Putin’s close ally Ramzan Kadyrov (pictured), who previously described the reporter as a “terrorist.”
The couple had been in Chechnya to attend a court case involving Zarema Musaeva, mother of persecuted Chechen activists Abubakar and Ibragim Yangulbaev.
Ms. Musaeva was kidnapped in January 2022 in the Russian city of Nizhny Novgorod and transported to a remand prison in Grozny.
She was charged with ‘using violence against a police officer’ and faces more than five years in prison for what is considered politically motivated persecution.
Ms. Milashina works for Novaya Gazeta, Russia’s leading independent news source, run by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Dmitry Muratov.
Then-US First Lady Michelle Obama, left, and then-US Secretary of State John Kerry, right, honor Russian human rights activist Elena Milashina with the International Award of Women Courage of the Secretary of State in 2013.
A newspaper statement today said: ‘Several masked people severely beat Elena and Alexander, took their phones, demanded they unlock them, destroyed their equipment and documents. They were beaten with batons and kicked.
‘Elena Milashina has a closed head injury and several broken fingers on her hands. The doctors are not sharing the results of her MRI. Elena has passed out several times.
The lawyer Nemov was beaten and stabbed with a knife. However, he still plans to attend the court hearing.
The Russian Commissioner for Human Rights, Tatyana Moskalkova, agreed to intervene in the situation at the request of the editorial staff,” Novaya Gazeta wrote.
The Reporters Without Borders media rights group said it was “appalled by the savage attack” on Milashina.
Novaya Gazeta had its media license withdrawn last year, a move Muratov said was politically motivated.
Since 2000, six of its journalists and collaborators have been killed, including investigative reporter Anna Politkovskaya.
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