Last week, a Chechen blogger and vocal critic of the Russian republic of Chechnya, died of multiple stab wounds in an attack at a hotel in northern France. This week, a human rights lawyer and an award-winning investigative reporter have been severely beaten in the Chechen capital of Grozny.
Marina Dubrovina and Yelena Milashina, a correspondent for the liberal Novaya Gazeta newspaper, say they were attacked as they returned to their hotel this weekend. They were left with serious bruising after an assault that lasted 15 minutes.
Elena Milashina, the renowned Russian journalist who broke the story of the crackdown on gay men in Chechnya, and Marina Dubrovina, a well-known Russian human rights lawyer, were attacked last night at their hotel in Grozny. https://t.co/g7FBRWjHQx— Christopher Miller (@ChristopherJM) February 7, 2020
Their assailants, a group of 15 men and women, were reportedly waiting for them as they entered the hotel lobby. The women in the group were first to attack, Milashina said, but after a while the men joined in too. At least one of the men in the group was filming the event.
“They surrounded us by the lift and started to push back,” the journalist wrote on social media. “They grabbed us by the neck and head and smashed our heads against the marble floor, punched me in the stomach and pulled at my hair.”
Worrying reports from Chechnya where Novaya Gazeta reporter Yelena Milashina and lawyer Marina Dubrovina were severely beaten by a group of people late last night in a Grozny hotel lobby. https://t.co/8F3SPwdccw— Nataliya Vasilyeva (@Nat_Vasilyeva) February 7, 2020
The two women linked the incident to their activism, and suggested the group had been made aware of their arrival in Grozny by a social media post.
The reporter who exposed Chechnya’s anti-LGBT pogrom was attacked in Grozny last night https://t.co/GKqPmWVigW— Miriam Elder (@MiriamElder) February 7, 2020
Both Milashina and Dubrovina have spent much of the past two decades documenting growing human rights abuses in the region. In 2017, Milashina broke the news of a campaign of torture and worse being carried out against hundreds of gay men in the region. She has been the target of personal threats from Chechnya’s leader, Ramzan Kadyrov.
Russian reporter Elena Milashina (Difference Day honorary doctor 2019), who exposed Chechen gay purge, attacked in Grozny. #Russia must be held accountable of any attack, esp. against human rights investigators. https://t.co/p4eD6I3Kn9 @PauwelsCpauwels @Molenews1 @astroehlein— jean-paul marthoz (@jpmarthoz) February 8, 2020
The incident happened after Imran Aliev, a 44-year-old blogger who was vocally opposed to Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, died when his throat was cut in France last week.
In Lille, #France, unidentified individuals brutally killed Imran Aliev, a blogger originally from #Chechnya, southern #Russia. Aliev had been publicly critical of Chechnya head Ramzan Kadyrov:https://t.co/EZty8OIRuz— Alex Kokcharov (@AlexKokcharov) February 4, 2020
Kadyrov, a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, has governed Chechnya since 2007, and several of his rivals have been killed in suspicious circumstances in recent years, including outside the Russian republic.
© 2000 - 2022 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)