Russian journalist beaten in Chechnya transferred to Moscow
The independent Russian investigative journalist Novaya Gazeta Elena Milachina, beaten up on Tuesday in Chechnya, was transferred to a hospital in Moscow, its editor-in-chief, Dmitri Mouratov, announced on Wednesday to Agence France-Presse. Attacked during a trip to this Russian republic in the Caucasus where reporters and activists are regularly attacked, Elena Milachina “was transferred to a hospital in Moscow”said Muratov.
The images of this 45-year-old journalist in hospital, with her arms bandaged, her hair partly shaved by her attackers and her face tinted with a green liquid, have gone around the world and sparked outrage in Russia and abroad. the stranger. Faced with the mobilization of human rights activists and the Russian political world denouncing the aggression, the Chechen leader, Ramzan Kadyrov, claimed to have “asked the competent services to do everything possible to identify the attackers”. While accusing without proof the “Western Secret Service” of being behind the aggression, the Chechen Minister of Information, Akhmed Dudayev, reproached Ms Milachina for having “insulted for years” Chechen forces.
Read also: Chechnya: a lawyer and a journalist violently attacked in Grozny
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According to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, President Vladimir Putin was informed of this attack “very serious which requires vigorous measures”. “All instructions have been given” to investigators to shed light on the attack, Peskov said Wednesday. In a new video broadcast by the media overnight from Tuesday to Wednesday, the journalist recounts the details of the attack, of which she was the victim as well as the lawyer Alexander Nemov who accompanied her to Grozny to attend the trial of Zarema Moussaïeva, the wife of a former federal judge, who became an opponent of Mr. Kadyrov.
“We were followed as soon as our plane took off” of Moscow, believes the journalist, known for her publications on extrajudicial executions in Chechnya. On arrival, their taxi made “barely 500 meters” before being stopped. About fifteen people extricate them from the vehicle to take them to a ditch where they are “methodically beaten up”she says, sitting on her hospital bed. “They wanted to get the password to access my phone” in “threatening to cut off our fingers”, said the journalist. She says her fellow lawyer was stabbed. As for her, the assailants « shaved (the head) then sprinkled with A vegetable »a green-colored surgical antiseptic that has been used in attacks on Russian opponents in recent years and always covered his face, neck and hands.
In February 2022, Elena Milachina had already had to leave Russia temporarily, according to her newspaper, after threats issued by Mr. Kadyrov who had called her a “terrorist”. Novaya Gazeta is one of the few strongholds of the free press in Russia and its editor, Mr. Muratov, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2021.