Reporter Elena Milashina, who exposed the torture and murder of homosexual men in Chechnya for Novaya Gazeta, was in Grozny to cover the trial of Zarema Musayeva, the mother of exiled opposition activists. According to Novaya Gazeta, Ms. Milashina and the lawyer defending Ms. Musayeva, Alexander Nemov, were attacked by masked men who beat them with clubs, stole their phones, and demanded that they open them. Equipment and paperwork were also lost.
According to the statement, Ms. Milashina was knocked unconscious many times, had brain damage, and had broken fingers. The article claims that Mr. Nemov was the victim of a stabbing.
The publication published a picture of the journalist on a hospital stretcher, her hands and wrists bandaged and her hair mostly shorn off. The picture was published with her OK, according to Noyava Gazeta.
On Tuesday, the press freedom and violence against journalists monitoring organisation Reporters Without Borders condemned the “savage attack” on Ms. Milashina. In nearly three decades of publication, the independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta has seen the deaths of six of its journalists. Dmitri A. Muratov, the magazine’s editor, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2021. After Russia’s all-out invasion of Ukraine, the periodical stopped coming out in Russia due to censorship regulations in effect during times of conflict.
In the early years of 2022, Ms. Musayeva was abducted from her downtown Russian apartment building while wearing just her robe and slippers and driven to Chechnya. Abubakar and Ibragim Yangulbayev, both famous government opponents who had angered Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, were believed to have been among those kidnapped along with their mother.
In the past, Mr. Kadyrov had labelled Ms. Milashina as a “terrorist accomplice” for siding with the Yangulbayevs.