17 Apr 2017 Lvl. 1
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Alert created on: 17 Apr 2017 Russian Federation

Chechen Official and Preachers Threaten Novaya Gazeta Journalists

Source of threatState
CategoryHarassment and intimidation of journalists
Partner CPJ AEJ EFJ/IFJ Index IPI PEN RSF
No state reply yet
Partner CPJ AEJ EFJ/IFJ Index IPI PEN RSF
Novaya Gazeta issued a statement on 13 April 2017, saying it feared for the safety of its reporters after Adam Shahidov, an advisor to the Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov, and Muslim preachers accused the newspaper of defamation and threatened retaliation at a large gathering in a mosque in central Grozny.

Novaya Gazeta earlier this month published investigative articles reporting that more than 100 men whom authorities suspected of homosexual acts were rounded up and tortured in secret prisons in the North Caucasus republic. At least three men were killed, according to Novaya Gazeta. At the 3 April 2017, gathering of some 15,000 men, Shahidov called the Novaya Gazeta journalists "enemies of our faith and our motherland" and promised "vengeance." The resolution adopted at the gathering included a "promise that retribution will catch up with the hatemongers wherever and whoever they are, without a statute of limitations," according to Novaya Gazeta, which said in its statement that it was "obvious that the resolution will encourage religious fanatics to retaliate against our journalists." Novaya Gazeta editor Dmitry Muratov filed a complaint with the Prosecutor General's office on 8 April 2017. A Novaya Gazeta journalist who has conducted an investigation and reported on Chechen gays' rights violation has fled Russia.
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