Russia Launches Criminal Probe After Award-Winning Reporter Attacked
STRATEGIC ASSESSMENT. Russian investigators on Wednesday said they had launched a criminal investigation after award-winning journalist Yelena Milashina was badly beaten in Chechnya.
Milashina, 45, covers rights abuses in Chechnya, the Caucasus republic ruled for years by Ramzan Kadyrov, a former warlord.
Milashina, who reports for Russia’s top independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta, and Alexander Nemov, a lawyer, were badly beaten this week in the restive republic of Chechnya.
She is in a “difficult” condition in a Moscow hospital, her editor told AFP earlier in the day.
The Investigative Committee, which probes serious crimes, said in a statement it opened a criminal inquiry into the intentional infliction of “moderate” bodily harm and “light” bodily harm.
The top investigator in Chechnya, Vitaly Volkov, told the head of the Investigative Committee, Alexander Bastrykin, that the investigation had been launched following a preliminary probe.
Genuine official investigations into rights abuses are very rare in Chechnya. International media advocates and rights groups voiced concern after Milashina said she had been battered and held at gunpoint with Nemov during a work trip to the volatile region in southern Russia.
“Milashina is in Moscow in hospital. Her condition is, frankly, difficult: she was really severely beaten,” Dmitry Muratov, the editor of Novaya Gazeta, told AFP reporters.
Novaya Gazeta published a video of Milashina in hospital with her head shaven and her hands bandaged. Nemov received a knife wound in the assault.