Chechen officials and clerics are threatening the newspaper that first exposed the campaign of police abuse against men in Chechnya perceived to be gay, Human Rights Watch said today. Russian authorities should unequivocally condemn the threats, investigate them, and ensure that journalists are protected from harm.
On April 1, 2017, Novaya Gazeta published an article documenting that Chechen police have been rounding up men believed to be gay and holding them in secret detention, where they submit the men to humiliation and torture. During the following week, the newspaper published another in-depth article on the same topic, including accounts from several victims. The abusive campaign has drawn condemnation from the United Nations, the Council of Europe, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the European Union, the United States, and many other countries.
“The threats to Novaya Gazeta for exposing the appalling events in Chechnya are extremely serious,” said Hugh Williamson, Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “The history of threats and violence against the paper’s journalists who work on Chechnya make this situation especially alarming.”
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