7 Feb 2020 12:38

MHG, Committee for Prevention of Torture demand probe into attack on journalist Milashina

MOSCOW. Feb 7 (Interfax) - The Moscow Helsinki Group (MHG) and the Committee for the Prevention of Torture are demanding that the Russian authorities conduct an effective investigation into the attack on Novaya Gazeta newspaper journalist Yelena Milashina and lawyer Marina Dubrovina in Grozny.

"We are outraged by what happened and demand an impartial investigation into the attack on our colleagues and that those guilty be brought to justice," the MHG said in a statement on Friday.

The Committee for the Prevention of Torture, for its part, said in a statement on Twitter "we express support for our colleagues and demand that the authorities carry out an effective investigation of the incident."

The Russian Union of Journalists, in turn, intends to follow the probe into the attack on Milashina and Dubrovina.

"The Russian Union of Journalists is outraged by the attack on Yelena Milashina and Marina Dubrovina. The union will be following the investigation into the incident and expects law enforcement agencies to bring those behind this brazen attack to justice in accordance with the law soon," the Union of Journalists said in a statement published on its website.

Unidentified assailants attacked Milashina and Dubrovina near a hotel in Chechnya's capital of Grozny, the newspaper said in a statement on its website.

"Novaya Gazeta observer Yelena Milashina and famous lawyer Marina Dubrovina were attacked at the entrance to the Kontinent hotel today [on Thursday] at 11.20 p.m. Milashina and Dubrovina came to Grozny to attend the trial of Islam Nukhanov," the statement said.

Dubrovina was beaten up, the statement said. "Unidentified men and women committed the attack in the hotel's lobby and at the hotel's entrance. Mainly women were kicking and punching," it said.

The attackers video recorded the attack, it said.

Milashina said she believed that the Chechen authorities could be behind the attack on her and Dubrovina.

"Of course, it was an organized attack - another one in a series of assaults on rights activists, journalists, and lawyers who work in Chechnya," Milashina told the Ekho Moskvy radio station.

Milashina also said that in spite of what had happened, she and Dubrovina would continue to work in Chechnya.

OSCE Representative Freedom of the Media Harlem Desir, for his part, has called on the Russian authorities to investigate the attack on Milashina and Dubrovina as promptly as possible.