Journalist who reported about Chechnya gay raids receives death threatens from Jihad

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The Russian journalist who broke the news of Chechnya’s homophobic purge has to hide from the radical Muslims in the region that are threatening to kill her. Chechnya is part of Russia but has substantial autonomy and Muslim-dominated government. Speaking to the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire, Novaya Gazeta journalist Elena Milashina, who authored the reports, revealed that she has been forced into hiding in the wake of the story. Ms Milashina, who is usually based in Moscow, is currently in an undisclosed location. “They reacted [to the story] in a terrifying manner… on April 3, in the biggest mosque in Grozny, 15,000 people came together and declared a Jihad on us… not just me personally, but all journalists at Novaya Gazeta. They said the people at the newspaper who raised this question have damaged the honour of Chechen nation and should be prosecuted.” She explained: “We know about four secret prisons. Two of them in the capital of Chechnya, Grozny, one of them in Argun – this is the first secret prison we discovered where LGBT people were detained, beaten, tortured and killed. We got this information [a few] weeks ago and began to prove it. It’s pretty hard in Checnya, especially to rescue LGBT people, because they’re a very closed network. The region is very hard on those people and they have to hide. The Chechen government denied [the allegations], although they don’t deny that if they found this kind of people in Chechnya they would be killed. They don’t deny this, but they deny the secret camps and they have denied that they detained more than 100 people and killed some of them.”

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