The journalist who broke the news about Chechyna’s purge on gay men is in hiding after the news reverberates across the globe.
The Russian journalist who is responsible for breaking the news that Chechen officials had rounded up, tortured and detained men suspected of being gay, has said that she is in hiding and fearing for her life after a “jihad was declared against her”.
Speaking on the Victoria Derbyshire show, Novaya Gazeta journalist Elena Milashina said that a jihad had been declared on her and the staff at her outlet after 15,000 people met in the biggest mosque in Chechnya and denounced the paper and journalists who published the original story.
“They reacted [to the story] in a terrifying manner… on April 3, in the biggest mosque in Grozny, 15,000 religious and various types of people came together and announced 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.”
A spokesperson for Chechnya’s leader Ramzan Kadyrov, said, that the report was “lies and disinformation” and claimed that gay people did not “exist in the republic”. The report was even dismissed as a sick April Fool’s joke, by the region’s interior ministry.
As information continued to circulate about the mass rounding up and detaining of gay men in Chechnya, being referred to as a “gay purge” Baroness Anelay released a statement calling on Russia to investigate the claims.
The UK’s Prime Minister, Theresa May has yet to speak out against the action.