Following an article published in Novaya Gazeta by Elena Milashina disclosing extrajudicial killings in Chechnya, both the journalist and the newspaper have been subject to unacceptable verbal attacks, an ongoing smear campaign and intimidation by the Chechen authorities. The European Union expects the Russian authorities to put an end to these attacks and to investigate the information revealed in the article.
Ms Milashina’s report adds to the already significant body of credible reports by the media and international human rights organisations detailing the continuing violations of human rights in Chechnya. All cases of extrajudicial executions, torture and other grave human rights violations committed over the last years must be investigated and those responsible must be brought to justice.
The European Union expects the Russian Federation to uphold its international and domestic obligations on human rights and fundamental freedoms. Journalists must be able to work in a safe environment without fear of reprisal. Media freedom and pluralism are fundamental aspects of any democracy, and play a crucial role in informing the population and holding the authorities to account.