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CPJ Says Russia Must Investigate Threats Over Reporting On Abuse Of Gay Chechens

Novaya Gazeta correspondent Ylena Milashina (file photo)

A leading reporters' advocacy group has called on Russian authorities to do more to investigate threats against a newspaper for its reporting about gay men allegedly being rounded up in Chechnya.

The April 17 call by the U.S.-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) came amid mounting concern about the newspaper, Novaya Gazeta, and the reporter who broke the story earlier this month, Yelena Milashina.

Milashina's article asserted that authorities in Chechnya had detained dozens of men that had been accused of being gay, and tortured some of them.

The Kremlin said it has no information on the reported disappearances, but RFE/RL last week corroborated in part some of the paper's reporting.

Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov denied Novaya Gazeta's report, and a group of religious leaders later vowed retribution.

In a statement, Nina Ognianova, the CPJ's Europe and Central Asia coordinator, called on Russian authorities "to act swiftly, decisively, and effectively to rein in all those responsible for threatening [Yelena] Milashina and other Novaya Gazeta journalists for the newspaper's work."