Echo of Moscow reports on threats from Chechen parliamentarians and clergy

Echo of Moscow reports on threats from Chechen parliamentarians and clergy
Mufti of Chechnya Salah-Hajji Mezhiev

This happened after the radio station's administration supported the requirements of Novaya Gazeta editors to investigate threats to journalists.

According to representatives of the radio station, parliamentarians and representatives of the Chechen clergy made threats to the Echo of Moscow editorial board.

This happened after the radio station's administration supported the requirements of Novaya Gazeta editors to investigate threats to journalists over reports on 'gay purge'. In particular, the words of the radio station’s Chief Editor Alexey Venediktov triggered strong reactions from the Chechen side.

Venediktov wrote that the threats to Novaya Gazeta are similar to those made by the Islamic State to journalists who "talk about the atrocities of religious fanatics." According to Venediktov, they are so similar that "sometimes you confuse their authors."

His statement was sharply commented on by Mufti of Chechnya Salah Mezhiev, who said that "shaytans will answer for libel with all strictness of the law."

"This is impossible to forget and ignore, but those who are willing to understand what's behind the word 'retribution' (Mufti called those people 'they who side with Shaytan') will be held to account without statute of limitations; Allah Almighty is patient."

State Duma Deputy from Chechnya Shamsail Saraliev supported him in an interview with Grozny-inform, stating that 'the State Department agents' and 'the cunning provocateurs' will be held responsible.

"They are dangerous to forgive, even when they're on their knees. God sees everything; the just retribution that you are so afraid of really exists and can not be avoided by anyone," the radio station cites Saraliev's words.

Let us recall that Novaya Gazeta reported on the threats to the editorial office voiced at the meeting of Chechen theologians in Grozny on April 13. According to the publication, the threats to journalists of Novaya Gazeta for publishing information about mass detentions and killings of homosexuals in Chechnya (to investigate which the newspaper’s Chief Editor Dmitry Muratov had requested the Investigation Committee and the Russian Federation Presidential Administration) were clearly read in the words of Adviser to the head of Chechnya Adam Shahidov and the meeting resolution. President's Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov noted that the Kremlin is monitoring the situation.

April 16, Chechen Minister for National Policy, Foreign Relations, Press, and Information Dzhambulat Umarov demanded that Novaya Gazeta apologize to the people of Chechnya and "stop hysteria about the non-existent threats."

It should be recalled that the article of Novaya Gazeta on mass detentions, torture and at least three murders of homosexuals in Chechnya was published on April 1. The publication provoked a negative reaction of Chechen politicians and clergy, who called it "lies and provocation." On the contrary, the international community called on the Russian authorities to investigate reports of the gay repression in the republic and punish those responsible.

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