"Morbid fantasy" - Chechen minister comments on alleged mass execution
Dzhambulat Umarov says the information about the shooting of 27 people detained on suspicion of connections with terrorists is a hoax.
Minister of Chechnya on National Policy, External Relations, Press and Information Dzhambulat Umarov calls Novaya Gazeta's article on the mass execution of detainees in January 2017 a hoax.
According to the high-ranking Chechen official, Novaya Gazeta's Editor of Special Projects Elena Milashina tries to enhance the ongoing discussion about the 'gay theme', "which has long been forgotten." Umarov called the published information on the extrajudicial execution of 27 people in Grozny "a product of the morbid fantasy."
"It seems that Milashina and her colleagues from Novaya Gazeta have run out of ideas to such extent that they return time and again to the scandals they themselves had giggled up," Umarov commented to the Dozhd TV Channel.
He also noted that he considered the material in Novaya Gazeta as "another piece of misinformation directed against the Chechen Republic."
Let us recall that Novaya Gazeta had published an investigation, in which it reported about the mass shooting of people in January 2017 in Grozny on the territory of the police patrol and checkpoint service regiment's deployment named after Hero of Russia Akhmat-Hadji Kadyrov, headed by Police Colonel Aslan Iraskhanov. According to Novaya Gazeta’s sources, all of those people killed were detained during an antiterrorist operation. However, the Dozhd TV Channel citing its anonymous sources claims that the detainees were suspected of attacking the patrimonial village of Head of the republic Ramzan Kadyrov. To recall, the attack on the Tsentaroy village took place in August 2010. According to various estimates, about 30 people took part in it. During a special operation of the Chechen security forces, 12 alleged assailants were killed.
Novaya Gazeta has published a list of 27 people killed, which contains their full names, dates of birth, and in some cases, the registration addresses. The publication adds that the total number of dead can reach 56 people. After the mass murder, the detainees' bodies were taken to various cemeteries, including Christian ones. According to the news outlet, the decision on the execution was taken "centrally and spontaneously."
In April 2017, the media reported on the persecution of gays in Chechnya. People suspected of homosexual orientation were detained and killed in the republic. However, based on the results of the investigation, the Investigative Committee did not confirm the facts of the publication, as there was no information on the victims.
Last week, the entire world has celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Internet. In the meantime, the Russian legislators have adopted new laws restricting the development of the Russian-speaking segment of the world wide web. The 'fake news' and 'internet insults' laws adopted under the pretext of protecting the society from manipulations and threat, including external ones, violate the Constitution and some federal laws in relation to the right to search for, obtain, and use information. Furthermore, the bill on ‘sovereign Internet’ passed in the first reading by the State Duma leads us directly to self-isolation.