Russian Journalist, Lawyer Beaten and Hospitalized in Chechnya

A prominent Russian journalist and lawyer were hospitalized after being badly beaten on a visit to Russia’s republic of Chechnya, the rights groups Memorial and the Crew Against Torture (CAT) said early Tuesday.

Yelena Milashina and lawyer Alexander Nemov arrived in the Chechen capital of Grozny to attend the court hearing of the mother of a prominent Chechen activist when their car was reportedly blocked on the way from the airport.

An armed group kicked and threatened to shoot Milashina and Nemov, CAT said, adding that the group also seized and destroyed the pair’s personal electronic devices.

Memorial noted that the attackers had shaved Milashina’s head and covered it in green dye.

Head of CAT Sergei Babinets later published a photo of the journalist, saying Milashina was talking over the phone with Russia’s human rights commissioner Tatiana Moskalkova.