CPJ: investigate threats to paper over Chechen gay torture

An international journalists’ rights organization is calling on Russian authorities to investigate threats made against a newspaper that reported gays were being tortured and killed in Chechnya.

The report this month in the respected Novaya Gazeta drew a range of official denials and rebukes. Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov on Sunday said international attention to the story constituted a “massive information attack … to blacken our society, lifestyle, traditions and customs.”

A meeting of elders and Islamic leaders in Chechnya after the story appeared called for retribution, which Novaya Gazeta said “pushes religious fanatics toward the massacre of journalists.”

On Monday, the Committee to Protect Journalists said Russia should “act swiftly, decisively and effectively” against threats to the newspaper and to the story’s reporter.