Novaya Gazeta reported an arbitrary execution in Chechnya – mass shooting of 27 people in January this year. The names of the victims were published. The newspaper forwarded the data to the appropriate quarters – the Investigative Committee of Russia as well as the Human Rights Commisionner of the RF.
I do not have an opportunity to check whether the data correspond to the facts. But the job that is done by the journalists of Novaya Gazeta, the author of the publication Elena Milashina and editor-in-chief Dmitry Muratov, deserves as much public support as possible. This activity is unique for our country: investigative reporting, collecting information about the committed crimes, its analysis, studying the motives, disclosing secret “springs” and making it all public. The journalists involved in the investigations risk their lives for the truth, protection of people and Russia’s future. Everybody knows that one has to be especially brave to conduct journalistic investigations in Chechnya, where the federal authorites cover up and connive at everything, and the federal investigative bodies are intimidated and powerless.
It is naive and short-sighted to think that all this concerns only the Chechen Republic. No. If today the system of law has stopped functioning in one of the constituent territories of the federation once and for all, tomorrow this will spread over the neighboring regions and then around the whole country. Do you consider it impossible? The government does not assess the events which took place 80 years ago – the mass reprisals of 1937 – on purpose. In case something similar happens again, and if journalists and the society keep silent in fear, the history will repeat itself.
I express my respect and support to Novaya Gazeta. Taking the conductions of Russia’s current political system and the situation in the country on the whole into consideration, the job that the journalists of Novaya Gazeta do is an exploit. I demand that the authorities must immediately investigate the facts published by Novaya Gazeta and absolutely assure safety of the journalists of the newspaper. President Vladimir Putin is personally responsible for the lives and health of the journalists.