(Moscow) – The speaker of Chechnya’s parliament has made serious threats against Gregory Shvedov, the editor of a critical online media outlet, placing him at great risk, Human Rights Watch said today. Russian authorities should publicly condemn these threats, ensure that no harm comes to Shvedov, and put an end to threats against and attacks on independent media in Chechnya.
On January 4, 2017, Magomed Daudov, the parliament speaker, publicly threatened Shvedov, editor-in-chief of Caucasian Knot. The prominent Russian media portal’s coverage of current developments in the Caucasus includes extensive reporting on abuses by Chechen authorities. Daudov is widely known as the right-hand man of Ramzan Kadyrov, the head of the Chechen Republic.
“The threats by the speaker of the parliament, Chechnya’s leading politician, are clearly meant to intimidate the Caucasian Knot team and hinder their dedicated reporting on egregious abuses by Chechen officials,” said Tanya Lokshina, Russia program director at Human Rights Watch.