Letter sent to Putin asking to condemn verbal attacks against journalists

Reports and statements made by Russian human rights activists suggest that at least two Russian journalists – Anna Ploitkovskaya and Natalya Estemirova - reported receiving death threats from Chechen authorities, including Kadyrov, prior to being killed.

22 January 2016 17:50

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) urged Putin to put a stop to threats Russian journalists have been receiving from members of the Chechen government.

The CPJ is outraged by the rhetoric used by the Chehchen authorities toward independent journalists and human rights activists on social networking sites and in print media.

Russia has a long record of attacks against and murders of journalists. In many cases violence against reporters was preceded by threats against them

Chechnya’s high-ranking officials have been publicly vilifying Russian citizens, including journalists and human rights defenders, such as Alexey Venediktov, founder and chief editor of the Echo of Moscow FM station, Alexey Navalny, anit-corruption blogger, Victor Shenderovych, columnist, Igor Kalyapin, human rights defender, the staff of Dozhd TV and others.

“We call on you to condemn any attempt to intimidate the press, and ask you to use your status as the guarantor of the Russian constitution to ensure that state officials respect journalists' constitutional right to criticize the government and state agencies,” reads a letter Joel Simon, CPJ’s Executive Director, sent to Putin.

It was reported earlier that Adam Osmayev, Commander of Johar Dudayev International Peacekeeping Batallion, told a news conference in Kiev that Kadyrov’s gunmen are planning to launch a series of terror attacks in Crimea.