Journalists at risk over story on Chechen gay killings
The "entire staff" of a major Russian newspaper are at risk of reprisals after it disclosed the alleged abuse and killing of gay men in Chechnya.
'Novaya Gazeta', which has won plaudits for its independence from the Kremlin, warned that "religious fanatics" were being encouraged to "massacre journalists".
Earlier this month, the paper reported that police in the Russian republic have rounded up more than 100 men suspected of homosexuality, leaving at least three dead.
The newspaper's website briefly crashed on Thursday night, shortly after editors published a statement detailing the threat the paper faced, leading journalists to suspect it had fallen victim to a cyber attack. According to the statement, 15,000 people attended a meeting in the Chechen capital, Grozny, adopting a resolution vowing "retribution" against the "true instigators" of the story.
The paper claimed that Adam Shakhidov, an adviser to Ramzan Kadyrov, the Chechen ruler, accused its staff of libel at the meeting and described them as "enemies of our faith and our homeland".