A Russian journalist says Zubayr Zubayrayev, imprisoned in Volgograd, was tortured because he is Chechen.
But Russian authorities say the man admitted in a videotape to beating himself, and a Russian court has fined the journalist 200,000 rubles (about $6,500) and ordered that she retract her articles, The Moscow Times reports.
The journalist, Yelena Maglevannaya, refused, and has fled to Finland, where she is currently seeking asylum.
According to The Moscow Times, Maglevannaya also received death threats after her stories about Zubayrayev were published.
She is far from the only journalist to be threatened for her work in Russia.
The Moscow Times noted:
More than 15 Russian journalists covering political issues have requested asylum abroad since Vladimir Putin assumed power nine years ago, said Oleg Panfilov, director of the Center for Journalism in Extreme Situations.
“They can’t stand the working conditions [in Russia],” Panfilov said.
But the ones who have fled abroad are perhaps the luckiest.
Sixteen Russian journalists have been killed due to their reporting in Russia since 1999, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. Fifteen of the murders remain unsolved, CPJ said, including those of Forbes editor Paul Klebnikov, an American, and Novaya Gazeta reporter and author Anna Politkovskaya, who reported from Chechnya and wrote critically on the current state of affairs in Russia.
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