Editors of Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta fear that the “entire staff” on the paper are at serious risk after they uncovered the gay purge in Chechnya.
The staff on the paper uncovered that hundreds of gay men had been detained and some killed in the region of Russia.
Since breaking the story the staff have received serious threats to their lives.
In a statement released by the editors of the paper, they detailed a meeting of over 15,000 people headed by Ramzan Kadyrov – the head of Chechnya. Kadyrov reportedly accused the newspaper of libel and declared it and the staff “enemies of our faith and of our country”.
The meeting resolved that the paper had “insulted the secular foundations of Chechen society” and that “retribution” against the “instigators” would be had.
Editors insist that the resolution “encourages religious fanatics to commit violence against journalists”.
“Silence and inaction in this situation make everyone who has the possibility to do something complicit. That is why the Novaya Gazeta continues to work in Chechnya. But we are very aware of the high price we have to pay,” they said.
The journalist who broke the news was forced into hiding after the largest mosque in the region declared jihad following the meeting.
Elena Milashina, who was based in Moscow, is not hidden in an undisclosed location.
The Kremlin has denied the anti-gay purge, and insisted that there is “no reliable information” on the matter. Chechnya is part of Russia but has substantial autonomy.
The disturbing reports, since corroborated by human rights groups, also alleged that the men are being held in secret concentration camp-style prisons where they face torture and abuse.