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The Russian investigative journalist Elena Milashina's editor told Agence France-Presse (AFP) on July 5 that she was transferred to a Moscow hospital after being severely beaten in Chechnya and is in a "difficult" condition.
Milashina, who works for the Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta, was with lawyer Alexander Nemov in Chechnya on July 4 when they were attacked by masked assailants not far from the Grozny Airport.
According to independent Russian news outlet Meduza, Milashina and Nemov had traveled to Chechnya's capital, Grozny, for the sentencing of the mother of a local human rights activist and an alleged co-founder of a Chechen opposition movement.
Milashina previously reported on the kidnapping, torture, and killing of gay men in Chechnya and has been publicly critical of the Chechen leadership, including strongman Ramzan Kadyrov.
In a video statement to the Russian human rights NGO Crew Against Torture, Milashina recounted how shortly after arriving in Grozny, her and Nemov's taxi was stopped by three vehicles.
At least 10-15 people threw the taxi driver out of the car, stabbed Nemov, and tried to tie Milashina's hands behind her back, the journalist said. Then they dragged them into a ravine and started beating them.
According to Milashina, the assailants told Nemov: "Defend people at home, there’s no need to defend people here."
They then shaved Milashina's head and threatened to cut off her fingers, she said.
Investigative journalists in Russia repeatedly face threats of violence and are even killed for their work.
Anna Politkovskaya, who also reported on Chechnya and worked for Novaya Gazeta, was assassinated in Moscow in 2006.