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Masked men attack journalists and rights activists in the Northern Caucasus

Masked men attack journalists and rights activists in the Northern Caucasus
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By Seamus Kearney
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A group of journalists and human rights activists in Russia's Northern Caucasus has been attacked by a group of masked men

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A group of journalists and human rights activists in Russia’s Northern Caucasus has been attacked by a group of masked men.

Reports say the journalists, including one from Sweden and another from Norway, were beaten up and some had to be treated in hospital.

The bus they were travelling in was also set on fire.

The trip was part of a press tour organised by the Committee Against Torture, an NGO that investigates human rights abuses in Chechnya and the surrounding regions.

Shortly after there was also an attempt to break into the office of the NGO in Ingushetia.

Some journalists held a protest in Moscow to denounce the attack.

Pyotr Verzilov, founder of independent news outlet Mediazona, said: “We came here to show this is unacceptable.

“Once again, another attack in the Northern Caucasus territory, which we believe links back to Grozny and is probably connected somehow to the close circle of leader Ramzan Kadyrov.”

In 2015 the Grozny office of the human rights NGO was ransacked and vandalised after it criticised the Chechen leadership, which is backed by the Kremlin.

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