Masked men attack journalists and human rights workers en route to Grozny, set fire to their car
Earlier today, roughly two dozen masked men attacked a car carrying Russian and Scandinavian journalists and human rights activists from the “Committee for the Prevention of Torture,” en route from Ingushetia into Grozny. According to a correspondent from the news agency Mediazona, who was in the car, the assailants forced the passengers from the vehicle, beating some with sticks, and then set fire to the car.
Mediazona says the anti-torture group noticed it was under surveillance yesterday, March 8. On Wednesday, March 9, a car with a Chechen license plate reportedly began tailing the human rights activists in Ingushetia.
The Committee for the Prevention of Torture monitors human rights abuses in Chechnya and elsewhere in Russia. On several occasions, Chechen ruler Ramzan Kadyrov has criticized the group. In December 2014, its office in Grozny was burned to the ground. In June 2015, the organization's Grozny office was destroyed again.