OREANDA-NEWS The Russian authorities should respond to the statement of the head of Chechnya Ramzan Kadyrov, who called terrorists Elena Milashina, the journalist of Russian media Novaya Gazeta and Igor Kalyapin, a member of the Human Rights Council under the President of the Russian Federation (HRC), said on Monday, January 24, the head of the HRC Commission on Freedom of Information and the rights of journalists, chairman of the Union of Journalists of Moscow and the editor-in-chief of Moskovsky Komsomolets Pavel Gusev.

In an interview with Interfax, Gusev stressed that the heads of regions have the right to make any statements within their powers, but the silence of the federal authorities is surprising. «I regard this as a kind of fright and unwillingness to interfere in a situation that has already gone too far», Gusev said, calling the silence of the authorities a «very bad sign» that the authorities are either afraid of «this person» or do not want to solve issues themselves and give them «into the hands of such heads of regions as Kadyrov».

According to Pavel Gusev, the dangerous statements of the head of Chechnya, «feeling absolutely unpunished», may endanger the health and life of Kalyapin and Milashina. In turn, the chairman of the HRC Valery Fadeev said that for the accusations of terrorism, which Kadyrov made to the member of the Council Kalyapin, weighty grounds and a serious evidence base are needed.

«I would like to draw attention to the fact that Igor Kalyapin is a member of the Presidential Council, an advisory body to the head of state. He was appointed to this position by the decree of the President of the Russian Federation, and as you know, such appointments are necessarily accompanied by appropriate checks», the head of the Council noted.

Press Secretary of the President of Russia Dmitry Peskov, commenting on the statements of the head of Chechnya at a press conference, said that this is Kadyrov's personal opinion, and only a court can recognize citizens as terrorists. «As far as we know, there have been no such confessions and there are none at the moment», Peskov said. «If there are direct threats from Kadyrov against a member of the HRC and a journalist, then we need to understand, these people have the right to defend their reputation in court».

On the evening of January 23, Kadyrov wrote in Telegram that human rights activist Igor Kalyapin and journalist Elena Milashina are terrorists «who earn money on the topic of the Chechen Republic and Chechens by developing scripts and whispering texts and behavior into their character's ears». He called on law enforcement agencies to detain «these accomplices of terrorists», claiming that «the evidence base is in the materials of journalistic investigations on independent channels».

In the same Telegram entry, the head of Chechnya again made threats against the former judge of the Supreme Court of Chechnya, Saydi Yangulbayev, and members of his family, threatening to kill them «according to the law» if they «resist».