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Elena Milashina

Elena Milashina

HRD, Journalist
Novaya Gazeta
International Women of Courage Award

FLEX Alumna Elena Milashina Honored with U.S. Secretary of State’s International Women of Courage Award

Free Media Award

In 2016, the Free Media Awards presented by the Fritt Ord Foundation in Oslo and the ZEIT-Stiftung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius in Hamburg went to three journalists and media: Seymur Hazi (editor and commentator, Azerbaijan), Nashi Groshi (website, Ukraine), and Elena Milashina (investigative journalist, Russia).

Russia is on the list of countries where activists and journalists are not at all protected. Every time one of my colleagues is murdered or attacked, I feel anger and rage. And you know, that can be a stronger motivation than fear.

Elena Milashina is a human rights defender and an investigative journalist working for Novaya Gazeta, an independent Russian newspaper. Through her research and reports she has drawn international attention to the Russian government’s crackdown on civil society, as well as gross human rights abuses continuing in the Northern Caucasus. In cooperation with international and domestic human rights NGOs, she documents cases of enforced disappearance, arbitrary detention, extrajudicial executions, torture, and persecution of relatives of alleged insurgents in Chechnya and other republics in the Northern Caucasus, continuing investigations started by her colleagues Ms Anna Politkovskaya and Ms Natalia Estemirova.


Human rights defenders (HRDs) in the Russian Federation have been subjected to acts of harassment, surveillance, violations of the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly, violent attacks, raids and searches on their offices and homes, slander and smear campaigns, judicial harassment, arbitrary detention and ill-treatment.


Elena Milashina - A Defender of Freedom of Speech and Free Media in Russia