â€œI Will Continue My Work,â€ Journalist Elena Milashina Vowed
Journalist Elena Milashina, whose investigative reporting first unearthed claims of the detainment, torture and murder of over 100 gay men in concentration camp-like facilities in Russiaâ€™s federal republic of Chechnya, has fled her home in Moscow following threats of retaliation. Next, she will flee Russia altogether.
Milashina writes for the Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta, which describes itself as â€œwell known in the country for its critical and investigative coverage of Russian political and social affairs.â€ In 2009, she won the â€œAlison Des Forges Awardâ€ for â€œindividuals who put their lives on the line to protect the dignity and rights of othersâ€ from the Human Rights Watch.
In 2013, the veteran journalist discussed press freedom in Russia at the Front Line Defenders Dublin Platform in Ireland. â€œIn one kind of way,â€ she said, video below, â€œI am quite an unusual Russian journalist, because I can write exactly what I see.â€
In a telephone interview with The Washington Post, Milashina discussed the Chechan human rights violations, her articleâ€™s international attention and her decision to flee Russia.
â€œThe reaction was very panicked and hysterical, but at the same time very threatening,â€ Milashina said. â€œWeâ€™ve covered Chechnya for many years at Novaya Gazeta â€“ many years, decades. This was the first time in our history, however, that they used religion. 15,000 people got together in the main mosque of Chechnya and announced a jihad against the staff of Novaya Gazeta.â€
She further discussed the danger she was faced with following publication, a danger shared by all of the newspaperâ€™s staff. â€œThis was a clear jihad message. We will persecute you for tarnishing the honor of the Chechen nationâ€¦ There are gays among Chechen people? We will persecute you until the last person at Novaya Gazeta dies.â€
(A spokesperson for Chechen authoritarian leader Dmitry Kadyrov echoed these extreme sentiments, denyingÂ the existence of the concentration camps as gay men â€œdo not exist in Chechnya.â€)
â€œIt doesnâ€™t matter that Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Kadyrov announced clearly that journalists are under the Kremlinâ€™s protection and that no one can kill them for their professional duty,â€ Milashina said. â€œThe threat still exists.â€
â€œI will just live for a while in another country,â€ she continued, â€œstill working on Chechnya.â€
â€œThe situation reminds the Western world of the same situation that was in Nazi Germany,â€ Milashina said of the international attention her story had received. â€œAt first, people are scared of the information. They canâ€™t believe itâ€¦ But itâ€™s clearly real, and I think thatâ€™s why people are raising their voices now.â€
â€œThe Russian government should be pushed more,â€ Milashina insisted. â€œThey havenâ€™t done anything.â€
GLAADâ€™s president Sarah Kate Ellis has called for U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley to take action, something you can join her in by clicking here. You can also sign Amnesty Internationalâ€™s petition here, or donate to the Russian LGBT Network, which is dedicated to promoting equal rights and respect in the region.
To comment on this article and other NCRM content,Â visit our Facebook page.Â
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Ginni Thomas Testifies Today Before J6 Committee
Far-right-wing activist and lobbyist Ginni Thomas, who held a months-long pressure campaign with Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows to try to force him to somehow overturn the 2020 election, and sent numerous emails to GOP lawmakers in multiple states also trying convince them to overturn the election, will testify today before the U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack.
Were Thomas merely a far-right wing extremist, or even a wealthy and powerful lobbyist, her actions would have received less scrutiny, but given she is married to a U.S. Supreme Court Justice, Clarence Thomas, who was the sole vote opposing the release of January 6 documents to the House Select Committee investigating the insurrection, many see her actions as concerning and deserving of investigation.
Politico’s Kyle Cheney broke the news Thomas will testify before the Committee today. Her testimony will be virtual. The Guardian’s Hugo Lowell adds, it is “voluntary.”
Calling Thomas “one of the panel’s most high-profile outstanding witnesses,” Politico reports, “Lawmakers took interest in her connections to John Eastman, a legal architect of former President Donald Trump’s last-ditch plan to subvert the 2020 election. She’d invited Eastman to speak to an activist group in the aftermath of the election, though Eastman has denied ever discussing Supreme Court-related matters with Thomas.”
In a March opinion piece on MSNBC, Wayne Batchis, associate professor of political science at the University of Delaware, examined the Supreme Court’s “Clarence Thomas (and Ginni Thomas) problem.”
“It turns out that Thomas not only sat on the board of an organization that promoted the dangerous fiction that the 2020 election was ‘stolen’ from former President Donald Trump through fraud, she also attended the rally attempting to vindicate this paranoid propagandistic fantasy (and said she left before Trump took the stage),” Batchis wrote.
” All the while, in what might resemble the coordinated efforts of synchronized swimmers, husband and wife seemingly sought to thwart the investigation into the democratically perilous events of Jan. 6. Ginni Thomas signed on to a letter seeking the expulsion of Republican Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger from the Republican conference for joining the House Jan. 6 investigation committee; Clarence Thomas was the sole dissenter — standing in opposition to the rest of the court, including its three Trump appointees — in a decision allowing for the release of Jan. 6-related documents to said committee.”
“Without trust in the courts,” he warns, “American democracy does not stand a chance.”
Former GOP Congressman Has ‘Legitimate Concerns’ Clarence Thomas Was Involved in ‘Push to Overturn the Election’
Questions surfaced after Justice Clarence Thomas was the only member of the U.S. Supreme Court to oppose the release of Mark Meadows’ texts and information to the Jan. 6 committee. It turned out that in those text messages that the justice didn’t want revealed were communications with his wife.
Former Rep. Denver Riggleman (R-VA), wrote in his new book that he thinks Justice Thomas is far more involved in his wife Ginni Thomas’ 2020 election overthrow attempts.
Riggleman, who left the committee in April, included many of the text messages that had previously been released from Ginni Thomas, along with the note that he had a difficult time trying to get the House Select Committee to sound the alarm on her actions.
“Supreme Court spouses are typically low profile. Ginni’s involvement with political groups had already led to questions about whether Clarence would need to recuse himself in cases with a political component,” wrote Riggleman. If Clarence had been in the logs, it would be a much bigger deal than all that. When I began to suspect Ginni and Clarence had texted with Meadows, I put together a technical brief outlining how we might be able to cement the identifications.”
Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) called him to express concern that telling Americans that such an influential figure had gone full-Q. Cheney was worried it would turn the whole committee into a political sideshow and overshadow all of the other work the committee was doing. The release of Riggleman’s book has left the committee members furiousover possible leaks after spending a year with so few.
Riggleman persisted in pressing Cheney to tell Americans about the Thomases.
“The committee needed to show the American people that there was an organized, violent effort to reverse the election—and that there were indications it could have been directed by the White House,” he wrote. “Thanks to their prominence, Ginni and Clarence would make a lot of headlines, but those headlines might overwhelm the other important work we were doing.”
The conversation with Cheney didn’t go well, with the two “type A personalities” duking-out their arguments. Riggleman argued that data wasn’t political. It wasn’t right or wrong.
“I also thought that, given Clarence’s position and Ginni’s prominence in conservative circles, the American public had to know what she had been up to,” argued Riggleman. “Some of the messages went beyond simply cheering Meadows on. It was legitimate for me to have concerns as to whether a Supreme Court justice had been involved in the legally questionable push to overturn the election. Was it possible that one of the country’s nine top judges was on board with an authoritarian interpretation of the Constitution? The implications were overwhelming. Cheney found it all improbable. I think she still had more faith in the institutional GOP than I did at that point.”
Riggleman’s book, The Breach, is on sale now and Raw Story has complete coverage here.
‘Doesn’t Get to Tell the County What They Can Read’: Lawmaker Blasts Christian in Viral Video Attacking LGBTQ Library Books
A Tennessee Democratic state lawmaker is responding to a viral video of a Christian woman in her home state railing against “perversion,” apparently upset with LGBTQ-themed books being in a local public library, while ranting about Satan and “revelation prophecies.”
Rep. Gloria Johnson, a retired special ed teacher, blasted the young woman who spoke in the video for about three minutes berating, lecturing, and preaching to her fellow Maury County, Tennessee residents about books she believes the public library should not have.
After introducing herself as “Stephanie” (her last name was not discernible), the young woman in the undated video declares, “I speak on behalf of God Almighty, my husband, the daughter in my womb and every law abiding God fearing taxpaying citizen here in Maury County.”
She admitted she is not from Maury County, but she did feel very comfortable telling Maury County locals what to do and think.
“We moved here from Indiana to start our family,” she said. “I will not raise kids in a county that has sexual oriented books on the counter,” she insisted, later stating, “My taxes pay [for] this place.”
“The kingdom of God is within reach,” Stephanie went on to preach. “It is within here and we live not for heaven but from heaven. What that means is when perversion permeates our county, that is when the devil gets our children. If you don’t see this you are blind. We must understand that there cannot be perversion in this county, in this country. Obviously revelation prophecies are occurring right before our eyes. But what you need to know first and foremost, that obviously the future generation is our children.”
By the end of her lengthy rant she decreed, “God sees everything and by the grace of God, we will rise above this, but I’m not gonna let my children be raised – I’m gonna homeschool, you better believe it. I will not let my children be raised in a county like this. If we’re having sexual oriented books. You can even ask the gay community, a lot of them say why would you want to bring kids to the bars? They already think of pedophilia, why would you want them to come to the bars?”
“Understand that you serve our country second. You serve our God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob first,” she concluded.
She also flew into a false screed straight out of recent Fox News reports.
Saying, “I speak on behalf of millennials my generation,” she claimed, “We already have so many illegal aliens here who are bringing fentanyl they are killing our children, our youth.”
A right-wing think tank, the Cato Institute states: “Fentanyl is primarily trafficked by U.S. citizens.”
Rep. Johnson, who served in the Tennessee state House from 2013-2015, and is again serving, since 2019, also served up strong criticism against the woman in the video.
“She is welcome to monitor the books her children read, but she doesn’t get to tell the rest of the county what they can read,” Johnson tweeted.
Johnson is apparently a strong supporter of public libraries. This was posted to her Facebook page just days ago:
Watch the viral video below or at this link.
A Christian woman in Maury County, Tennessee argues against LGBTQ-themed books at her library and tells everyone they’re going to hell pic.twitter.com/F6McXs8Gs4
— Marjorie Gaylor Queen 🏳️🌈 (@Tim_Tweeted) September 28, 2022
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