Ms Natalia Petrova, a documentary journalist, was beaten up in her own home in the Russian city of Kazan, capital of Tatarstan, Radio “Echo of Moscow” reported on 19 October 2007.
Mr Andrey Mironov, representative of the human rights organisation, Memorial, told the radio station that unidentified assailants broke into Ms Petrova’s apartment and began to beat her, her two daughters (both aged 9) and mother (aged 70).
Mr Mironov told Radio “Echo of Moscow” that the assailants burned Ms Petrova with cigarettes and bashed her daughter’s teeth in. Ms Petrova suffered a serious brain concussion. The men threatened to put her away into a psychiatric asylum “until the end of the elections”.
According to Mr Mironov, the men who attacked the journalist received their orders by telephone from a person, whose voice was familiar to Ms Petrova. She thinks the person was Mr Vyacheslav Prokofyev, head of the criminal investigations department in Kazan’s Moskovsky district.
Ms Petrova, a journalist who had worked in Chechnya during the first Chechen war (1994-1996), has had to endure many problems in the past, and has grown used to police searches. Her children cannot go to school due to problems related to their nationality; their father is a Chechen..