STOCKHOLM, March 10. /TASS/. Swedish Radio journalist Maria Persson Lofgren, who along with a group of other journalists and human rights activists was assaulted on Wednesday on the border of Russia’s North Caucasus republic of Ingushetia with Chechnya, was mildly wounded and feels safe now, the radio reported on Thursday.
Ginna Lindberg, the head of foreign news at Swedish Radio, said her colleague Lofgren is currently in a hospital, where medics said that she "suffered a minor injury" and is now "feeling well."
"She was punched and she has a cut on her hip," Lindberg said. "She is now safe."
Ingush law enforcers told TASS on Wednesday that a group of journalists and human rights activists, including media representatives from Sweden, Norway and Russia, had been hurt in an attack near Ingushetia’s administrative border with Chechnya.
"A group of journalists and human rights activists was heading for Chechnya, also in the North Caucasus, in a Ford car. About 20 people attacked them near the Ordzhonikidzovskaya settlement on the Kavkaz federal highway. They took away the mobile phones from [the journalists and human rights activists], set their Ford car on fire and drove away," a law enforcement source said. According to preliminary reports, six journalists and human rights activists were injured. Four of them have sought medical aid at the Sunzha district hospital, a hospital employee said.
"Unidentified persons stopped a microbus in the outskirts of the town of Sunzha on the 595th kilometer of the Kavkaz federal highway and attacked the passengers," the Ingush Interior Ministry said.
Ingush Interior Minister Alexander Trofimov and an investigative team have arrived at the scene. Criminal proceedings on charges of hooliganism and intentional destruction and damage of property may be initiate.
Igor Kalyapin, a member of the Russian president’s Council for Civil Society and Human Rights and the head of the Committee for the Prevention of Torture, confirmed the attack on the group of journalists and human rights activists.
"An unidentified group of people riding in three cars, attacked human rights activists from the Free Mobile Group and journalists on Ingushetia’s border with Chechnya at around 7:15 p.m. [local time]," the Human Rights Council website quoted Kalyapin as saying.
"The assailants beat them up and took away the mobile phones from two people," Kalyapin said. "They also wrecked their car and then set it ablaze."
The presidential Human Rights Council stated on its website that it was extremely concerned with the assault and urged a prompt and thorough investigation into the incident.