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RSF considers proceeding against Svetlana Prokopyeva as persecution and attempt to intimidate other journalists

25.09.2019, 15:56

“Reporters without borders” condemned persecution of the journalist Svetlana Prokopyeva and considers charges against her as an attempt to intimidate the journalistic community in Russia, as to RSF site.

“Svetlana Prokopyeva just did her job as a journalist and it is appalling to see investigators persecuting her in this fashion,” said Johann Bihr, the head of RSF’s Eastern Europe and Central Asia desk.

“It is hard to view this absurd charge as anything other than an intimidatory message to all Russian media outlets. We urge her fellow journalists to campaign to defend her and independent journalism until the judicial authorities finally dismiss the case.”

“After being investigated for months, which should have sufficed to establish her innocence, she was finally charged with “justifying terrorism” on 20 September and is now facing the prospect of a trial and a sentence of up to seven years in prison”, RSF said.

IMI reported, on September 20, The criminal case against the journalist was opened in the fall of 2018 she spoke on the air station "Echo of Moscow in Pskov".  Radio station discussed an attack in Arkhangelsk, in which a 17-year-old boy detonated a homemade bomb inside a local Federal Security Service (FSB) building, killing himself and injuring several FSB officers. Several minutes before the bombing, the assailant, said on social media that he was going to commit “an act of terrorism,” and said he was doing so because the “FSB . . . fabricates criminal cases and tortures people.” Prokopieva said that the state itself has brought up the generations of citizens who are struggling against it. The Roskomnaglyar watchdog found the signs of justification for terrorism in these words.

After that, "Echo of Moscow in Pskov" was fined 150 thousand rubles, and the local newspaper, which printed the radio material, was fined 200 thousand rubles. In February 2019, the law enforcement bodies searched Prokopiev's house and she was summoned for questioning. In July 2019, the journalist was put to the Russian list of extremists and terrorists.

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