03/30/2020

Urgent Action: Journalist Faces Prison for Radio Comment (Russian Federation: UA 42.20)


Journalist Svetlana Prokopyeva is facing criminal charges of “justification of terrorism”, punishable by seven years in prison, for her comment on a local radio station in Pskov, north-western Russia, made on 8 November 2018. She criticized the government and expressed her views on why youth are radicalized. The charges against Svetlana Prokopyeva stem solely from her exercise of her right to freedom of expression and should be dropped.

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Igor Viktorovich Krasnov
Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation
Ul. Bolshaya Dmitrovka, 15A
Moscow, GSP-3
125993
Russian Federation
Webform: https://en.sledcom.ru/reception
Twitter: @Genproc
Facebook: @genprocrf
Instagram: @genprocrf
Ambassador Anatoly Antonov
Embassy of the Russian Federation
2650 Wisconsin Ave. NW, Washington DC 20007
Phone: 202 298 5700 I Fax: 202 298 5735
Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @RusEmbUSA
Facebook: @RusEmbUSA
Instagram: @RusEmbUSA
Salutation: Dear Ambassador

Dear Prosecutor General,

I am concerned about the prosecution of journalist Svetlana Prokopyeva for “justification of terrorism”. The charges against her stem from a comment she made at a radio station in Pskov in relation to the recent suicide bombing at the Federal Security Service (FSB) office in Arkhangelsk committed by a local young man.

Svetlana Prokopyeva was discussing the reasons behind radicalization of the youth and expressed her view that it was linked to the crackdown on criticism and peaceful protest by the Russian authorities. She did not call for, or condone violence, and instead urged the authorities to respect human rights and the rule of law. The criminal charges brought against her in response to her comments are totally unfounded. The Prosecutor’s Office of Pskov Oblast approved her indictment on 16 March, and her trial will begin soon.

Nobody should be prosecuted for peacefully expressing their opinions or criticizing the authorities. Criminal prosecution of Svetlana Prokopyeva is a clear violation of her right to freedom of expression.

I call on you to ensure that charges against Svetlana Prokopyeva are dropped and the unfounded criminal proceedings against her are terminated.

Yours sincerely,

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