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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]
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.