• Urgent Action


April 19, 2024

The Russian authorities are putting the health and life of journalist Maria Ponomarenko at risk due to her treatment, and the conditions in detention, including being held in solitary confinement and not receiving adequate healthcare. Maria was sentenced to six years imprisonment solely for exercising her right to freedom of expression and must be released immediately and unconditionally.

take action:

  • Write a letter in your own words or using the sample below as a guide to one or both government officials listed. You can also email, fax, call or Tweet them.
  • Click here to let us know the actions you took on Urgent Action 33.24. It’s important to report because we share the total number with the officials we are trying to persuade and the people we are trying to help.

contact information:

Gerasimov Sergei Yermagenovich

Director of the Federal Penitentiary Service of the Altai krai

Email: [email protected]

Vasilyev Anton Aleksandrovich


Note: Many action takers’ emails have been blocked by this target

The Commissioner for Human Rights of the Russian Federation in the Altai krai

Email: [email protected]

Russian Embassy in the United States

Ambassador Anatoly I. Antonov

2650 Wisconsin Avenue,

NW, Washington DC 20007

Email: [email protected]

sample letter:

Dear Director of the Federal Penitentiary Service of the Altai Krai, 

Dear Commissioner for Human Rights in the Altai Krai,

I am concerned by the unjust imprisonment and ill-treatment of a RusNews journalist, Maria Ponomarenko. Since her arrest in 2022 there have been multiple reports of her ill-treatment and arbitrary punishment in custody in IK-6 (Shipunovo) and SIZO-1 and SIZO-2 in Barnaul, including:

Forced psychiatric treatment, including administration of unknown drugs; Provision of ill-fitting shoes ahead of a disciplinary hearing; Disruptions in provision of medication; Confiscation of authorized goods and groceries by Federal Penitentiary Service staff; Threats by Federal Penitentiary Service staff to deprive Maria of phone calls with her family; Repeated placement in solitary confinement.

Maria suffers from claustrophobia and other mental health conditions and cannot safely be placed in solitary confinement. During her previous placement in a punishment cell her mental health deteriorated, and she attempted suicide. She went on hunger strike after being placed in solitary confinement to protest her undignified treatment by the prison authorities. This ill-treatment puts Maria Ponomarenko’s health, both physical and mental, as well as her life at risk.

I urge you to release Maria Ponomarenko immediately and unconditionally. I request that you ensure that the ill-treatment of Maria Ponomarenko is immediately stopped and that her treatment in any prison institution, as well as while in transit between them, complies with international law and standards.

Yours sincerely,