United States Agency for Global Media

RFE/RL deplores attempt to silence Russian journalist

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Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) is alarmed over a criminal investigation that has been brought against journalist Svetlana Prokopyeva for purportedly “justifying terrorism” in remarks she made on a media platform.

“The investigation against Svetlana Prokopyeva is a clear attempt to silence an independent journalist,” said RFE/RL Acting President Daisy Sindelar.

Prokopyeva made remarks portraying a feeling of “hopelessness” among Russia’s youth and criticizing authorities in a commentary for the Pskov affiliate of Ekho Moskvy last November, following a suicide bomb attack outside the local headquarters of the Federal Security Service (FSB) in Arkhangelsk that killed the 17-year old perpetrator and wounded three FSB officers. In addition to reporting for Ekho Moskvy, she is also a freelance contributor to RFE/RL’s Russian Service, known locally as Radio Svoboda.

The international NGO Human Rights Watch has condemned the investigation of Prokopyeva and police actions taken against Ekho Moskvy as a “misuse of anti-terrorism laws to stifle free speech.” Reporters Without Borders has called the investigation “baseless,” and criticized authorities for equating an opinion with support for terrorism.

About RFE/RL

Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty is a private, independent international news organization whose programs — radio, Internet, television, and mobile — reach influential audiences in 23 countries, including Russia, Ukraine, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, the republics of Central Asia and the Caucasus. It is funded by the U.S. Congress through the BBG.

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Contact Joanna Levison
Acting Director of Communications, Prague

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Deputy Director of Communications, Washington, DC