A Russian journalist was convicted on Monday on charges of condensing terrorism and ordered to pay a fine in a case that was widely criticized as an attack on freedom of speech.
The city court of Pskov found Svetlana Prokopyeva guilty of “justifying terrorism” and ordered her to pay a fine of 500,000 rubles (about $ 6,950). Prosecutors sought a six-year prison sentence for Prokopyeva.
Prokopiava’s case stems from a comment published in the wake of the November 2018 suicide attack, in which a 17-year-old Russian man blew himself up at the entrance to the office of the Federal Security Service or FSB, the northern city of Arkhangelsk.
The attacker was killed and three FSB officers were injured.
In his remarks, Prokopyeva criticized oppressive government policies, arguing that they leave little chance for young people to express their dissatisfaction and drive them into despair.
Prokopyeva, a freelance contributor to RFE / RL’s Russian service, has maintained his innocence, dismissing the allegations as an attack on freedom of speech.
“I am not afraid to criticize law enforcement or tell security organs that they are wrong,” Prokopeva said in his final statement on Friday. “Because I know how frightening it will be if I don’t speak – if no one speaks.” She insisted that she only did her work as a journalist.
Prokopyeva told the court, “I have not done anything that goes beyond my professional duty.” And it is not a crime. “Prokopayeva said she would appeal the verdict.
Human rights groups and media sentinels in Russia and abroad criticized the charges against Prokopaiva and sought to be acquitted as part of an effort to trample on freedom of speech. (AP) AMS AMS
Report by hindustantimes.com