Russian journalist accused of ‘justifying terrorism’ avoids prison but gets hefty fine
On Monday, July 6, a military court in Pskov convicted journalist Svetlana Prokopyeva of “justifying terrorism” in an article about a suicide bombing against a Federal Security Service building in Arkhangelsk. Though prosecutors wanted her imprisoned for six years, the court only fined her 500,000 rubles (almost $7,000).
Prokopyeva says she plans to challenge the ruling.
The investigation against Prokopyeva began more than a year ago in February 2019. In a text written for Ekho Moskvy’s branch in Pskov, she partly blamed a suicide bombing in October 2018 against an FSB building on the FSB itself, arguing that the Russian authorities are themselves responsible for creating the conditions that drive citizens to fight against it.
In a public statement following the ruling, the journalists’ association “Syndicate-100” condemned the “disgraceful verdict” and demanded Prokopyeva’s complete exoneration. “The right time was selected for this verdict — immediately after the constitutional amendments,” Syndicate-100 said it its statement. “They’re telling us that this here is the new legal reality in which you will live.”