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Family of Russian journalist who self-immolated plans to continue work on the media outlet she founded

The family of Russian journalist Irina Slavina, who self-immolated outside of the police headquarters in Nizhny Novgorod on October 2, have published an open letter stating that they plan to continue work on the publication she founded, Koza.Press. 

“Regarding the fate of Koza.Press, the family declares that the publication will definitely exist. Margarita Murakhtayeva, Irina Slavina’s daughter and a philology student, is already working on the project at the moment. [...] We will take all actions necessary for Koza to meet the high professional and ethical standards set by Irina Slavina,” the letter says.

In the letter, Irina Slavina’s family placed the blame for her suicide on the security forces, who organized “systematic pressure on her as a journalist and a person.” The letter underscores that the family will seek to bring those responsible to justice.

Irina Slavina, who single handedly ran Koza.Press as editor-and-chief, self-immolated on October 2. Moments beforehand, she wrote a Facebook post stating “For my death, blame the Russian Federation.”

Local authorities brought administrative charges against Slavina repeatedly for her reporting published on Koza.Press and for her involvement in activism. On the eve of her suicide, law enforcement officers raided her home in connection with a case concerning an “undesirable organization.” Officially, Slavina was considered a witness in the case.

The independent Journalists’ and Media Workers’ Union and the Russian Presidential Council for Human Rights’ Commission for the Rights of Journalists have called for a criminal investigation into the circumstances surrounding Irina Slavina’s death. The investigative authorities in Nizhny Novgorod believe there are no grounds for such a case.