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Doxa editor facing additional charges for allegedly slandering an investigator

Source: Meduza

The Russian Investigative Committee has opened a second criminal case against student journalist Vladimir Metelkin for allegedly slandering an investigator. Metelkin, along with three other editors from the student journal Doxa, already faces criminal charges for allegedly involving minors in illegal protests. 

Pavel Chikov, from the human rights group Agora, shared a copy of the notice about the new criminal case on Telegram on May 28. Chikov wrote that it was opened over alleged slander against an investigator during the preliminary investigation into the “Doxa Case.” The notice doesn’t specify the charges under which the case was initiated.

Earlier, Vladimir Metelkin filed a petition requesting the disqualification of investigator Ekaterina Zhizhmanova after she told him she thought he was “sexy” (Doxa released an audio recording of the conversation on Telegram). Metelkin argued that Zhizhmanova’s actions constituted a violation of personal boundaries and professional ethics, as well as a means of psychological pressure.

Following Metelkin’s complaint, Zhizhmanova was suspended from working on his case and transferred to the investigation against his co-defendant, Doxa editor Natalya Tyshkevich. Zhizhmanova was later removed from working on Tyshkevich’s case, as well.

Vladimir Metelkin, Natalya Tyshkevich, and two other Doxa journalists — editor-in-chief Armen Aramyan and editor Alla Gutnikova — are facing criminal charges for allegedly involving minors in illegal protest actions. Pending trial, they were all placed under de facto house arrest in April. A Moscow court later eased the preventive measures against them slightly. 

The “Doxa Case” was launched over a video condemning the persecution of students who attended opposition protests in support of jailed Kremlin critic Alexey Navalny.