New York, June 15, 2020 – In advance of tomorrow’s trial of Russian journalist Svetlana Prokopyeva on charges of “justifying terrorism,” the Committee to Protect Journalists issued the following statement:
“Russian authorities should drop the absurd charges against journalist Svetlana Prokopyeva, lift the travel ban imposed against her, unfreeze her assets, and allow her to work freely and safely,” said CPJ Europe and Central Asia Program Coordinator Gulnoza Said. “By putting a journalist on trial for expressing her views, authorities have expressed serious intent to gag public discourse if it deviates from the Kremlin-authorized line.”
Prokopyeva’s trial was originally scheduled for April, but was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to news reports. Authorities accuse Prokopyeva of “justifying terrorism” over the comments she made on liberal radio station Ekho Moskvy in November 2018, when she discussed a suicide bombing attack, Prokopyeva told CPJ in an interview. If convicted, she could face up to seven years in prison.