Russia targets reporter by raid, investigates criticism of war

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Russian authorities on Wednesday raided the home of a former state TV journalist who quit after protesting on-air against Moscow’s war in Ukraine, and against him for spreading false information about the Russian armed forces, his lawyer said. A criminal case was initiated on the allegation. Said on social media.

Lawyer Dmitry Zakhvatov said the case against Marina Ovsyannikova was initiated under a law enacted after the February 24 invasion of Ukraine, which penalizes statements against the military. A convict can be sentenced to up to 15 years in prison.

Zakhvatov told the independent news site Meduza that the case was probably linked to a protest by Ovsyannikova last month, which carried a banner that said “(Russian President Vladimir) Putin is a murderer, his soldiers are fascists. ”

He said on Telegram that Ovsyannikova is expected to be brought to the Investigative Committee for questioning after the raid.

Ovsyannikova worked as a producer with Channel One, funded by the Russian state. She made international headlines on March 14, when she appeared behind the anchor of an evening news broadcast holding a poster that said “Stop the war, don’t believe the propaganda, they’re here to lie to you. ” He was accused of insulting the Russian military and fined 30,000 rubles ($270 at the time).

After leaving her job, Ovsyannikova became somewhat of an activist, staging an anti-war picket and speaking publicly against the conflict.

He was fined twice in recent weeks for insulting the military in a critical Facebook post and comments made at a court where opposition figure Ilya Yashin was detained pending trial for spreading false information about the military. was sent in.

As of Wednesday, there were 79 criminal cases for spreading false information about the military and 4,000 administrative cases for insulting the armed forces, according to Net Freedom, a legal aid group that focuses on free speech matters.

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