WASHINGTON -- Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) is alarmed over a criminal investigation that has been brought against journalist Svetlana Prokopyeva for purportedly “justifying terrorism” in remarks she made on a media platform.
“The investigation against Svetlana Prokopyeva is a clear attempt to silence an independent journalist,” said RFE/RL Acting President Daisy Sindelar.
Prokopyeva made remarks portraying a feeling of “hopelessness” among Russia’s youth and criticizing authorities in a commentary for the Pskov affiliate of Ekho Moskvy last November, following a suicide bomb attack outside the local headquarters of the Federal Security Service (FSB) in Arkhangelsk that killed the 17-year old perpetrator and wounded three FSB officers. In addition to reporting for Ekho Moskvy, she is also a freelance contributor to RFE/RL's Russian Service, known locally as Radio Svoboda.
The international NGO Human Rights Watch has condemned the investigation of Prokopyeva and police actions taken against Ekho Moskvy as a “misuse of antiterrorism laws to stifle free speech.” Reporters Without Borders has called the investigation “baseless,” and criticized authorities for equating an opinion with support for terrorism.
RFE/RL relies on its networks of local reporters to provide accurate news and information to over 34 million people in 26 languages and 22 countries where media freedom is restricted, or where a professional press has not fully developed. Its videos were viewed over 2.6 billion times on Facebook and YouTube in FY2018. RFE/RL is an editorially independent media company funded by a grant from the U.S. Congress through the U.S. Agency for Global Media.