The Committee for Freedom of Information of the Human Rights Council under the President of the Russian Federation called the criminal case on justification of terrorism, initiated against journalist Svetlana Prokopyeva from Pskov, absurd. This is stated in the Committee’s declaration published on the HRC's website.
On July 3, the Prosecutor's office demanded that the employee of Echo of Moscow in Pskov be sentenced to six years in prison and banned from journalism for four years. The criminal case was initiated against Svetlana Prokopyeva due to her radio program about a terrorist attack organized by a 17-year-old anarchist in 2018 in the building of the FSB Directorate for Arkhangelsk Oblast. On July 6, the journalist’s sentence should be read out.
The HRC’s Committee resented this demand of the Prosecutor's office, as Prokopyeva, in their opinion, was only trying to analyze the motives of Mikhail Zhlobitsky, who exploded himself at the building of the Arkhangelsk FSB Directorate, and ventured an opinion that the state itself, with its excessive cruelty, pushed young people to illegal actions.
"Hundreds of books have been written about the motivation of terrorists and the origin of terrorism as a phenomenon. Trying to figure out their motives does not mean that people take part in a crime. Prokopyeva did not express any support for Zhlobitsky's action. The very fact of bringing a case against her is absurd," the human rights defenders said in their declaration.
The Committee believes that the Prosecutor's office could have dropped the charges and thus closed the case which is controlled by the international community. But instead, the declaration says, the agency has made absolutely absurd demands for a long-time criminal term in the absence of the event of a crime.
"We are waiting for the sentence, but we are also expressing our sympathy to other victims of the Prosecutor's office in Pskov which has shown its complete incompetence today, in advance," the HRC said. "We hope that the court will be more qialified than the prosecution."
Earlier, the Human Rights Council (in its former composition) demanded stopping the criminal case against Svetlana Prokopyeva, as linguists had not found any signs of justification of terrorism in what she had said on-air on the Echo of Moscow in Pskov Radio Station.
The case on the justification of terrorism was initiated against journalist Svetlana Prokopyeva from Pskov in February 2019. The trial began on June 17, 2020, Prokopyeva said there that she had not done anything that went beyond her professional duty. Declarations in support of Svetlana were made by the OSCE, the International Press Institute, the Trade Union and the Union of Journalists of Russia. Mass actions were held in Pskov in order to demand stopping Prokopyeva's criminal prosecution, and on July 3, one-person pickets with similar demands were held in Moscow and resulted into the detentions of journalists and activists.
Elena Zholobova, «7х7»