Home World Russian journalist who protested Ukraine invasion on reside TV is sentenced to over 8 years in jail, in absentia

Russian journalist who protested Ukraine invasion on reside TV is sentenced to over 8 years in jail, in absentia

Russian journalist who protested Ukraine invasion on reside TV is sentenced to over 8 years in jail, in absentia


A journalist recognized for protesting the invasion of Ukraine throughout a night broadcast on Russian state-owned tv was sentenced to over 8 years in jail for her activism efforts, a Moscow court docket introduced Wednesday.

Marina Ovsyannikova made headlines final yr when she walked onto the set of Russia’s Channel One with an indication that stated “No conflict” and “They’re mendacity to you right here.” She was sentenced in absentia on Wednesday to eight years and 6 months in a Russian penal colony, an announcement launched by the Moscow prosecutor’s workplace stated.

The Basmanny District Court docket in Moscow charged Ovsyannikova for spreading false details about the Russian military throughout an indication she staged final yr concerning the conflict in Ukraine, unrelated to her on-air protest.

Ovsyannikova, who resides in France beneath political asylum, referred to as the costs “absurd and politically motivated.”

“I don’t admit my guilt and I don’t return on a single phrase,” stated Ovsyannikova in an announcement addressed to the court docket on Telegram. “I’ve made a really troublesome, however the one right ethical selection in my life and have already paid a reasonably excessive worth for it.”

On a reside stream by the channel Zhivoy Gvozd on Thursday, Ovsyannikova stated the false info cost refers to a protest she staged on a river embankment reverse the Kremlin final yr. She held an indication stating that 352 youngsters had died in Ukraine, info she stated was posted on the UN’s web site, and could possibly be checked out by any Russian citizen.

“Russian courts name this details about the variety of youngsters killed pretend as a result of it isn’t posted on the web site of the Ministry of Protection. Subsequently, prison prices had been introduced towards me,” stated Ovsyannikova on the reside stream.

Ovsyannikova could have been referring to a UN Basic Meeting session on Ukraine in February 2022, the place it was introduced that 352 Ukrainian civilians, together with 16 youngsters, had been killed. In August this yr, the UN confirmed that a minimum of 9,444 civilians have been killed within the Ukraine battle, together with 545 youngsters.

On the reside stream, the 45-year-old activist stated that she resides in France beneath political asylum after fleeing home arrest in Russia along with her 11-year-old daughter final yr. She stated she’s had a troublesome time looking for housing and work for the previous six months.

“When you’ve got an emergency emigration, you flee Russia with one suitcase,” Ovsyannikova stated. “Every little thing that I had in Russia was taken away from me. And, so, dwelling in France with out cash, with out work, and with out paperwork is kind of a troublesome take a look at.”

Ovsyannikova was employed in November at German newspaper WELT. She stated she left after 3 months, and was informed to search for an even bigger publication to supply her with the mandatory safety. WELT confirmed that Ovsyannikova’s contract had expired, however didn’t touch upon the circumstances of her departure.

“We proceed to have the best respect for Ms. Ovsyannikova’s braveness and braveness and want her all the perfect,” stated a spokesperson from WELT.

In a information launch Wednesday, France’s Ministry for Europe and International Affairs denounced Ovsyannikova’s sentencing and counseled her activism efforts.

“France could be very involved by the intensification of the marketing campaign of repression carried out by the Russian authorities towards voices crucial of the federal government and its conflict of aggression towards Ukraine,” the assertion stated.

In accordance with the court docket sentencing, Ovsyannikova is on the worldwide needed checklist in Russia. She has been fined and interrogated a number of occasions for her activism efforts. After her on-air protest, she was interrogated for greater than 14 hours and fined 30,000 rubles for “hooliganism.”

On the Zhivoy Gvozd livestream, Ovsyannikova stated members of her household, together with her mom and 18-year-old son, testified towards her in court docket. Her ex-husband, who she stated is an worker on the RussiaToday TV channel, filed a lawsuit towards her to deprive her of parental rights.

Russian journalist Marina Ovsyannikova and executive director of Reporters Without Borders Christophe Deloire
Russian journalist Marina Ovsyannikova and govt director of Reporters With out Borders (RSF) Christophe Deloire give a press convention at RSF in Paris on Feb. 10.Joel Saget / AFP through Getty Photographs file

The Russian correctional colonies the place Ovsyannikova would serve her sentence have been related to a number of human rights abuses, together with overcrowding, abuse by guards, and insufficient well being care entry. WNBA Basketball star Brittney Griner served a 10-month time period in a Russian penal colony and described the expertise as “unfathomable.”

In accordance with a assertion by the Moscow Prosecutor’s workplace, Ovsyannikova would even be disadvantaged of her proper to make use of the web and different telecommunication networks for 4 years.

Solely 0.25 % of all instances despatched by the Russian judicial system ended with not responsible verdicts, in keeping with the Impartial.

Ovsyannikova that she believes the choice to flee home arrest was the correct one, regardless of the excessive worth she has paid by dwelling in exile.

“To stay silent at that second meant to be complicit on this crime,” Ovsyannikova stated on the livestream.



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