Russian journalist who protested on live television sentenced to 8.5 years in prison in absentia
On July 18, 2019, Russian journalist and broadcaster Svetlana Prokopyeva was sentenced in absentia to 8.5 years behind bars after her arrest for protesting during a live broadcast on Russian state-owned television channel Pervy Kanal in October of 2018. Ms. Prokopyeva had criticized the Russian government’s handling of a bomb attack, which resulted in the arrest and prosecution under Russia’s draconian anti-terrorism laws. She was charged with “justifying terrorism” and was found guilty of “inciting hatred”.
Her sentence was widely condemned by the international media community and human rights advocates, who accused the Russian government of using anti-terror laws to target journalists for their work. To this date, Ms. Prokopyeva is still on the run and her whereabouts are unknown.