Please donate to help Russian journalist Svetlana Prokopyeva pay a substantial fine of 500,000 rubles imposed on her by a Russian court in retaliation for her independent journalism.
A Russian court on July 3 found independent Russian journalist Svetlana Prokopyeva guilty of “justifying terrorism,” marking a frightening escalation in the state’s attack on the independent press. More than 30 independent Russian journalists have issued statements in support of Svetlana and denouncing the verdict as being politically motivated, with some calling the case a defining moment for the country’s press.
Svetlana was ordered to pay a fine of 500,000 rubles (about $6,950), a substantial sum for a freelance journalist in Russia. Prosecutors had asked for a six-year prison sentence and to bar her from journalistic activities for four years. She was charged in connection with a commentary she published in November 2018 for the Ekho Moskvy radio station in which she suggested that despair may have driven a Russian teenager to blow himself up in an attack at the offices of the Federal Security Service (FSB) in the northern city of Arkhangelsk. Svetlana is also a freelance contributor to RFE/RL’s Russian Service.
The USAGM Employee Association, an independent registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, believes that journalists should not be subject to arbitrary and unjust reprisal, attack, injury, or detention for doing their job. Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.” The Association is steadfast in defending this essential human right.
Please support independent journalism in Russia by donating to help Svetlana. Due to security concerns, your donation will remain anonymous from the public. Should you prefer for it to be publicized, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Around the world, journalists risk their lives and livelihoods every day to report the truth to audiences in media-restrictive environments. Should any funds be raised during the campaign in excess of the amount required to pay the fine, your generosity will go to the Association’s general assistance fund to support journalists, contributors, freelancers, or other individuals associated with USAGM networks who are persecuted or face hardship simply for doing their critical work in support of freedom and democracy.