Russia: Police Raid Journalists’ Home

ARTICLE 19 submitted the following alert to the Council of Europe Platform for the Protection of Journalism and Safety of Journalists:

On 28 February 2017, the home of Russian journalist and long-time human rights campaigner Zoya Svetova was raided in Moscow for over 4 hours. Her lawyer Anna Stavitskaya reported that 10 plain clothed investigators and 2 representatives of the Federal Security Bureau entered the property after 11am, and searched her computer, personal papers and books. Investigators prohibited anyone inside the flat from using their phones, including journalists who had arrived at the scene.

According to Stavitskaya, the search was linked to the first YUKOS case, a criminal case launched in 2003 against the biggest oil company in Russia, for alleged tax evasion. Stavitskaya stated that Russian law enforcement agencies believe the proceeds of Yukos tax evasion are now being used to fund organisations and individuals, including Svetova.

Svetova is a columnist for the Moscow Times and has been recognised for her work by both Amnesty International and the Russian Union of Journalists.