Roman Dobrokhotov

Russia: Police raids are blatant attempt to intimidate Investigative journalist

Following the raid on the Moscow apartment of journalist and editor, Roman Dobrokhotov, as well as the home of his parents, Marie Struthers, Amnesty International Eastern Europe and Central Asia Regional Director, said:

“This morning’s police raids are a blatant attempt to intimidate a journalist who has made clear his intention not to be silenced by the designation last week of his publication as a ‘foreign agent’.

This morning’s police raids are a blatant attempt to intimidate a journalist who has made clear his intention not to be silenced by the designation last week of his publication as a ‘foreign agent'

Marie Struthers, Amnesty International

“Fears are growing that today’s house searches may be a precursor to Roman Dobrokhotov being unjustly named as a suspect in criminal libel case for which he might face up to two years’ imprisonment. 

Russian authorities must end the harassment of Roman Dobrokhotov, remove the ‘foreign agent’ label from his publication

Marie Struthers, Amnesty International

“Russian authorities must end the harassment of Roman Dobrokhotov, remove the ‘foreign agent’ label from his publication, The Insider, and stop the witch hunt against journalists, civil society groups and human rights defenders who challenge Vladimir Putin’s repressive government. They must also decriminalize libel and stop using criminal proceedings against their critics.”

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact Stefan Simanowitz: press @amnesty.org / +44 20 7413 5566

Twitter: @amnestypress

BACKGROUND

On 23 July, The Insider, the publication of which Roman Dobrokhotov is the founder and editor-in-chief, was labeled a “foreign agent” by Russian authorities.

Dobrokhotov said the media outlet, which is registered in Latvia, would ignore the decision.

Russia’s draconian “foreign agents” law has been widely used to starve independent civil society organizations and media of their funding, tarnish their reputations, and subject their staff to intimidation or prosecution. The law has also been amended and applied to individuals to target Russian human rights defenders and political activists.  

Under the law, the “foreign agents” label is obligatory for publications and other materials issued by public associations and their members, as well as for NGO staff and individuals officially designated as such.