Russian journalist imprisoned for speaking against invasion

Thursday, February 16, 2023 | Tag Cloud Tags:

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by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) – Russian journalist and mother of two young children Maria Ponomarenko has been sentenced to six years imprisonment in Russia for criticizing the Russian invasion of Ukraine and highlighting the deadly military attack on hundreds of civilians sheltering in a Ukrainian theater last year, Radio Free Europe (RFE) reports.

Ponomarenko is just the latest in an increasing number of journalists and citizens who are being arrested and charged with publishing or sharing information that is considered to discredit the Russian military, RFE said.

Ponomarenko was arrested in April 2022 after making online social media statements about the Russian war on Ukraine, especially highlighting the infamous attack by Russian fighter planes on a theater in the Ukrainian port of Mariupol, in which hundreds of civilians were killed, RFE reports.

At the hearing for sentencing in the Siberian city of Barnaul, Ponomarenko addressed the court, saying: “Patriotism is love for the motherland. And love for the motherland should not be manifested in the encouragement of crime. Corruption is a crime. Attacking a neighbor is a crime…There will never be a winner in the slaughter of two brothers, believe me…. I do not differentiate Ukrainians from Russians. I feel sorry for every drop of blood shed for no reason.”

In addition to the prison term, Ponomarenko was further sentenced to a five-year ban on any journalistic or online activity after her release, RFE said.

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