Cyprus Mail

Russian prosecutors want to jail fugitive TV journalist for 9-1/2 years

file photo: former russian state tv employee marina ovsyannikova attends a court hearing in moscow
FILE PHOTO: Former Russian state TV employee Marina Ovsyannikova, who staged an anti-war protest on live state television and was later charged with public activity aimed at discrediting the Russian army amid Ukraine-Russia conflict, attends a court hearing in Moscow, Russia, July 28, 2022. REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina/File Photo

Russian prosecutors have demanded a nine-and-a-half-year jail sentence for fugitive former state TV journalist Marina Ovsyannikova, famous for bursting into a news broadcast with a placard that read “Stop the war” and “They’re lying to you”.

The foreign-based independent news site Mediazona said the prosecution had made the demand at Ovsyannikova’s trial in absentia for distributing “fake news”, a term that includes any information about Russia’s war in Ukraine that is at odds with the official narrative.

Ovsyannikova, 45, fled Russia with her daughter for an unspecified European country a year ago after escaping from house arrest, according to her lawyer, saying she had no case to answer.

She had staged her original protest less than three weeks after Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022, in what it called a “special military operation”.

The charge of “fake news” relates to a protest in July last year when she stood on a river embankment opposite the Kremlin and held up a poster calling President Vladimir Putin a murderer and his soldiers fascists.

Russia passed new laws against discrediting or distributing “deliberately false information” about the armed forces on March 4, 2022, eight days after invading Ukraine.

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