(New York, NY) — On Monday, a Russian court found journalist Svetlana Prokopieva, a correspondent for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and Echo of Moscow, guilty on specious charges of “inciting terrorism,” in connection with her 2018 reporting on a 17-year-old who committed suicide inside an FSB building. While prosecutors had initially sought a six-year prison sentence and four-year work ban, the judge instead fined Prokopieva 500,000 rubles ($7,000 USD). PEN America condemns this unjust conviction as an attempt to punish Prokopieva for her reporting. Polina Sadovskaya, program director for Eurasia at PEN America, said the following:

“Prokopieva’s case is consistent with the Russian government’s ongoing efforts to quash free expression in the country through convictions on bogus terrorism or other trumped-up charges. Here, it is clear that authorities pursued criminal charges against Prokopieva in order to retaliate against her critical reporting. While Prokopieva will be fined rather than imprisoned, the verdict should not be celebrated as a victory for free expression. Prokopieva has been convicted for doing her job as a journalist, something which is no crime, and for which she should never have faced charges in the first place.”