Nikolai Andrushchenko, co-founder and editor of the newspaper Novy Peterburg, was freed on bail according to a decision taken by the Dzerzhinski District Court of St. Petersburg, on May 20, 2008. 

Background Information

According to PEN's infornation, Nikolai Andrushchenko was initially sentenced to two months of pre-trial detention on charges of defamation and obstruction of justice on November 24, 2007. On expiry of the sentence, he was sent to a psychiatric institution. Following that, his detention was extended further until after the Russian Presidential elections in March. The term was extended yet again, and expired in late May. The police claimed that Andrushchenko was suspected of defaming officials in his writings, while his supporters believe that his imprisonment is the result of Novy Peterburg's critical reporting of local authorities and its pro-opposition articles in the run-up to the country's parliamentary elections on December 2, 2007.

Write A Letter

  • protesting the extended detention of Nikolai Andrushchenko;
  • expressing concern that charges against Andrushchenko seem to be linked to his reporting and that, if so, his arrest would be in direct opposition to Article 19 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which guarantees the right to freedom of expression, and to which Russia is a signatory;
  • calling for Nikolai Andrushchenko’s unconditional release.

Send Your Letter To

President of the Russian Federation
Mr. Vladimir Vladmirovich Putin
Fax: + 7 095 206 5173 / 230 2408

Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation
Mr. Vladimir Ustinov
Rossiyskaya Federatsiya  103793
Moskva K-31, Ul. B. Dimitrovka, d 15a
Prokuratura Rossiyskoy Federatsii
Generalnomu prokuroru Ustinovu V
Fax: + 7 095 292 88 48

We suggest that you send similar appeals to the Russian embassy in your own country.

Please check with PEN if you're sending an appeal after May 24, 2008: ftw [at]