Nikolai Andrushchenko, co-founder and editor of the newspaper Novy Peterburg, was initially sentenced to two months’ pretrial detention on charges of defamation and was due for release on March 21, 2008. However, it has been reported that his preliminary detention has now been prolonged for two more months. International PEN protests the extended detention as a violation of Article 19 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Background Information

The day before his arrest on November 21, 2007, police officers raided the newsroom of Novy Peterburg in St. Petersburg, searched Andrushchenko's house, and arrested him.

The police claimed that Andrushchenko was suspected of defaming officials in his writing. Supporters believe that Andrushchenko’s persecution and imprisonment are 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.

More information:

Report from Committee to Protect Journalists 

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
E-mail: [email protected]

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]