Journalist Olga Li called in for questioning by Investigative Committee

posted 11 Apr 2016, 06:11 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 11 Apr 2016, 06:22 ]
5 April 2016

Source: (info)
Kursk region Duma deputy and editor-in-chief of the newspaper Narodnyi zhurnalist (‘People’s Journalist’) Olga Li, who has been critical of the president, has been called in for questioning by the Investigative Committee. According to her lawyer Roman Lyzlov, the questioning is set to take place on 6 April, the same day as a court hearing on the illegality of the first criminal case opened against her. writes that Olga Li will be questioned by Sergei Potemkin, the chief investigator of the major investigations department of Kursk region’s Investigative Committee.

A few days after strongly criticising the president at the beginning of March, deputy and journalist Olga Li became the subject of two criminal cases, which were consolidated into a single case at the end of last week.

These are the alleged defamation of Liudmila Shurova, a judge at Kursk’s Leninsky district court (Article 298.1, Section 1 of the Criminal Code), and “the incitement of hatred or enmity on the grounds of belonging to the social group of government officials” (Article 282, Section 1 of the Criminal Code).

Lyzlov noted that a complaint had already been filed regarding the illegality of the defamation case. This will be considered on 6 April 2016 at the Leninsky district court in Kursk.

“We consider the initiation of criminal proceedings both for defamation and for extremism to be illegal and unjustified,” said Lyzlov. “The criminal prosecution and the growing pressure as a result are linked to Olga Li’s criticism of the president. She is being persecuted for publicly expressing her opinion. There is absolutely no evidence of defamation or extremism.”

In March, Li uploaded a video to YouTube in which she criticised President Putin.

“I am mostly being criticised for the fact that I do not support Russia’s annexation of Crimea and I insult Putin,” said Li. “I have been condemned by the deputies of every party. A KPRF deputy said that my words regarding the illegal annexation of Crimea are dividing the country and at this difficult time we need to stand together on the subject of Crimea. The deputy suggested that I publicly apologise and retract what I said.

“I replied that the actions of the current government are leading the country to war. I do not want this and will not abandon my convictions. I voiced my own value judgements, which is my right. I was prepared for problems and will tackle them as they arise.”

Translated by Nicky Brown