The case of journalist Irina Slavina


09 July 2021

Photo from Irina Slavina’s page in social media  

In October 2020, the Committee Against Torture started a public investigation of the fact of Irina’s self-immolation. The information gathered by the present time does not allow talking about incitement of Irina to suicide (part of the attributes that Article 110 of the Criminal Code of the RF covers, are missing). However, as a result of the investigation, human rights defenders with the Committee made a conclusion that for a long time Slavina was subjected to organized pressure.

“It’s enough to open Slavina’s social media and read her posts of previous several months to realize what degree of emotional stress the journalist was”, — lawyer with the Committee Against Torture Sergey Shounin comments. 

Human rights defenders questioned Slavina’s friends, colleagues and relatives. All of them are confident that the act of self-immolation was caused by long and cynical prosecution of the journalist by the authorities. According to Irina’s friends, relatives, and colleagues, she did not have any psychiatric disorder. However, this subject was discussed publicly. The official posthumous expert examination, mentioning “personality disorder”, was disproved by the review of experts-criminologists in the course of the Committee’s investigation. 

Examination of the materials of numerous administrative cases opened against Irina documents on the criminal case of Mikhail Iosilevich, the journalist’s personal archive and her social networks’ accounts helped to restore day by day the full picture of system-based and regular pressure exerted on the journalist. 

The key event which Slavina feared the most, happened on 1 October 2020. It was a search in her apartment. Irina wrote about the form of this search in her social networks. Legality of this investigative activity raises some questions, — Sergey Shounin comments. — It’s after that when it became finally clear to her that soon it would become impossible for her to continue the journalist activity. Actually, she was losing a meaning of her life”. 

The examined materials point at possible presence of crimes covered by Article 144 of the Criminal Code of the RF (obstruction of legal professional activity of journalists), Article 285 of the Criminal Code of the RF (abuse of office), Article 286 of the Criminal Code of the RF (abuse of office), as well as Article 306 of the Criminal Code of the RF (willfully false crime report) in the actions of the executives of the Department of the Interior of Russia for the Nizhny Novgorod region and of the Prosecutor’s Office of the Nizhny Novgorod city, as well as of other unidentified persons.

Lawyers with the Committee intend to continue their work to establish the facts of violation of Article 2 of the Convention on protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms (“right to life”) with regard to Irina Slavina.

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