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Ukraine war: Russian reporter who protested conflict on live TV handed ‘absurd’ 8-year jail term in absentia

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An exiled Russian reporter who protested against Moscow’s offensive in Ukraine live on state TV was handed over eight years jail in absentia on Wednesday for spreading “fake news” about Moscow’s army.

Marina Ovsyannikova, 45, held up a protest placard during an evening news programme March last year, that read “Stop the war” and “They’re lying to you”, but was sentenced for a separate protest she made outside the Kremlin last July.

“The court sentenced Ovsyannikova to eight years and six months’ imprisonment, to be served in a general regime penal colony,” the Moscow prosecutor’s office said.

‘They are lying to you’: anti-war protester disrupts Russian news

Ovsyannikova, who was not present for the sentencing, fled the country last year with her 11-year-old daughter, for an unspecified European country after escaping from house arrest, according to her lawyer, saying she had no case to answer.

She staged her original protest less than three weeks after Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022, in what it called a “special military operation”.

The charge of “fake news” relates to a protest in July last year when she stood on a river embankment opposite the Kremlin and held up a poster calling President Vladimir Putin a murderer and his soldiers fascists.

In a statement posted on Tuesday before the sentencing, she called the charges against her “absurd and politically motivated”.

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Russian journalist protests against Ukraine war on live TV – and is detained

Russian journalist protests against Ukraine war on live TV – and is detained

“They decided to flog me for not being afraid and for calling things by their names,” she said.

“Of course, I do not admit my guilt. And I do not deny any of my words. I made a very hard, but the only right moral choice in my life, and I have already paid a high enough price for it,” she said.

Since Russia launched full-scale hostilities against Ukraine last year, authorities have launched an unprecedented crackdown on dissent, jailing or fining dozens who oppose the conflict.

Russia passed new laws against discrediting or distributing “deliberately false information” about the armed forces on March 4, 2022, eight days after invading Ukraine.

Article was originally published from here

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