Finns protest against Putin

The Moscow Times has published a report on the case of Russian journalist Yelena Maglevannaya, who has asked for political asylum in Finland:

Maglevannaya […] said she feared that her life was in danger in Russia after messages that she should be killed for her reports were posted on the web site of a nationalist group, the Russian Nationwide Union. She said a doctor at the prison where the Chechen inmate was incarcerated belonged to the nationalist group and had posted a photo of her on the web site with the headline, “Enemies Should Be Known by Face.”

Finnish authorities have placed Maglevannaya in a dormitory for refugees, she said.

Repeated calls to the Finnish Interior Ministry, which oversees requests for political asylum, went unanswered late Monday afternoon.

More than 15 Russian journalists covering political issues have requested asylum abroad since Vladimir Putin assumed power nine years ago, said Oleg Panfilov, director of the Center for Journalism in Extreme Situations.

“They can’t stand the working conditions [in Russia],” Panfilov said.

Meanwhile, FinRosForum announces that a demonstration will be held on Helsinki’s Kirkkokatu today between 12.00 and 14.00 to protest against the policies of Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin, who is on an official visit to Finland.

See also: “Institutionalized Lawlessness”

Russian journalist seeks political asylum in Finland [FinRosForum]

Yelena Maglevannaya, Russian journalist working for the Volgograd-based newspaper Svobodnoe Slovo (Free Speech), has applied for political asylum in Finland. Ms Maglevannaya has collaborated with several human rights organisations in Russia. She has focused on cases of persecution against Chechens in particular.

Ms Maglevannaya has become the target of persecution herself after revealing facts about torture in Russian prisons. On 12 May 2009, she was found guilty of defamation and fined RUR 200,000 (EUR 4,600) after she released information about torture in a local prison. Ms Maglevannaya considers the sentence unjust, and has no intention to retract her articles.

Yelena Maglevannaya, 27, took part in the third annual conference of the Finnish-Russian Civic Forum, FINROSFORUM 2009, in Helsinki on 25-26 May 2009. Speaking on the second day of the conference, Ms Maglevannaya recounted the fate of Chechens held in Russian prisons, particularly that of Zubair Zubairaev, whose case she has championed.

Yelena Maglevannaya @ LiveJournal

Svobodnoe Slovo

See also in this blog: “Institutionalized lawlessness”: Russian journalist fined for prison reports