- Hans Weber
- December 1, 2023
Russian Opposition Journalists in Prague Receive Threats: CPJ Urges Action
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) is calling upon Czech authorities to take swift action in response to a series of threats received by two Russian opposition journalists residing in Prague, Alesya Marokhovskaya and Irina Dolinina. The threats were directed at the investigative website iStories (Important Stories), where both journalists are associated.
Prague police spokesman Jan Danek has confirmed that they are aware of the threats and are actively investigating the matter. Danek, while cautious with specific details for tactical reasons, assured the public that the authorities were taking the threats seriously and conducting a thorough inquiry.
Both Alesya Marokhovskaya and Irina Dolinina currently reside in Prague, along with the majority of iStories’ editorial team. The CPJ highlighted that the portal’s staff relocated to the Czech Republic following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year. This move was prompted by the stringent media regulations imposed in Russia shortly after the invasion began, which severely curtailed press freedom.
The threatening messages sent to iStories included sensitive information such as the street addresses of the two journalists and details of their travel plans. In one message, a menacing tone is evident as it reads, “May your nits from the streets of (name) and (name) not sleep in peace!” Another message escalates the intimidation, saying, “Rest assured, you can’t hide from us anywhere. We know your scumbag ran away like a rat in terror, we will find her elsewhere. She’s not anywhere to go and she’ll have to answer for every lie and evil thing she’s said.”
One message even targeted a journalist’s dog, demonstrating the personal nature of the threats.
In an alarming development, one of the threatening messages contained information meant to deter the two journalists from attending a conference in Gothenburg, Sweden. The message included detailed information about their flights and hotel reservations, raising concerns about their safety.
The CPJ’s call for action underscores the critical need to protect journalists who are facing threats for their work. It is imperative that authorities thoroughly investigate these threats and take measures to ensure the safety and well-being of Alesya Marokhovskaya, Irina Dolinina, and all journalists who continue to work under challenging conditions, particularly those covering sensitive political topics.
Article by Prague Forum