2.10.2020 “I ask you to blame the Russian Federation for my death” wrote journalist Irina Slavina,47, on her Facebook page. Today she committed self-immolation in front of the building of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Nizhny Novgorod in protest against persecutions she has been through for last years. A man, passing by, has tried to save her from fire, but in vain.
Slavina has been persecuted for years for her publications concerning corruption, and defending ecology in city of Nizhny Novgorod. Her protest followed the day after the four hours search in her apartment, conducted with numerous breaches of law by the investigators and police, in presence of witnesses, all together 12 people stormed in at 6 AM looking for “brochures, leaflets and accounts” from the Open Russia opposition group, which is financed by Kremlin critic Mikhail Khodorkovsky. The search was the last one in a long chain of acts of persecution which lasted for years, in attempts to prevent Slavina from journalistic investigations.
The editor-in-chief of the Koza.Press edition, Irina Slavina, was searched with confiscation of personal belongings and equipment. The persecution has been initiated for alleged cooperation with an “undesirable organization”, namely “Open Russia” of Mikhail Khodordovsky. As Irina Slavina told her colleagues the security forces are convinced that “Open Russia” is funding the mass pro-ecology protests in Nizhny Novgorod.
“I was informed with a decree, though not allowed to photograph it, that a criminal case had been opened against Mikhail Ioselevich. As part of this case, my house was searched. Before the start of the search, I was asked to voluntarily hand over brochures and leaflets of Open Russia. It is clear that I could do nothing to help the investigation, since I have nothing to do with Open Russia. Then the search began, it lasted more than 4 hours. They took away all the electronic media – two laptops, and a stationary PC. They also took the phone not only from me, but also from my husband, leaving us without any means of communication at all. And they didn’t even give a copy of the protocol, they didn’t give anything at all. I was not allowed to call a lawyer, they immediately took my phone away” Slavina wrote on her Facebook.
Irina Slavina took an active part in coverage of the public discussions around protection of local park from modernisation, damaging the ecology of the area. After her tragic death people started to bring flowers and candles to the place of her self-immolation. Her husband and daughter came to the place of her suicide in the afternoon. The family has not made any public statement.
WARNING: disturbing graphic