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Russian court fines journalist after anti-war protest on television

09:10 16 March 2022 Author :  

A Russian court fined journalist Marina Ovsyannikova on Tuesday after she interrupted a live broadcast to protest the ongoing war in Ukraine. 

The Ostankinsky district court found Ovsyannikova, an employee of the Pervy TV station, guilty of organizing an unauthorized public event and fined her 30,000 rubles ($270).

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov called the incident "a show" and "hooliganism."

The Russian Investigative Committee opened a criminal case against Ovsyannikova under the "public dissemination of deliberately false information about the use of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation" which was recently added to the Russian Criminal code. Those charged under the new law can receive up to 15 years in jail.

Ovsyannikova stormed into the studio of the Vremya news program Monday evening and stood behind anchor Ekaterina Andreeva with a poster that demanded an end to Russia's special operation in Ukraine.

Meanwhile, French President Emmanuel Macron said Tuesday that Paris was ready to offer consular protection or political asylum to Ovsyannikova.

"We are obviously going to launch diplomatic steps to offer protection either at the embassy or asylum protection. I will have the opportunity during my next meeting with President Putin to propose this solution in a direct and very concrete way," Macron said in a statement to reports following his visit to a reception center for Ukrainian refugees in La Pommeraye (Maine-et-Loire) in Western France.

He said Moscow will be asked to provide clarity on Ovsyannikova’s case so that Paris can undertake steps accordingly.

Macron also expressed France’s support to journalists covering the war.

In a tweet Sunday, he offered condolences to a US journalist killed in Ukraine and lauded journalists for their courage.

He said journalism’s ideal of the freedom to inform is "fundamental to our democracies."/aa

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