Russian Authorities ‘Arrest in Absentia’ ICFJ Award Winner Roman Anin and Journalist Ekaterina Fomina

By: ICFJ | 06/24/2024
Roman Anin delivering his ICFJ Knight Trailblazer Award acceptance speech at ICFJ's 2020 Tribute to Journalists.

A Moscow court this week issued arrest warrants for ICFJ Knight Award winner Roman Anin and his former colleague, Ekaterina Fomina, both Russian reporters operating in exile.

The investigative journalists are accused of spreading “fakes” about the Russian army, a crime that carries a potential sentence of five to 10 years of imprisonment, according to IStories (or “Important Stories”) – the investigative news outlet that Anin founded.

“The Russian authorities call ‘fake’ any information that does not fit in with their propaganda campaign or does not correspond to the official position of the Kremlin,” IStories wrote.

A two-time winner of ICFJ awards, Anin serves as editor-in-chief of IStories, while Fomina previously worked there as a reporter. Both fled Russia after a crackdown on independent media following the full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

“We stand with Roman and Ekaterina, whose brave journalism has shed light on the reality of the war, undercutting Kremlin propaganda,” ICFJ President Sharon Moshavi said. “The work they do, delivering independent news to the Russian people, is both courageous and vital.”

The arrest warrants for Anin and Fomina, now a reporter with Rain TV, are related to the publication of a video version of an IStories interview conducted in 2022 with a Russian military officer. The officer confessed to Fomina that he killed a Ukrainian civilian. Read more.

Meanwhile, Russian prosecutors indicted U.S. journalist Evan Gershkovich, a reporter for The Wall Street Journal who is falsely accused of espionage. A Russian court said last week that the first hearing in his trial will be held June 26, in secret. The journalist has been held since March 2023.

“We continue to call for Evan’s immediate release,” Moshavi said. “He was arrested on baseless accusations and has been behind bars for over a year. It’s way past time for Evan to be home.”

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