Russian anti-war journalist Marina Ovsyannikova reportedly detained | DW | 17.07.2022

Marina Ovsyannikova, the former Russian First Channel journalist who held up an anti-war poster on air and subsequently worked briefly for German newspaper Die Welt, was reportedly detained by Russian police, according to her lawyer and social media.

Her lawyer, Dmitri Zakhvatov, confirmed her arrest to the state-run Ria-Novosti news agency. But he said he did not know where Ovsyannikova had been taken. “I assume that it is linked one way or another to her act of protest,” he added.

“Marina has been detained,” her entourage wrote on the journalist’s Telegram account. “There is no information on where she is.”

Photos of her were posted online showing her being led away by police officers in a minibus. Russian protest monitors OVD-Info in Moscow and Germany’s Cinema for Peace reported on the arrest.

No official statement has been made on reports of her detention.

Ovsyannikova risks facing criminal prosecution

Ovsyannikova had posted photos of herself on Friday with a sign that read “Putin is a murderer!” within sight of the Kremlin.

Such statements could trigger criminal prosecution for publishing “false information” about and “denigrating” the army, offenses that can carry heavy prison sentences.

Ovsyannikova became internationally famous overnight in March when she interrupted a live TV broadcast by holding up an anti-war poster.

She was briefly detained and then released with a fine. 

In the months following her March protest, Ovsyannikova spent some time abroad, including in Ukraine.

The journalist said in early July that she was returning to Russia to settle a dispute over the custody of her children.

ar/wd (AFP, dpa)

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