Russian journalist Irina Slavina has died after setting himself on fire in front of a police administration building in the industrial city of Nizhny Novgorod in Russia. This is what AFP says.
Slavina edited the independent Russian website Koza.Press. According to Slavina’s friends and supporters, the site was addressed by the president Vladimir Putin critics and published investigative journalism.
Prior to the suicide, police had conducted a home search of Slavina’s apartment. The investigation was related to what is known as Putin’s critic Mihail Hodokovskin to the Open Russia opposition group. The information was published on Slavina’s website before his death.
Authorities had accused the group of funding protests in the city.
A few hours before his death, he wrote on Facebook:
– I ask you to blame the Russian state for my death.
Slavina said in Russian BBC:According to him, the police had seized computers, memory sticks and the phones of her, her husband and daughter.
City authorities confirmed Slavina’s death in a press release. Burn marks had been found on his body. However, according to the press release, there would be no grounds to link the death to police searches, as he would have been in the investigation only as a witness.
In Russia, journalists and activists have praised Slavina since her death. Human rights activist Pavel Chikov said he had worked with Slavina twice after he had been charged with denigrating the authorities and publishing false information.
A Russian opposition leader in treatment after a neurotoxic attack in Germany Aleksei Navalnyi described Slavina’s death as “horrible”.
– Slavina was prosecuted during a political chase. His home was searched, the doors cut off, and the computers confiscated. They actually drove him to suicide.
Nizhny Novgorod is located on the banks of the Volga, about 400 km from Moscow.