Russian journalist sets herself on fire for ministry and dies

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A Russian journalist died on Friday after setting herself on fire in front of a building of the Russian Interior Ministry in the city of Nizhny Novgorod. A day earlier, the police had searched her apartment, her employer reports.

Irina Slavina was editor-in-chief at Goat Press, a small local news channel that openly claims to use “no censorship” and “take no orders from above.”

Prior to her suicide attempt, the woman wrote on her Facebook page to “blame the Russian Federation” for her death. Slavina also wrote that agents and detectives had been looking for “brochures, pamphlets and reports” from the Open Russia opposition group, which is funded by Kremlin critic Mikhail Khodorkovsky.

According to Slavina, agents had seized her notebooks, laptop and other electronics, as well as her daughter’s laptop and her husband’s cell phone.

A Russian commission of inquiry reported Friday that it opened a preliminary investigation into a woman who set herself on fire in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia’s fifth-largest city with 1.3 million inhabitants. The authorities did not mention the name Slavina in their statement.

According to some Russian opposition members, Slavina regularly tried to put pressure on the authorities.

Are you thinking about suicide? You are not alone. Contact 113 Suicide Prevention at www.113.nl or call 113 (local rate) or 0800-0113 (free).

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