Site Archive‎ > ‎News‎ > ‎Mikhail Afanasyev‎ > ‎

Independent journalist in Abakan threatened with 14th criminal prosecution

11 March 2013

Source: Open Information Agency 

On this occasion it was the Interior Minister of the Republic of Khakassia who personally wrote the allegation of defamation. On 11 March the editor of the New Focus online magazine Mikhail Afanasyev was questioned at the Investigative Committee of the Republic of Khakassia. The reason for the interrogation was a statement by the Interior Minister for the Republic of Khakassia Ilya Olkhovsky.

Afanasyev himself told the Agora Human Rights Association about this.

On 11 March, as part of the preliminary investigation, Special Investigator from the Investigative Committee of Khakassia Sergei Oshchepkov asked Mikhail Afanasyev to clarify the article he wrote "Bandits are getting money out of the Khakassia police." According to Oshchepkov, the Interior Minister for Khakassia was offended by what the journalist wrote, alleging that the minister had "a meeting with a crook and paid him 50,000 roubles to get him to testify against his comrades."

"I replied that I would not give any clarifications, since I believe that the aim of the investigation is to bring criminal charges against me in order to put pressure on me," said Mikhail Afanasyev. "The investigator tried for almost an hour to persuade me, saying that he wanted to conduct an objective investigation. I replied that I had nothing to add, this would after all be the 14th criminal case against me in my 15 years as a journalist, 10 of which I have been under investigation. All things considered, I fully expect to see Investigator Oshchepkov conducting a search of my home."