Russia dismisses accusations of ‘pressure tactics’ after journalist Irina Slavin’s suicide

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Asked in a regular call with reporters on Tuesday whether he saw the use of research as “a problem,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: “If we talk about it as a trend – no, there is no trend ”.

“If we are talking about individual cases, it is necessary to consider each of them [separately], ” he added.

Irina Slavina – real name Irina Murakhtaeva – died after setting herself on fire last week outside the regional department of the Interior Ministry in the city of Nizhny Novgorod, 400 kilometers east of Moscow.

In a Facebook post on October 1, the day before her death, Slavina said her apartment was searched.

According to Peskov, the Kremlin has no information on the circumstances surrounding the search of Slavina’s apartment. “I just don’t have any information on the reason for the research – why, how,” he said.Slavina’s attorney, Evgeny Gubin, told CNN after her death she had felt the strain of a number of lawsuits against her, assuming she had been “strained” by the “reports. , the hearings, huge fines for what she did not do ”. t do. “

Calls for inquiry are increasing

On Tuesday, an independent Russian organization, the Union of Journalists and Media Workers, issued an open letter calling for an investigation into “the cruel crime of leading Irina Slavina to suicide.”

“We demand to immediately investigate the self-immolation of Irina Slavina and to punish those responsible for having led the journalist to suicide”, indicates the statement addressed to the Ministry of the Interior, to the commission of inquiry and at the Russian prosecutor’s office.

Asked about the appeal of the Syndicate of Journalists, Peskov replied “unfortunately we did not see it”.

The EU’s main spokesperson for foreign affairs and security policy Peter Stano also called for an investigation, saying on Monday that Slavina’s death “needs to be fully investigated, also at in light of the pressure on her for her work and activities, ”in a post on Twitter.

Last year, Russia introduced a series of internet and media laws that raised concerns among activists about potential censorship and surveillance.

The new laws allowed authorities to jail or impose fines on those who spread false information or “disrespect” government officials online, and made it mandatory to establish an independent national Internet, which, critics say could make it easier for the government to block access to politically sensitive content.

CNN’s Sharon Braithwaite and Niamh Kennedy contributed to this report.

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