Angelina Roshchupko, a freelance reporter with news website Skat Media, was detained in Russia in May 2022 on charges of “participation in a nonprofit organization infringing on people’s identity and rights” and “persuading, recruiting, or involving a person in mass disorder.” If found guilty, she faces up to 10 years in jail.
On May 9, 2022, law enforcement searched Roshchupko’s home in Moscow and detained her, according to her outlet and media reports. Authorities later charged Roshchupko under Article 239, Part 3, of the criminal code for “participation in a nonprofit organization infringing on people’s identity and rights,” her outlet reported. If convicted, she faces up to two years of imprisonment.
On May 10, the Basmanny District Court in Moscow imposed restrictions on Roshchupko for two months, pending the investigation, according to media reports. She would not be allowed to leave her home between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m., communicate with other parties in her case, or send and receive “postal and telegraphic mail.” In addition, she would only be allowed to use the internet and other means of communication for emergency services, according to the reports. A court in Moscow has extended the restrictions on Roshchupko several times, most recently until December 11, according to Skat Media.
Skat Media chief editor Leo Giammer and deputy chief editor Nikita Stupin, who spoke to CPJ via messaging app, said the investigator who searched Roshchupko’s apartment informed the journalist’s partner that the criminal proceedings were linked to Skat Media and political movement Vesna. Skat Media is affiliated with Vesna, which Russian authorities added to a list of “terrorist and extremist organizations” on October 11, Giammer told CPJ.
Roshchupko regularly contributes to Skat Media, which has been covering the war in Ukraine and opposition to it in Russia. “Since the beginning of the war, all authors who have remained in Russia have been using aliases to prevent their identification by the police,” Giammer and Stupin told CPJ.
Roshchupko’s mother was quoted as saying by independent news outlet SOTA that her daughter was not a member of Vesna.
Roshchupko’s lawyer told Skat Media that Roshchupko’s journalistic activity was “one of the major reasons” that she was detained, Giammer and Stupin told CPJ.
Several activists from Vesna were charged in the same case on May 7 and 8, according to news reports. Vesna had planned a protest action on May 9 themed, “They did not fight for this,” according to news reports.
On April 25, Russian state media regulator Roskomnadzor blocked Skat Media’s website without a court’s authorization and without listing the outlet on the register of banned materials, Giammer and Stupin told CPJ.
On September 23, SOTA reported that Roshchupko’s case for “participation in a nonprofit organization infringing on people’s identity and rights” had been merged with a case of "persuading, recruiting, or involving a person in mass disorder." She now faces up to 10 years in jail, according to Article 212, Part 1.1, of the criminal code.
On October 14, the Russian Ministry of Justice designated Roshchupko as a participant in the Vesna movement, Skat Media reported.
Giammer told CPJ via messaging app in October 2022 that Roshchupko was feeling fine and “holding on bravely.”
In October 2022, CPJ called the Russian Ministry of Interior, but nobody answered the phone. CPJ emailed the press service of the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office but did not receive any replies.