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Russia Raids Home Of Journalist For Investigating Prominent Oil CEO

Russia’s security services raided the home of investigative journalist Roman Anin and took him in for questioning last week for what his lawyer says is connected to a past investigation Anin has published on the powerful chief executive of Russia’s oil giant Rosneft, Igor Sechin.

The Federal Security Service (FSB) of Russia searched the home of Anin on Friday, took him in for questioning at which Anin refused to answer questions, and later released him.  

Anin, editor-in-chief of independent investigative media outlet iStories, wrote back in 2016 an investigative piece in Russian opposition newspaper Novaya Gazeta, claiming that Igor Sechin, Rosneft’s chief executive and an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, was connected with one of the most luxurious yachts in the world, St. Princess Olga. Sechin sued Novaya Gazeta for defamation and won the lawsuit in 2016.

The case was re-opened last month on the grounds of privacy violations, and Anin is listed as a witness.

Anin’s lawyer, Anna Stavitskaya, told the outlet New Prospect in an interview after Anin’s questioning on Friday that the Federal Security Service doesn’t lead the re-opened case but it is involved in it, “perhaps everyone sees why FSB—the case is connected with Sechin,” she said.  

The European Union and investigative reporters’ associations expressed concern with the Russian questioning of Roman Anin.

“On the face of it, this appears to be a dark day for freedom of the media in Russia. We stand fully behind Anin’s fearless exposure of figures from the criminal and political underworld,” said Gerard Ryle, director of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).

The EU is concerned about the recent raid and the actions against Anin, Peter Stano, Lead Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, said in a statement.

“It is the duty of media to report on issues of public interest. State authorities should ensure that journalists are able to carry out their legitimate work and not hinder or intimidate them,” Stano said.  

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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