Zalina Marshenkulova. Photo: the activities of the Meta Company, owning Instagram, are banned in Russia

13 April 2024, 19:57

Human rights defenders doubt connection between Marshenkulova’s case and fight for women’s rights

A criminal case against journalist Zalina Marshenkulova, accused of justifying terrorism, is not related to her participation in defending women’s rights in Kabardino-Balkaria, human rights defenders note.

The “Caucasian Knot” has reported that on April 10, investigators announced instituting a criminal case against Zalina Marshenkulova, a journalist and an activist from Kabardino-Balkaria, under the article on public justification of terrorism. The reason for the criminal case was the journalist’s posts in her Telegram channel. Zalina Marshenkulova lives in Germany.

Some sources reported that the reason for the criminal prosecution of Zalina Marshenkulova was her statements about the death of blogger Vladlen Tatarsky, who perished in an explosion in a cafe in Sankt Petersburg on April 2, 2023. However, according to the investigators’ version, Zalina Marshenkulova posted “a number of publications on the justification of terrorism” in her Telegram channel “no later than on March 3, 2023,” that is, a month before the Vladlen Tatarsky’s death.

Alexander Verkhovsky, the head of the “SOVA” Research Centre*, doubts that the criminal case is related to Zalina Marshenkulova’s previous activities.

A similar opinion has been expressed by Valery Khatazhukov, the head of the Human Rights Centre of Kabardino-Balkaria. “Zalina Marshenkulova left Kabardino-Balkaria a long time ago ... I don’t think anyone remembers her activities here,” the human rights defender believes.

At the same time, Valery Khatazhukov suggests there is no reason to believe that Zalina Marshenkulova was perceived in Kabardino-Balkaria as a fighter for women’s rights.

In turn, Katerina Neroznikova, a journalist and a former coordinator of the human rights group “Marem”, considers the Zalina Marshenkulova’s case a sign of “targeted persecution of fem activists.”

*Included by the Russian Ministry of Justice (MoJ) into the register of foreign agents.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on April 12, 2024 at 02:33 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Source: СK correspondent

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