A Barnaul court has sentenced RusNews journalist Maria Ponomarenko to six years in prison for fakes about the army. The case against her was based on Ponomarenko’s posts in a telegram channel about victims in Mariupol. RusNews informed about the verdict on February 15.
Maria Ponomarenko has been found guilty of spreading fakes about the army. She has also been banned from journalism for five years. The prosecution had asked for nine years in prison for Ponomarenko.
The defense will appeal the verdict.
Maria Ponomarenko was detained in April 2022 for her posts about the victims in Mariupol. The court sent her to the detention center, where in September, in a state of severe stress, she cut her veins. Medics saved Ponomarenko. Two months later she was placed under house arrest.
Protesting against the mobilization, Ponomarenko demanded to be returned to the detention center. The court denied her demands. On the night of January 27, 2023, the woman had an argument with her ex-husband, in whose apartment she stayed under house arrest, and went to the police. After that incident, she was returned to the detention center.
In her last word, Maria Ponomarenko said she did not consider herself a criminal. Amnesty International has issued a statement in her support, saying that her sentence is "another example of the injustice and cynicism of the Russian authorities.” Human rights activists demanded the release of Ponomarenko and all political prisoners.