Investigative journalist's home raided by Russian authorities

Investigative journalist's home raided by Russian authorities
© Getty Images

Russian authorities raided the residence of investigative journalist Roman Dobrokhotov, The Associated Press reported.

Dobrokhotov, who is the editor-in-chief of investigative news site The Insider, tweeted in a thread on Wednesday that Russian authorities were knocking at his residence, sharing his home address and saying that he would need a lawyer. 

“Apparently I have a search. The police are knocking,” Dobrokhotov wrote in a tweet translated from Russian.  

ADVERTISEMENT

An attorney from a legal aid group Pravozashchita Otkrytki told the newswire that authorities seized the journalist’s cellphones, laptops, tablets and international passport during their raid. 

The legal aid group also said that Dobrokhotov was a witness in the criminal case against unidentified individuals on charges of slander due to an alleged tweet about the Boeing MH-17 crash, according to the AP. 

After police completed their search of his parents’ residence, Dobrokhotov was taken into custody for questioning. 

The recent raid comes as investigative journalists, supporters of the opposition movement and human rights activists are facing increased pressure from the Russian government before an important parliamentary election on Sept. 19. 

The Russian government has been labeling various new sites, including The Insider, VTimes and Meduza as “foreign agents," which can lead to more government scrutiny that can discredit them, the AP reported. 

After he was questioned, Dobrokhotov told reporters that his news site will continue to publish even after he lost essential items due to the investigation. 

“And, of course, it’s serious pressure. But it’s clear that The Insider will continue to exist. Investigations will be released even if I am arrested. If they hope to halt the work of the news site, they hope in vain,” Dobrokhotov said. 

The Insider has worked with investigating company Bellingcat to probe high-profile cases including the poisonings of former Russian spy Sergei Sripal and opposition leader Alexey Navalny, the AP noted.