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Third criminal case initiated against woman human rights defender Isabella Evloeva

Status: 
Facing charges
About the situation

On 27 July 2022, the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation in the Republic of Ingushetia initiated a third criminal case against woman human rights defender Isabella Evloeva. The woman human rights defender is being charged with public dissemination of deliberately false information about the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation as per part 1 of Article 207.3 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. The Russian authorities also issued a country-wide search warrant for Isabella Evloeva. If convicted, the woman human rights defender faces charges up to 3 years in prison, however, aggravating charges are up to 15 years.

On 7 June 2022, in Sunzha, Ingushetia, representatives of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation raided the apartment where woman human rights defender and journalist, Isabella Evloeva, is officially registered. The apartment belongs to her elderly parents. This raid is part of a continued state-sponsored criminal persecution against Isabella Evloeva, who is now being charged with two counts of "public circulation of fake information on the deployment of the Russian army and the state bodies' execution of its powers." Article 207.3 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation suggests that, if charged, a woman human rights defender may face up to 15 years in prison.

About Isabella Evloeva

Isabella Evloeva is a woman human rights defender and journalist. She is the Editor-in-Chief of Fortanga.org, a regional independent media outlet that covers human rights violations in the Republic of Ingushetia, including the border conflict between the Chechen Republic and the Republic of Ingushetia, and covers persecution of the human rights defenders and activists in Ingushetia. The woman human rights defender also writes for her telegram-based blog "Not a Woman, but a Journalist" and she uses this platform to write about mass human rights violations committed by the Russian military in Ukraine. Isabella Evloeva collaborated with other media outlets covering Russia's North Caucasus, including Caucasian Knot, Kavkaz.Realii., and Current Time.

10 August 2022
Third criminal case initiated against woman human rights defender Isabella Evloeva

On 27 July 2022, the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation in the Republic of Ingushetia initiated a third criminal case against woman human rights defender Isabella Evloeva. The woman human rights defender is being charged with public dissemination of deliberately false information about the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation as per part 1 of Article 207.3 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. The Russian authorities also issued a country-wide search warrant for Isabella Evloeva. If convicted, the woman human rights defender faces charges up to 3 years in prison, however, aggravating charges are up to 15 years.

Isabella Evloeva is a woman human rights defender and journalist. She is the Editor-in-Chief of Fortanga.org, a regional independent media outlet that covers human rights violations in the Republic of Ingushetia, including the border conflict between the Chechen Republic and the Republic of Ingushetia, and covers persecution of human rights defenders and activists in Ingushetia. The woman human rights defender also writes for her telegram-based blog "Not a Woman, but a Journalist" and she uses this platform to write about mass human rights violations committed by the Russian military in Ukraine. Isabella Evloeva collaborated with other media outlets covering Russia's North Caucasus, including Caucasian Knot, Kavkaz.Realii., and Current Time.

On 27 July 2022, the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation in the Republic of Ingushetia initiated a third criminal case against woman human rights defender Isabella Evloeva. The reason for additional persecution is the Federal Security Service in the Republic of Ingushetia’s report which stated that on June 26, 2022, Fortanga.org published so-called deliberately false information on it’s Telegram channel about a Russian military attack on the Kremenchug Shopping Mall. The woman human rights defender is being charged with public dissemination of deliberately false information about the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation as per part 1 of Article 207.3 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation for alledgedly spreading “fakes” about the Russian military. The Russian authorities also issued a country-wide search warrant for Isabella Evloeva.

Since Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the Investigative Committee launched two criminal cases against Isabella Evloeva. In both cases, the authorities claim that the woman human rights defender violated the law on "circulating fake information about the activities of the Russian military in Ukraine." Isabella Evloeva first faced the charges on 25 March 2022, for her blog post, where she criticised the use of minors in military propaganda and the fact that local authorities in the city of Magas had placed the letter ‘Z’, which has become the symbol of Russia's war in Ukraine, on the Tower of Concord. The woman human rights defender wrote that the letter ‘Z’ is a "new-age svastika in Russia- a synonym of the aggression, death, pain, and shameless manipulation." The second count of "fake information" charges emerged on 28 April 2022. The Investigative Committee charged Isabella Evloeva for her blog post on horrendous crimes committed by the Russian military in the Ukrainian city of Bucha.

Front Line Defenders reiterates its grave concerns about the continued persecution and the inclusion on the wanted list of woman human rights defender and journalist, Isabella Evloeva, for her peaceful and legitimate human rights work. Front Line Defenders condemns the Russian Government's continued use of the Russian Federation's Criminal Code Article 207.3 on "fake information against the activities of Russian military" to continue to censor civic liberities and disproportionately target human rights defenders and journalists.

8 June 2022
Woman human rights defender & journalist Isabella Evlovea's parents' apartment raided

On 7 June 2022, in Sunzha, Ingushetia, representatives of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation raided the apartment where woman human rights defender and journalist, Isabella Evloeva, is officially registered. The apartment belongs to her elderly parents. This raid is part of a continued state-sponsored criminal persecution against Isabella Evloeva, who is now being charged with two counts of "public circulation of fake information on the deployment of the Russian army and the state bodies' execution of its powers." Article 207.3 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation suggests that, if charged, the woman human rights defender may face up to 15 years in prison.

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Isabella Evloeva is a woman human rights defender and journalist. She is the Editor-in-Chief of Fortanga.org, a regional independent media outlet that covers human rights violations in the Republic of Ingushetia, including the border conflict between the Chechen Republic and the Republic of Ingushetia, and covers persecution of the human rights defenders and activists in Ingushetia. The woman human rights defender also writes for her telegram-based blog "Not a Woman, but a Journalist" and she uses this platform to write about mass human rights violations committed by the Russian military in Ukraine. Isabella Evloeva collaborated with other media outlets covering Russia's North Caucasus, including Caucasian Knot, Kavkaz.Realii., and Current Time.

On 7 June 2022, in Sunzha, Ingushetia, representatives of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation raided the apartment where woman human rights defender and journalist Isabella Evloeva is officially registered. The apartment belongs to her elderly parents; the woman human rights defender does not reside there. On 6 June 2022, Isabella Evloeva's parents received a letter stating that on 10 May 2022, the Investigative Committee of The Russian Federation in the Republic of Ingushetia launched a criminal case against her for "public circulation of fake information on the deployment of the Russian's army and the state bodies' execution of its powers" as envisioned by the Part 1, Article 207.3 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. The woman human rights defender may face up to 15 years in prison if charged. After the raid, Isabella Evloeva reported on her social media that she can't get in touch with her parents, saying that the law enforcement officers might have brought them in for questioning. She regained contact with them by the end of 7 June 2022.

Since Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the Investigative Committee launched two criminal cases against Isabella Evloeva. In both cases, the authorities claim that the woman human rights defender violated the so-called law on "circulating fake information about the activities of Russian military in Ukraine." Isabella Evloeva first faced the charges on 25 March 2022, for her blog post, where she criticised the use of minors in military propaganda and the fact that local authorities in the city of Magas places the letter ‘Z’, that has become the symbol of the Russia's war in Ukraine, on the Tower of Concord. The woman human rights defender wrote that the letter ‘Z’ is a "new-age svastika in Russia- a synonym of the aggression, death, pain, and shameless manipulation." The second count of "fake information" charges emerged on 28 April 2022. The Investigative Committee charged Isabella Evloeva for her blog post on horrendous crimes committed by the Russian military in the Ukrainian city of Bucha.

Relatives of the woman human rights defender also faced pressure when the Investigative Committee launched the first criminal case against her for “spreading fake information about the Russian military”. On 27 April 2022, law enforcement officers brought Isabella Evloeva's father and daughter in for questioning

Front Line Defenders condemns the continued persecution of woman human rights defender and journalist, Isabella Evloeva, for her peaceful and legitimate human rights work and express grave concerns about the State's pressure on her close family members. Front Line Defenders urges that the expansion of the Russian Federation's Criminal Code with the Article 207.3 on "fake information against the activities of Russian military" contributes to the rapidly growing censorship in the country, has a chilling effect on civic liberties and is disproportionately used to target human rights defenders and journalists.