Person of the Week: Anna Sharogradskaya

posted 30 Mar 2015, 10:05 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 30 Mar 2015, 10:05 ]
On 23 March 2015, Anna Sharogradskaya, director of the Regional Press Institute, an NGO based in St. Petersburg, paid a fine of 400,000 roubles for failing to register her NGO as a 'foreign agent'. It was the largest fine yet levied under the 'foreign agent' law. The Regional Press Institute was originally set up (as the Russian-American Press and Information Center) in St. Petersburg in 1993 with a mission to assist journalists and independent media outlets as a part of a democratic society. Sharogradskaya told The Moscow Times in an interview that "she had scraped together the money to pay the fine, collecting half of the amount in donations and using money from her own pocket for the remainder." Until recently Sharogradskaya faced prosecution for "extremism" after she was detained on 5 June 2014 by FSB officials at St. Petersburg's Pulkovo airport and her computer and memory sticks confiscated. She was prevented from catching her flight to the United States. Sharogradskaya's lawyer Ivan Pavlov told The Moscow Times that applications to the European Court of Human Rights were being prepared regarding both the prosecution of the Regional Press Institute and the Pulkovo incident during which Sharogradskaya was "deprived of legal assistance and her right to respect for private life was abused."

Sergey Chernov, 'Russian Media NGO Pays Biggest Fine So Far Under Foreign Agent Law,' The Moscow Times, 23 March 2015
Regional Press Institute (St. Petersburg), EU-Russia Civil Society Forum