Journalist Maria Ponomarenko, arrested for “fake news” about the Russian Armed Forces, said that she was injected with unknown drugs

RusNews journalist Maria Ponomarenko was injected with unknown drugs in a psychiatric hospital, where she was sent for an examination. She wrote about this in a letter to her friend. RusNews published the text with his permission:

“There was trash going on. For demanding personal clothing, utensils, soap products and pads, they forcibly pricked me with an unknown substance, which was supposed to soothe, however ... I don’t remember three days at all. <...> I then shouted: "Urgent lawyer, I'm being stabbed here." After these words, they dragged me away and gave me another injection. <...> Three guys from the Federal Penitentiary Service hold their arms and legs, press them to the bed, and the nurse stabs. At the same time, the cellmate is driven out into the corridor.

Ponomarenko was detained on April 24 in St. Petersburg, where she moved from Barnaul at the end of March. On April 25, a search was conducted in her Barnaul apartment. The journalist is charged with an article about “fakes” about the Russian army (Article 207.3 of the Criminal Code) because of a post dated March 17 about the Mariupol theater destroyed by Russian troops. According to SOTA, the IP address of the author of the post is not indicated in the case file, so "Maria's involvement in the publications is proved by a certificate written by the police."

After the arrest, Ponomarenko was sent to a pre-trial detention center - first for two months, later the preventive measure was extended until August 28. In early July, the journalist was transferred from the Barnaul pre-trial detention center to the Altai Regional Clinical Psychiatric Hospital. She is expected to stay there for about a month. Yana Drobnokhod, a Novosibirsk activist who visited her, said that Ponomarenko was forbidden to write letters to relatives and meet with them.

Ponomarenko faces up to 10 years in prison. She has two minor daughters who are in her full custody.

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