A news editor has died after setting herself on fire in front of an interior ministry office in the Russian city of Nizhniy Novgorod.
Irina Slavina earlier wrote on Facebook: “I ask you to blame the Russian Federation for my death.”
Police had searched her apartment looking for materials related to the pro-democracy group Open Russia. Computers belonging to the entire family were taken and data files were seized.
Video footage has emerged showing the moment she set herself on fire. In the video, a man is seen running to a woman to help extinguish the flames – but she pushes him back repeatedly, before falling to the ground, the BBC reported.
Ms Slavina was the editor-in-chief of the KozaPress news website, whose motto is “news and analytics” and “no censorship”. The site went down on Friday after her death.
Last year she was fined for “disrespecting authorities” in one of her articles. She had attended an event as a journalist, but because the speaker was under investigation by the police she was fined the equivalent of 50 euros for ‘disrespecting the state.’
More restrictive media and intern laws are coming into force in Russia in an attempt to silence those who oppose President Putin, although the authorities say the rules are needed to improve cyber security.