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Russian journalist Maria Ponomarenko slashed her wrists in detention while awaiting “fakes” trial

RusNews journalist Maria Ponomarenko slashed her wrists in the pre-trial detention center where she has been held on “fakes” charges since April; she survived, RusNews reports. On August 25, the Oktyabrsky District Court in Barnaul extended her term in custody until September 29.

Ponomarenko has mental health problems, she has been diagnosed with hysterical personality disorder, and has claustrophobia. She was sent to solitary confinement for breaking a window in her cell for a week from September 6 to 13, RusNews reported.

According to Maria, being held in the detention center affected her psyche, which is why she broke the window and slashed her wrists. She hasn’t been receiving the necessary psychiatric care in the detention center.

“I consider the conditions of detention behind the taped-up windows to be torture. I do not pose any danger to society. The only person I can hurt in a state of hysteria and depression is myself,” Ponomarenko said during the court hearing on the extension of her term in custody. Lawyers are trying to get her house arrest.

In July, Ponomarenko said she had been injected with unknown drugs in the psychiatric hospital, where she had been sent for examination.

Ponomarenko was detained on April 24 in St. Petersburg, where she had moved in late March from Barnaul. On April 25 her apartment in Barnaul was searched. The journalist was charged with spreading “fakes” about the Russian army (Article 207.3 of the Criminal Code) because of her March 17 post about the theater in Mariupol destroyed by the Russian military.

Ponomarenko is prohibited from writing letters to her relatives or seeing them. She faces up to 10 years in prison. She has two minor daughters fully dependent on her.

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