The Erased font


Anna Loiko
  • CountryRussia

Before I started my journalistic career, I was a human rights activist. I tried to make my voice, which did not align with the Russian regime, heard as loud as possible. The people around me advised me to slow down because the consequences I was facing were threatening. I had to take a step back and traded my protest boards for a pen. I started working as a journalist. 

I started writing stories about youths who were pursued by the Russian government under fictitious pretexts - some of them were criticising the regime, but most of them

were just teenagers. Early in my career, I wrote an article about how the Russian authorities persecute, torture and imprison members of the Hizb ut-Tahrir movement. The Russian government labelled this article as propaganda for terrorism which is why I am on the federal and interstate wanted list. 

Fortunately, at the time of this arrest warrant, I had already fled the country. Although I feel more free now, I am aware that at any moment I could be kidnapped and brought back to Russia. There, a seven-year prison sentence is waiting for me.

Sometimes I get the feeling that people do not realise how crucial independent journalism is. When the free press falls away, people base their opinions on the information that the government presents to you. It makes it easier for dictators to mislead the people. In times of information warfare, reliable information is needed to fight against these dictators. 

This is not always easy. I miss my old life, homeland, friends and journalist colleagues every day. I worry for their safety and the oppression they feel. What helps me get through these feelings and thoughts is that I do not have any control over these difficult times.

"What I do know is that the support you can give each other makes the situation more easy. We must continue to help each other, support each other and fight with each other against the rotten parts of the world."

—Anna Loiko

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