Mafia State author to speak in Dublin

10 April 2012

Luke Harding, the Guardian's former Moscow correspondent and the author of Mafia State: How one reporter became an enemy of the brutal new Russia, will be our guest speaker at a public meeting in Seán MacBride House, 48 Fleet Street on 19 April at 7.30pm.


In today's Russia human rights defenders and independent journalists are threatened, harassed and even attacked. The murder of Anna Politkovskaya in October 2006 shocked the world. Yet for every Anna, there have been many less widely known journalists killed for their work across Russia. Many of these deaths were never properly investigated. 


Ordinary Russians risk arrest, or even violence from the authorities, for being involved in peaceful political demonstrations. Despite this, thousands of people still took to the streets last month to protest against alleged irregularities in the election that saw Vladimir Putin return as Russia's president.


Luke Harding was appointed the Guardian's Moscow correspondent in 2007 and wrote extensively on politics and corruption in Russia and the curtailment of civil liberties. He also investigated counter-terrorism and operations conducted by the Russian security forces in the Caucasus region.


In 2011, shortly after reporting that leaked US diplomatic cables described Russia as a 'virtual mafia state', he became the first British journalists in 11 years to be expelled from Russia. 

In his new book, Mafia State: How one reporter became an enemy of the brutal new Russia, he writes about his own experiences as a journalist targeted by the Federal Security Bureau who broke into his home, hacked his email and monitored his phone calls. 


On Thursday 19 April at 7.30pm in Amnesty International Ireland's offices at 48 Fleet Street, Mr Harding will talk about the human rights situation in Russia today, and in particular his own experience as a journalist trying to operate in a country where the very notion of a free press is under threat.


The event is jointly organised by Front Line Defenders and Amnesty International Ireland. All are welcome, and admission is free.


For more information, please contact Amnesty International on 01 863 8300 or email