When the first threats of censorship came three years ago, Arjeplognytt and The Barents Observer chose to stick to the same line. The article, which was also translated into English and Russian, was left untouched.
The report is about Dan Eriksson’s life from mental illness with suicide attempts to a good life as an openly homosexual. The Russian media watchdog Roskomnadzor said it violated Russian law that prohibits the dissemination of information about suicide and homosexuality.
Same threatening email as last time
The decision to keep the article caused The Barents Observer to be blocked in Russia. And now last Thursday – over three years later – the same email dropped into Marianne’s inbox. Something that Dagens Nyheter was the first to report on.
– I was surprised and contacted Tomas Nilsen at The Barents Observer immediately. He said it was the same email that his editors received then, says Marianne Hofman to SVT Norrbotten.
The requirement was to depublish the article within 24 hours, otherwise Arjeplognytt would be blocked in Russia. Marianne refused and instead chose to pull up the old report at the top of the newspaper’s news site.
– I stand up for my free and independent newspaper and the freedom of speech and press we have in this country. I don’t understand why someone from the outside should come in and poke at our laws, she says.
Several attacks against the online newspaper
Since the article was pulled from the site, Arjeplognytt’s security officer has had to work hard. Marianne says that they have received several cyber attacks and that it was the same three years ago.
– But Dan and I are still just as touchingly in agreement. The reportage is fine and important and we will never allow ourselves to be silenced.
What is happening for you now?
– Nobody knows what will happen. The only thing I know is what will not happen – and that is that I will unpublish the article, says Marianne Hofman.
See the interview from 2019
In the clip below, you can hear the interview with Marianne Hofman that SVT published on February 11, 2019.