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Russian courtroom extends detention of journalist Alsu Kurmasheva till June | Freedom of the Press Information

Russian courtroom extends detention of journalist Alsu Kurmasheva till June | Freedom of the Press Information


Russian American is accused of failing to register as a ‘international agent’ and spreading ‘false info’.

A Russian courtroom has prolonged the pre-trial detention of journalist Alsu Kurmasheva till June 5, her employer Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) says.

The Prague-based editor, 47, was arrested final yr within the metropolis of Kazan in southwest Russia for failing to register as a “international agent” and for spreading “false info” underneath censorship legal guidelines enacted after Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine.

Showing in courtroom in Kazan on Monday, Kurmasheva smiled and complained concerning the poor state of the cell the place she was being held, an Agence France-Presse reporter mentioned.

Kurmasheva, who has each US and Russian passports, entered Russia in Could to take care of a household emergency. She was initially detained on June 2 at an airport whereas awaiting her return flight, and her passports have been confiscated.

In keeping with courtroom paperwork, she was then fined 10,000 roubles ($108) in October for failing to register her US passport with Russian authorities.

Funded by america Congress, her employer, RFE/RL, is designated by Russia as a international agent, a cost levelled on the idea that it receives international funding for exercise deemed to be political.

In 2022, she edited a e book titled Saying No to Conflict, a group of interviews and tales from Russians against Moscow’s marketing campaign in opposition to Ukraine.

In December, a state-affiliated media outlet reported that the e book led to Russian investigators opening a brand new case in opposition to Kurmasheva, accusing her of spreading false details about the Russian military.

The cost for failing to register as a international agent carries as much as 5 years in jail whereas spreading false info has a most sentence of 15 years.

‘Baseless’ fees

RFE/RL described her imprisonment as “outrageous” and mentioned she has been locked up “just because she holds an American passport”.

“The fees in opposition to Alsu are baseless. It’s not a authorized course of. It’s a political ploy, and Alsu and her household are unjustifiably paying a horrible value,” RFE/RL head Stephen Capus mentioned on Monday.

“Russia should finish this sham and instantly launch Alsu with out situation,” he added.

Rights teams have accused Russia of utilizing oppressive laws to focus on Kremlin critics and unbiased journalists.

Kurmasheva is the second US journalist to be arrested in Russia because the begin of Moscow’s struggle in Ukraine.

Wall Road Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich has spent greater than a yr in jail in Moscow on espionage fees that carry a most sentence of 20 years in jail.

He has denied the fees.

Gershkovich and Paul Whelan, an American convicted of spying in 2020 and jailed in Russia for 16 years, have been designated by the US authorities as “wrongfully detained”.

The designation means Washington considers the fees in opposition to them bogus and is dedicated to working for his or her launch.

The US Division of State mentioned final yr that Kurmasheva’s arrest “seems to be one other case of the Russian authorities harassing US residents”, and her supporters have been lobbying Washington for the standing of “wrongfully detained” for her as properly.

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Written by bourbiza mohamed

Bourbiza Mohamed is a freelance journalist and political science analyst holding a Master's degree in Political Science. Armed with a sharp pen and a discerning eye, Bourbiza Mohamed contributes to various renowned sites, delivering incisive insights on current political and social issues. His experience translates into thought-provoking articles that spur dialogue and reflection.

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