Russia Extends Detention of U.S. Journalist Alsu Kurmasheva newsfragment

A Russian court docket on Friday prolonged the detention of an writer running for Radio Isolated Europe/Radio Independence, a broadcaster funded through the American govt, who used to be arrested in October on fees of failing to check in as a international agent.

A district court docket in Kazan, about 500 miles east of Moscow, ordered the writer, Alsu Kurmasheva, who holds each Russian and United States citizenship, to stay in custody till Feb. 5 as she awaits trial, Russian information businesses reported. Rim Sabirov, Ms. Kurmasheva’s attorney, stated he would attraction the ruling, according to the Russian information company Interfax.

Ms. Kurmasheva is the second one journalist maintaining American citizenship to be detained through Russia this past. In March, Russian particular products and services arrested Evan Gershkovich, a Russia correspondent for The Wall Side road Magazine, on espionage fees, which he and The Magazine have denied. He remainder in a high-security jail in Moscow waiting for trial.

The arrests of the 2 reporters and alternative prior detentions of American citizens in Russia have raised suspicions that the Kremlin now perspectives U.S. electorate on its terrain as belongings who can also be traded for high-value Russians held in custody within the West.

In December 2022, the American basketball celebrity Brittney Griner used to be excepted upcoming just about 10 months of captivity in Russia on drug fees in a prisoner switch for Viktor Bout, a convicted Russian hands broker. A possible switch for Mr. Gershkovich reportedly has additionally been mentioned.

Radio Isolated Europe/Radio Independence and Ms. Kurmasheva’s family decried her detention, calling for her fast drop. On Thursday, Memorial, a Russian rights team, designated Ms. Kurmasheva as a political prisoner.

If convicted, Ms. Kurmasheva might be sentenced to as much as 5 years in jail.

Beneath Russian regulation, folks and organizations receiving investment from in a foreign country and in demand in loosely outlined political task will have to check in as international brokers or face prosecution. The 2012 regulation has been criticized through rights teams as a political device to keep in check dissent and stigmatize perceived critics of the Kremlin.

Talking in regards to the choice to increase her detention, Ms. Kurmasheva’s husband, Pavel Butorin, stated that his spouse used to be now not a prison.

“The ‘foreign agent’ charges against her are absurd and clearly politically motivated,” Mr. Butorin said in a put up at the social community X. “She shouldn’t be in jail.”

Mr. Butorin referred to as at the U.S. govt to designate Ms. Kurmasheva as “wrongfully detained,” a situation that may obligate American govt businesses to paintings intensely to hold her drop.

Sooner than her arrest in Russia, Ms. Kurmasheva have been dwelling in Prague together with her husband and two youngsters, the radio community stated. She got here to Kazan, her homeland, in Might to consult with her sick mom, Mr. Butorin informed the Committee to Offer protection to Reporters in an interview.

American diplomats were in the hunt for consular get admission to to Ms. Kurmasheva. Talking about the problem endmost age, Russia’s deputy international minister, Sergei A. Ryabkov, informed the environment information company Tass that Ms. Kurmasheva’s status was different from alternative American citizens in Russian custody as a result of she held Russian citizenship.

The verdict to increase Ms. Kurmasheva’s detention got here as Aleksei A. Navalny, the imprisoned Russian opposition chief, stated that investigators had knowledgeable him of untouched fees towards him.

Mr. Navalny, who’s serving a long time period in a Russian penal colony, stated in a post on X on Friday that he had gained a letter notifying him that he have been charged underneath the second one a part of Article 214 of the Russian prison regulation, which covers vandalism dedicated in a bunch of population.

“I have no idea what article 214 is, and there’s nowhere to look. You’ll know before I do,” Mr. Navalny stated.

“They really initiate a new criminal case against me every 3 months,” he stated. “Rarely an inmate, confined to a solitary cell for over a year, has such a vibrant social and political existence.”

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