The Russians arrested an American journalist. Alsu Kurmasheva went to Russia due to a family emergency. While waiting for her return flight, she was detained. She allegedly violated the procedures related to registration as a foreign agent, which applies to all journalists cooperating with foreign media. She faces up to five years in prison.
Alsu Kurmasheva has dual citizenship – Russian and American. She permanently lives in Prague, Czech Republic, where her husband and children are waiting for her. In May – due to her personal family situation – she went to Russia. She never came back from there. Now he is a prisoner. – Ałsu is a very respected colleague, a devoted wife and mother of two children. She should be released so that she can immediately return to her family, says Jeffrey Gedmin, head of Radio Free Europe.
Alsu Kurmasheva is a journalist at Radio Free Europe, financed by the United States Congress. On June 2, after a month-long stay in Russia, while she was waiting for a return flight from Kazan to Prague, she was detained and her identity documents were confiscated. Originally, it was about failing to register an American passport. She was arraigned on Thursday in another case. She was accused of failing to comply with the obligation to register as a “foreign agent”. “Russian authorities detained Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Alsu journalist Kurmasheva on October 18 for failing to register as a foreign agent. Kurmasheva holds American and Russian citizenship, making her the second American journalist arrested in Russia this year,” reports the Atlantic Council.
According to the latest decision of the court in Kazan, Kurmasheva is to remain in pre-trial detention at least until December 5. “In 2012, Putin signed a law tightening control over foreign-funded civil rights defenders. The law was later extended to media organizations, forcing journalists working in the country to register as “foreign agents” and fill out numerous documents in onerous ways,” reports POLITICO. The Department of State treats this as yet another case of harassment of US citizens by the Russian government. “We continue to maintain a Level 4 travel warning for Russia and encourage all U.S. citizens not to travel to that country under any circumstances,” said Matthew Miller, a spokesman for the U.S. Department of State.
On March 29, Russian authorities detained Evan Gershkovich, a correspondent of the American newspaper “The Wall Street Journal”. He was detained by the FSB on charges of espionage. “We are relying on President Biden’s promise to our family to bring him home. We put all our hope in this, says Danielle Gershkovich, Evan’s sister. The 32-year-old reporter denies the accusations of the Russian services. At the beginning of October, the court dismissed his complaint to extend his detention. He faces up to 20 years in prison for espionage. A trial date has not yet been set. Gershkovich is the first American journalist held in Russia on espionage charges since the Cold War.
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Main photo source: Reuters