Russia prolongs detention of Tatar-language journalist

A district court in Kazan, capital of the Russian republic of Tatarstan, on Dec. 1 extended the detention of Alsu Kurmasheva, a journalist holding joint Russian and United States citizenship. Kurmasheva faces allegations of failing to comply with Russia's stringent "foreign agent" registration law. The decision, extending her pre-trial detention through early February, was made without actually setting a trial date.  

Prague-based Kurmasheva, who reports for the Tatar-language service of US-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), was first detained in May, as she arrived at the airport to fly home after visitng her ailing mother in Kazan. Her US and Russian passports were both seized, preventing her from leaving the country, but she was released—until being arrested at her mother's house in October. She faces charges of failure to register as a "foreign agent," an offense in Russian law that carries a potential five-year prison term.

Jeffrey Gedmin, RFE/RL's acting president, strongly condemned Kurmasheva's detention, denouncing it as unjust and politically motivated. He called on Russian authorities to immediately release her, and grant her the consular access mandated by her US citizenship.

Reporters Without Borders urged the US Department State to designate Kurmasheva as "wrongfully detained," and urged Russia to immediately drop the "ludicrous charges."

This incident marks the second detention of a US journalist in Russia this year. In March, Evan Gershkovich, a Wall Street Journal correspondent, was arrested on espionage charges—an accusation vehemently denied by Gershkovich, his employer, and US President Joe Biden. This incident has led to accusations that Moscow is using "hostage diplomacy."

Russia's "foreign agent law" has won international criticism for its role in stifling independent media and dissent.  (Jurist, PRI)

See our last reports on the crackdown on dissent in Russia.

Russia prolongs detention of Tatar-language journalist —again

The Sovetsky District Court in Kazan, Russia, extended Feb. 1 the pre-trial detention of Alsu Kurmasheva, a Russian-American journalist who stands accused of violating a law on "foreign agents." The court previously determined her pre-trial detention would last until Feb. 5; this has now been extended by two months to April 5. (Jurist)

Russia rejects appeal by Russian-American accused of treason

A Russian court on Feb. 29 rejected an appeal by a Russian-American woman against her detention on a treason charge, according to Reuters and ABC News reporters in the room. The 33-year-old Ksenia Karelina was arrested Jan. 27 and detained in a jail in Yekaterinburg on treason charges. The Federal Security Service (FSB) reported last week that Karelina had been detained on suspicion of donating to a Ukrainian charity that supports Ukraine's armed forces. (Jurist)

Russia prolongs detention of Tatar-language journalist —again

A Russian court in Kazan on April 1 extended the pre-trial detention of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) journalist Alsu Kurmasheva until June 5. The court declined her petition to be moved to house arrest. (Jurist)