Russia arrests second US journalist for failure to register as a ‘overseas agent’ – JURIST

US-Russian journalist Alsu Kurmasheva was arrested in Russia Wednesday for failing to register as a “overseas agent.” Kurmasheva, a reporter for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), holds twin citizenship in Russia and the US.

In accordance with an announcement from RFE/RL, Kurmasheva traveled to Russia in Could for a household emergency. When she tried to return to the US in June, she was quickly detained on the Kazan airport. Throughout her momentary detention, each her US and Russian passports have been confiscated, rendering her unable to go away the nation. She was then arrested and charged with a failure to register as a “overseas agent.” If discovered responsible, Kumasheva faces a penalty of as much as 5 years incarceration.

The Committee to Shield Journalists (CPJ) launched a statement calling on Russian authorities to launch Kumasheva instantly. The CPJ warned that Kumsheva’s arrest is a part of a latest crackdown towards unbiased journalism in Russia, particularly associated to the struggle in Ukraine. CPJ cited a colleague of Kurmasheva who said, “Alsu was detained just because she is an worker of Radio Liberty. Actually, now any unbiased journalist in Russia dangers the identical factor.” The CPJ went on to state:

In August 2022, police in Kazan searched the properties of seven RFE/RL journalists and contributors and interrogated them in regards to the Tatar-Bashkir service’s work. In November 2022, a courtroom in Kazan ordered the arrest in absentia Andrei Grigoriev, a reporter with Idel.Realii, a venture of the Tatar-Bashkir service, on expenses of justifying terrorism. The RFE/RL Tatar-Bashkir service frequently covers the struggle in Ukraine and Russian authorities’ crackdown on the nation’s civil society. Kurmasheva has lengthy lined ethnic minority communities in Tatarstan and Bashkortostan within the Volga-Ural area of Russia…

Kumasheva’s arrest is the second time an American journalist has been detained inside Russia this yr. Solely seven months in the past, in March 2023, Wall Road Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich was arrested on comparable expenses of espionage. Although Gershkovich was initially solely charged with a two month detention, he’s currently still in jail, and can stay there till trial.

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