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Russia detains journalist with twin Russian and US citizenship | Freedom of the Press Information


Russia’s detention of US journalists has drawn criticism from press freedom teams.

Russia has detained a Russian-American journalist at a government-funded US media outlet for failing to register as a “overseas agent” when she entered the nation throughout a household emergency.

The outlet Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) mentioned in a press release on Thursday that Alsu Kurmasheva, an editor and a twin citizen of Russia and america, faces as much as 5 years in jail.

“Alsu is a extremely revered colleague, devoted spouse, and devoted mom to 2 kids,” mentioned RFE/RL appearing President Jeffrey Gedmin in a twin assertion with the Committee to Shield Journalists (CPJ), a press freedom group.

“She must be launched so she will be able to return to her household instantly.”

US State Division spokesman Matt Miller instructed reporters that the arrest “seems to be one other case of the Russian authorities harassing US residents”.

“We now have not been formally notified by the federal government of Russia about this arrest,” he mentioned.

Russia has tightened controls over the media following its February 2022 invasion of Ukraine, designating many reporters as “overseas brokers”.

Kurmasheva, who works for RFE/RL’s Tatar-Bashkir Service, is the second US reporter to be detained by Russia this 12 months, after Wall Avenue Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich was arrested in March on espionage fees.

Press freedom teams and the US authorities have strongly criticised such detentions as a type of stifling dissent. CPJ known as the costs in opposition to Kurmasheva “spurious” in its assertion with RFE/RL.

“CPJ is deeply involved by the detention of US-Russian journalist Alsu Kurmasheva on spurious felony fees and calls on Russian authorities to launch her instantly and drop all fees in opposition to her,” mentioned Gulnoza Mentioned, CPJ’s Europe and Central Asia programme coordinator.

Tatar-Inform, a state-held information company within the Tatarstan republic, has reported that Kurmasheva is being held in a brief detention centre. The outlet says that Russian authorities have accused Kurmasheva of accumulating data on the Russian army to go alongside to overseas sources.

Kurmasheva, who lives in Prague, travelled to Russia on Might 20 for a household emergency, RFE/RL mentioned. She was stopped at Kazan Worldwide Airport on June 2, the place officers confiscated her passport and administered a high quality for failing to register her US passport with Russian authorities, the outlet mentioned.

The editor was awaiting the return of her passports when new fees had been introduced on Wednesday.

The United Nations Workplace of the Excessive Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has issued a name for her “immediate and unconditional” launch.

“Journalists should be left to do their very important work free from strain, intimidation and reprisals,” OHCHR mentioned.



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