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Russian Court Extends Detention of American-Russian Journalist Alsu Kurmasheva

WorldRussiaRussian Court Extends Detention of American-Russian Journalist Alsu Kurmasheva

A Russian court has extended the detention of Alsu Kurmasheva, an American-Russian journalist, by two months until August 5.

The decision was made during a hearing on May 31, where Kurmasheva was denied house arrest despite her request.

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The journalist, who works for RadioFreeEurope Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), was initially detained in October 2023 for allegedly failing to register as a foreign agent.

Kurmasheva, a dual US and Russian citizen, was charged under Part 3 of Article 330.1 of the Russian Criminal Code.

The charge pertains to her failure to disclose her US citizenship, which is a requirement under Russia’s foreign agents law.

Specifically, she is accused of not submitting necessary documents to the authorized body while collecting information related to Russia’s military activities.

The Russian authorities argue that such information if accessed by foreign entities, could compromise national security.

In addition to this, Kurmasheva faces charges under Part 2(e) of Article 207.3 for distributing the book “No to War. 40 Stories of Russians Opposing the Invasion of Ukraine.”

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This charge further compounds her legal troubles, placing her in a precarious position within the Russian judicial system.

During an interview with RFE/RL, Kurmasheva highlighted her deteriorating health condition and the urgent need for medical attention.

She mentioned that she might require surgery but has not yet been able to formally request it. Kurmasheva also noted that she has been placed in a larger cell, but the medical care she needs is not available in prison.

Additionally, she revealed the emotional toll of her detention, as she is not allowed to communicate with her children through calls or correspondence, receiving letters from them only every six weeks.

Kurmasheva’s husband, in a statement on X (formerly Twitter), marked the one-year anniversary of her detention at Kazan airport.

He expressed frustration over the lack of action from the US State Department, which has yet to classify her detention as wrongful.

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He emphasized the Russian authorities’ long-standing knowledge of her role as an RFE/RL journalist and her American citizenship, calling on the US government to intervene and secure her release.

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has also called for Kurmasheva’s immediate release. Gulnoza Said, CPJ’s Europe and Central Asia program coordinator, stated, “Kurmasheva has spent more than seven months behind bars for no reason except her work, and she must be freed at once.”

She urged Russian authorities to grant Kurmasheva consular access, provide necessary medical care, and drop all charges against her. She also pressed the US authorities to promptly designate Kurmasheva as “wrongfully detained” and expedite her release.

The case has drawn international attention, highlighting the ongoing tensions between the US and Russia, particularly regarding the treatment of journalists.

Kurmasheva’s detention underscores the risks faced by journalists operating in environments with stringent regulatory frameworks and geopolitical complexities.

As Kurmasheva awaits further legal proceedings, her plight continues to garner support from international organizations advocating for press freedom and human rights.

Her case remains a focal point in the broader discourse on the safety and rights of journalists worldwide.

 

This article was created using automation technology and was thoroughly edited and fact-checked by one of our editorial staff members

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