Freedom of the press: US journalist arrested again in Russia

According to the US foreign broadcaster Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Russian authorities have arrested a US journalist.

Freedom of the press: US journalist arrested again in Russia

According to the US foreign broadcaster Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Russian authorities have arrested a US journalist. Alsu Kurmasheva, who also has Russian citizenship, is accused of not having registered as a "foreign agent" in Russia, the broadcaster said on Wednesday. She could therefore face up to five years in prison. The journalist has been reporting for the station for a long time about ethnic minorities in the Russian republics of Tatarstan and Bashkortostan, it was said.

According to the broadcaster, this is Kurmasheva's second arrest. The journalist, who lives with her family in Prague, traveled to Russia in May because of a family emergency. Shortly before her return flight on June 2nd, she was temporarily arrested for the first time in the city of Kazan. The authorities confiscated her passports and fined the journalist because she failed to register her US passport in Russia. She was waiting for her passports to be returned when the new accusation of failure to register was announced on Wednesday and Kurmasheva was arrested again.

Anyone who is listed as a “foreign agent” in Russia must expect numerous disadvantages. The organizations, media and individuals on the register are subject to increased supervision of their finances. The classification is intended to fuel mistrust against them and make their work in Russia more difficult.

Russian media reported that investigators in Tatarstan were convinced that the journalist had compiled material about the conscription of university teachers for military service in order to write an "alternative" analysis that did not correspond to the official Russian position. She is accused of discrediting Russia and its army in their war against Ukraine. This is a punishable offense in Russia.

The incident threatens to further strain the already extremely tense relationship between Russia and the USA. At the beginning of the year, the Russian secret service arrested reporter Evan Gershkovich from the Wall Street Journal in the city of Yekaterinburg and accused him of espionage. The American with Russian roots and the newspaper vehemently reject the allegations. Gershkovich has been in custody since the end of March.

The US foreign broadcaster Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, founded in 1951, is financed by the US government, but reports from Washington without any instructions. The broadcaster opened a new branch in Latvia to report on Russia after the forced closure of its Moscow office.

NEXT NEWS