2 Russian Journalists Arrested on ‘Extremism’ Charges for Working With Alexei Navalny’s Foundation

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Russia has arrested two prominent journalists on “extremism” charges and a third for publishing “fake news.” Sergey Karelin, who has worked with the Associated Press, was arrested on Friday while his counterpart Konstantin Gabov, who has worked with Reuters, was sent to a pretrial detention center on Saturday.

Both men are accused of working with Alexei Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation. Navalny was a prominent critic of Russia’s President Vladimir Putin until his death at an Arctic penal colony in February. Karelin, who has dual citizenship in Israel, and Gabov each face up to six years in prison. They have also denied the charges.

Of Karelin’s arrest, the Associated Press commented, “The Associated Press is very concerned by the detention of Russian video journalist Sergey Karelin. We are seeking additional information.”

Sergei Mingazov, who works with the Russian edition of Forbes, was arrested in Khabarovsk on Friday and charged with disseminating “fake news” on social media about the country’s military. He faces up to 10 years in prison.

In March, a court in the Russian city Kaliningrad sentenced journalist Mikhail Feldman to two years in prison for “discreding the military.” Feldman denounced the war against Ukraine in posts on social media.

Putin has jailed several journalists since launching the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. In response to reports that Russian authorities had rounded up and arrested 30 journalists on Feb. 3, Natalia Prilutskaya, Amnesty International’s Russia researcher, commented, “These resolute Russian women, who are advocating for their husbands’ return from the front line in Ukraine, have faced a familiar response from the authorities. Soldiers’ wives were barred from gathering, while police arrested journalists, among others, who were documenting the protest.”

“These acts reflect the ongoing suppression of media freedom and the right to peaceful assembly in Russia, as the authorities repeatedly seek to blindfold the public. The authorities have not managed to completely quell all protests and reporting on dissent. However, their tactics — including denying access to legal representation, confiscating phones and equipment from those arrested, and issuing threats of criminal prosecution against journalists affiliated with media organizations labeled as ‘foreign agents’ — clearly indicate an intent to suppress all coverage of dissent,” Prilutskaya said.

“The authorities must urgently respect and uphold the rights to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression, and ensure that media workers are not arbitrarily arrested or otherwise prevented from reporting on protests,” Prilutskaya concluded.

Navalny’s death was announced on Feb. 16. The leader of the leader of the Russia of the Future Party died while serving a 19-year sentence. He was arrested in 2012 at an anti-Putin rally and given an 15-day sentence. He was moved to an arctic penal colony in 2021.

Navalny was the subject of the 2023 Daniel Roher-directed documentary “Navalny.” Roher told TheWrap that his living conditions were dire and that Navalny was “the only prisoner in the Russian penal system to be in perpetual solitary confinement.”

The post 2 Russian Journalists Arrested on ‘Extremism’ Charges for Working With Alexei Navalny’s Foundation appeared first on TheWrap.