NewsCrackdown in Russia: Navalny-affiliated journalists detained amid Ukraine coverage

Crackdown in Russia: Navalny-affiliated journalists detained amid Ukraine coverage

Authorities detained journalists.
Authorities detained journalists.
Images source: © EPA, PAP | ANATOLY MALTSEV
2:56 AM EDT, March 29, 2024

Five journalists affiliated with independent media outlets were detained in Russia between Wednesday evening and Thursday. The actions taken against one journalist are connected to the organization of the late opposition figure Alexei Navalny.

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Yekaterina Anikijevich from SOTAVision and Konstantin Zharov from the RusNews portal were detained overnight. A witness reported that Zharov was physically assaulted and threatened with sexual violence by the police.

- "They kicked me, one officer placed his boot on my head, twisted my fingers, and mocked me as I tried to rise," Zharov recounted to RusNews.

The arrest, according to Zharov, was due to filming near the apartment of journalist Antonina Favorskaya of SotaVision. She had been detained on Wednesday evening, shortly after completing a 10-day jail sentence for failing to comply with police directives.

On Wednesday evening, searches were conducted at Favorskaya's apartment and her parents' residence, her lawyer Mikhail Biryukov reported to SOTAVision.

Two additional journalists, Alexandra Astakhova and Anastasia Musatova, who visited their colleague in the detention center, were also detained and interrogated. Astakhova has since been released.

A journalist connected to Navalny

Mediazona portal reports that Favorskaya's case is linked to the movement led by the opposition figure Alexei Navalny, who passed away under mysterious circumstances in a penal colony in February. For years, Favorskaya has been chronicling his trials and was the one who made the last recording of him alive on February 15. She was apprehended on March 17, just hours after she had placed flowers on his grave.

Reporters Without Borders has criticized the Russian authorities for their persecution of Favorskaya and is calling for her immediate release.

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