Russian journalists have launched a petition demanding treason allegations against a former reporter be made public, fearing the case is bogus and that media are being increasingly persecuted.
A Russian police officer detains a participant for staging a picket in support of journalist Svetlana Prokopyeva charged with publicly justifying terrorism, in Moscow, Russia, on July 3, 2020. (Reuters)
The Kremlin noted what it described as some emotional media reactions, but said those outlets had not seen the evidence, which would be reviewed in court. It said it had seen no signs of a campaign of pressure against reporters.
Several journalists were photographed staging one-person pickets in various Russian cities on Wednesday, demanding Safronov be freed. Dozens of people, including journalists, were detained by Moscow police on Tuesday.
On Monday, a court in the city of Pskov found another journalist guilty of justifying terrorism. She denied the charge.
Mediazona, a private media outlet, wrote that it looked like law enforcement agencies were trying to “force us to stay silent”.
Police opened a criminal case this week against Mediazona’s publisher, Pyotr Verzilov, for failing to declare dual Canadian citizenship. He is an anti-Kremlin activist.
The US embassy’s spokeswoman wrote on Twitter it was “starting to look like a concerted campaign against #MediaFreedom.”
“Mind your own business,” Russia’s Foreign Ministry responded.