Radio Free Europe/Liberty (RFE/RL) on Tuesday denounced fresh charges filed against its journalist held in Russia after reports she has also been accused of violating rules against Ukraine war criticism.
US-Russian dual citizen Alsu Kurmasheva was arrested in the central city of Kazan in October and charged with failing to register as a “foreign agent.”
The new accusations were reportedly brought against her for a book she edited on Russians against the Ukraine invasion. They carry years in prison.
“We strongly condemn Russian authorities’ apparent decision to bring additional charges against Alsu,” said RFE/RL acting president and board member Jeffrey Gedmin.
“Journalism is not a crime. It is time for this cruel persecution to end,” he said. “Alsu has already spent 56 days unjustly detained and separated from her family.”
The Baza Telegram account, with close links to law enforcement, said the new charges were brought against her for a book she edited.
The book is called “No to war” with the sub-title: “Stories of 40 Russians against the invasion of Ukraine.”
She is listed as one of two editors of the book, which features interviews with people from Russia’s Volga region critical of Moscow’s offensive.
The new charges against Kurmasheva are part of the legislation adopted by Moscow in the wake of its offensive in Ukraine to stifle dissent.
Kurmasheva is the second US journalist to be arrested in Russia this year, with Wall Street Journal correspondent Evan Gershkovich held by Moscow since March on spy charges he firmly denies.
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