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Russian police raid home of journalist contributing to RFE/RL program

Russian police raided the homes of several journalists contributing to RFE/RL's Russian Service and Idel.Realities programs. Urals region.

On August 17, police in Kazan, the capital of Russia's Tatarstan region, raided the home of sociologist Iskander Yasaveyev, a columnist for the Idel.Realities online project.

Yasaveyev's attorney, Rim Sabirov, said police had taken his client to a commission of inquiry for questioning. According to Savilov, law enforcement officers confiscated all of Yasaveyev's family cell phones.

At this time, it remains unclear exactly why Yasaveyev, known for his outspoken stance on Russia's aggression against Ukraine, was detained for questioning. The website Tatar-Inform reported on August 17 that police searched the homes of seven other local journalists working as freelancers or contributing to RFE/RL's Russian and Tatar Bashkir services. did. Idle. Realities.

Only one targeted journalist was identified. Marina Yudkevich, columnist for Idel.Realities.

According to Tatar-Inform, the search was linked to a journalist's article covering Russia's ongoing attack on Ukraine.

In March, Vladimir Putin signed a law calling for long prison terms for spreading "deliberately false information" about Russian military operations. The Kremlin is trying to control the narrative about the war in Ukraine.

Law sentences individuals convicted of crimes to up to 10 years in prison, distributing "willfully false information" about the Russian military with "serious consequences" If he does, the penalty is 15 years. in prison.

It also makes it illegal to "call against the use of the Russian armed forces to protect Russian interests" or to "discriminate such use", with a maximum penalty of three years' imprisonment. There is a possibility that The same provisions apply to calls for sanctions against Russia.

Multiple RFE/RL, BBC, and other independent media websites have been blocked due to claims by Russian regulators of false reporting.

Separately, on August 17 in the Ural city of Yekaterinburg, Yelena Shkayeva, a contributor to RFE/RL's Russian Service and several other independent media outlets, , sentenced her to 14 days in prison for propaganda and public demonstration charges. Symbol of extremist group.

Shutayeva's attorney, her Roman Kachanov, said the charges against his client were due to her reposting material produced by the team of imprisoned opposition politician Aleksei Navalny. said there is.

Russia last year declared the Navalny Anti-Corruption Foundation "extremist" and banned the use of any symbols associated with the group, as part of a tougher crackdown on opposition parties.