Russia detains Radio Free Europe journalist with dual U.S. and Russian citizenship

russia-detains-radio-free-europe-journalist-with-dual-us.-and-russian-citizenship
Russia detains Radio Free Europe journalist with dual U.S. and Russian citizenship

Russia has detained an editor at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) for not registering as a foreign agent while visiting Russia for a family emergency. This comes as Russia has increased its control over the media, closing independent news outlets and labeling journalists and publications as “foreign agents”. Due to the war in Ukraine and the arrest of a Wall Street Journal correspondent on spying charges, most U.S. journalists have left Russia. Alsu Kurmasheva, an editor with RFE/RL’s Tatar-Bashkir Service, holds both U.S. and Russian passports and traveled to Russia for a family emergency. However, when she tried to leave, she was detained and fined for not registering her U.S. passport. On October 18, Russian authorities charged Kurmasheva with not registering as a “foreign agent”. RFE/RL condemned her detention and called for her immediate release. The term “foreign agent” is used in Russia to label individuals and organizations engaged in political activity with foreign support. RFE/RL’s acting president, Jeffrey Gedmin, called for Kurmasheva’s release so she can return to her family. According to RFE/RL, Kurmasheva could face up to five years in prison. The Russian government has not yet commented on her detention. The Committee to Protect Journalists expressed deep concern over Kurmasheva’s arrest and called on Russian authorities to release her and drop all charges. They stated that journalism is not a crime and that Russia is determined to stifle independent reporting. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, funded by the U.S. Congress, aims to provide accurate news and open debate in countries where press freedom is threatened. The Thomson RushHourDaily Trust Principles are followed in the writing and editing of this article.

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