Washington, D.C. — Today, a court in the Russian city of Kazan extended by two months, or until February 5, the detention of Alsu Kurmasheva, a veteran journalist from RFE/RL’s Tatar-Bashkir Service who has been in Russian custody since October 18. Kurmasheva has been unjustly charged with failure to register as a foreign agent. The charge carries a maximum sentence of five years’ imprisonment.
“Every day that Alsu Kurmasheva remains behind bars is a tragedy for her husband and two young children, her community, and journalists everywhere. As an American political prisoner being held in Russia, it is crucial for Alsu to officially be designated as ‘wrongfully detained’ so that her case can receive the time and attention it deserves,” said USAGM CEO Amanda Bennett.
“Alsu has spent 45 days behind bars in Russia and, today, her unjust, politically motivated detention has been extended,” said RFE/RL acting President Jeffrey Gedmin. “We call on Russian authorities to immediately grant Alsu consular access, which is her right as a U.S. citizen. Alsu must be released and reunited with her family.”
Kurmasheva is a dual U.S. and Russian citizen who lives in Prague, Czech Republic, with her husband and children.
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