Washington, D.C. — On December 13, Russian investigators launched another criminal case against Alsu Kurmasheva, an American journalist with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s (RFE/RL) Tatar-Bashkir Service, who has been wrongfully detained in Kazan, Russia, since October 18.
Already facing false “foreign agent” charges, Kurmasheva is now accused of violating Article 207.3 of the Russian Criminal Code, which effectively criminalizes reporting about Russia’s war on Ukraine. If convicted on both charges, Kurmasheva could face up to 15 years in prison.
“We strongly condemn Russian authorities’ apparent decision to bring additional charges against Alsu,” said RFE/RL acting President and Board Member Dr. Jeffrey Gedmin. “Journalism is not a crime. It is time for this cruel persecution to end. Alsu has already spent eight weeks unjustly detained and separated from her family.”
Kurmasheva lives in Prague, Czech Republic, with her husband and two young daughters. She traveled to Russia in May to care for her elderly, ailing mother. When she tried to return home in early June, authorities took her passports and prevented her from leaving. Since then, Russian investigators have launched three separate criminal cases against her.
Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty is a private, independent international news organization whose programs — radio, Internet, television, and mobile — reach influential audiences in 23 countries, including Russia, Ukraine, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, the republics of Central Asia and the Caucasus. It is funded by the U.S. Congress through USAGM.
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Contact Martins Zvaners
Deputy Director of Media and Public Affairs, Washington, DC