Russian journalist arrested for years-old social media posts amid intensifying crackdown

TALLINN, Estonia (AP) — A Russian journalist who has worked for both state-funded and independent media was detained Monday and faces charges of justifying terrorism through posts on the Telegram messaging app, her lawyer said.

The detention of Nadezhda Kevorkova comes amid an intensifying crackdown on journalists, opposition figures and critics of Russia’s war in Ukraine.

Kevorkova is expected to appear in court Tuesday, her lawyer Kaloy Akhilgov said on Telegram. If convicted, she could be sentenced to up to five years in prison.

Akhilgov said the charges involve two posts, one in 2018 and the other in 2021.

The post in 2018 republished an article written by another journalist about the 2005 attack by Islamic militants on the city of Nalchik in southern Russia in which 139 people were killed, including 94 militants, the lawyer said. The 2021 post concerned the Taliban, but Akhilgov did not detail about what was in that post.

Kevorkova’s work has appeared in the independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta and the Kremlin-funded satellite TV channel RT, among other media.

Two Russian journalists were arrested last week on charges of extremism for allegedly working with a group founded by the late Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

Evan Gershkovich, a 32-year-old American reporter for The Wall Street Journal, is awaiting trial on espionage charges. Both Gershkovich and his employer have vehemently denied the charges.

Gershkovich was detained in March 2023 while on a reporting trip and has spent over a year in jail. Authorities have not detailed what, if any, evidence they have to support the espionage charges.

Russian-American journalist Alsu Kurmasheva, who works for U.S. government-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, was detained in October and charged with failing to register as a “foreign agent.”

Journalist and activist Vladimir Kara-Murza, arrested two years ago and serving a 25-year sentence on a treason conviction for statements against the Ukraine war, on Monday was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for commentary in The Washington Post.

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