Kazan: police seize passport of cancer-stricken witness in ‘justifying terrorism’ case; she now cannot go abroad to get treatment

Kazan police conducted searches at homes of journalists that collaborate with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL); later on, the police seized the passport of Marina Yudkevich, who works for Tatarstan outlets Tatpolit and Radio Liberty affiliated Azatlik Radiosu. She is now unable to go to Israel for cancer treatment, writes the Net Freedom project.

The searches were conducted at the places of several Kazan journalists simultaneously. The reason for the searches named by law enforcement was a criminal case on “justifying terrorism and violence against figures of authority”. According to the prosecution, an unknown person broke the law “by posting a video on a Telegram channel, in which a Russian ambassador was being drenched in red paint”.

The prosecution named Marina Yudkevich a witness that had nothing to do with the publication of the video, the human rights defenders note. Still, her electronic devices and passport were seized.

“The last thing is especially important seeing as 24 August was the date for the start of her urgent cancer treatment in an Israeli clinic. She was registered as a patient at the [Tatarstan] Oncology Centre a month ago, and they still haven’t prescribed her any treatment,” reports the Net Freedom project.

Yudkevich, together with her lawyer, demanded the police give back the unlawfully seized document and cease obstructing her receival of life-saving treatment.

The Tatarstan Investigative Committee Department detective Aidara Nurullina refused to consider Yudkevich’s complaint. Now, it has been sent to the Tatarstan Prosecutor General’s Office.

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Among the Kazan journalists whose places have been searched there are also sociologist, columnist of Idel.Realii news outlet, and author of Novaya Gazeta Iskander Yasaveyev as well as four reporters who do freelance work for RFE/RL.

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