Independent Russian journalists detained and beaten in Moscow

Journalist Antonina Favorskaya. Photo: SOTAvision

Journalist Antonina Favorskaya. Photo: SOTAvision

Several independent journalists were detained in Moscow and had their homes searched by police overnight, human rights group OVD-Info reported Thursday.

Journalists Alexandra Astakhova and Anastasia Musatova were detained as they arrived at a detention centre to meet their colleague, SOTAvision journalist Antonina Favorskaya who was finishing a 10-day sentence for “insubordination to the police” after visiting Alexey Navalny’s grave.

According to an OVD-Info lawyer, Musatova is a witness in a new case against Favorskaya, who is reportedly charged with “participating in an extremist organisation”, namely Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Fund that was branded extremist in 2021. Musatova was released after questioning on Thursday afternoon.

Astakhova is currently being questioned by the police, her status in the case is unknown.

Police carried out searches overnight at the homes of all three journalists, as well as at the home of Favorskaya’s parents.

Two more reporters, Konstantin Zharov from independent outlet RusNews and Yekaterina Anikievich from SOTAvision, were detained on Wednesday night near Favorskaya’s home. An eyewitness told OVD-Info that Zharov had been beaten by the police during his detention.

Both journalists were taken by ambulance to hospital overnight without a police escort. Zharov was charged with “insubordination to the police”, while Anikievich’s charges are unknown.

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