Russian-American journalist Alsu Kurmasheva will be held in pre-trial detention in Russia for at least a month and a half. This was reported by the Reuters news agency, which was under investigation in a Russian court.
Kurmasheva was arrested last week for failing to register as a ‘foreign agent’. After Ivan Gershkovich, reporter Wall Street JournalHe is the second American journalist detained by Russia on vague charges.
Gershkovich has been in custody for more than six months, each time his pre-trial detention has been extended without a chance for a trial to begin. The same fate may await Kurmasheva. The general expectation is that Russia will eventually want to exchange Americans like Gershkovich and Kurmasheva for Russian prisoners in the United States.
Kurmasheva normally works for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty from Prague, but traveled to Russia in May for family events. There he also did newspaper stories. His passport was confiscated in early June.
According to Russia, he collected information about the Russian military and therefore should have registered as a ‘foreign agent’. Russia continues to use this qualification to paint activists, dissidents or journalists in a bad light and make them unemployable.
The United States believes that Kurmasheva, like Gershkovich, was wrongfully detained. The State Department says the arrest resembles “another case of Russian government harassment of a U.S. citizen.”
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