Moscow, the Russian government on Wednesday charged four editors of an online student magazine Doxa with encouraging minors to get involved in illegal activity for a report regarding the nationwide protests supporting jailed resistance leader Alexei Navalny.
All four were ordered by a court to not leave their houses for the next two months and were prohibited from using the internet and communicating with anyone other than immediate family, attorneys and law-enforcement agencies.
The charges, which carry a possible sentence of 3 years in prison, come amid increased pressure on independent news websites.
Police raided the Moscow flats of the four DOXA magazine editors in addition to the flats of two of the editors” parents along with the magazine’s offices prior to taking the editors in for questioning, according to DOXA and a human rights group involved in their own defence.
DOXA said the activities were connected to a movie the magazine conducted about the protests calling for Navalny”s liberty, which happened throughout the nation on two successive weekends in January, one of the biggest shows of defiance within a decade.
The video discussed the pressure university and school students confronted before the protests and clarified threats of expulsion for participating in the demonstrations.
Russia’s media and net watchdog Roskomnadzor required that DOXA delete the movie. The magazine complied but filed a lawsuit contesting the sequence.
DOXA said Wednesday that the movie contained”no calls for unlawful action — we were saying that young people should not be reluctant to express their opinion.””The pressure that the journalist community has faced lately is unprecedented, but we won’t stop our work. We’ll continue to cover what is important for young people and will continue to stand up for their faith,” the magazine’s statement .
On Wednesday, he voiced”unconditional respect and support” on Facebook for its four DOXA editors: Armen Aramyan, Natalya Tyshkevich, Vladimir Metelkin and Alla Gutnikova.
As the four seemed one-by-one in front of a judge on Wednesday evening, dozens of fans gathered near the courthouse in central Moscow.
Some carried banners saying”We’re DOXA” and”Get your hands away from DOXA.”Navalny, who’s President Vladimir Putin”s visible foe, was arrested on Jan. 17 upon returning to Russia from Germany, where he had spent five weeks recovering from nerve-agent poisoning he blames on the Kremlin.
The site said the raid was probably linked with a 2016 narrative Anin composed for the independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta that alleged that a lavish super-yacht belonged to Igor Sechin, head of Russian state oil firm Rosneft.
Novaya Gazeta has been ordered to retract the story as a consequence of a civil court case, but a criminal case on the matter has been pending for ages.
“Coverage of some critical issues — protests, corruption, etc — is perceived as a hostile criminal action, so none of the journalists who do their job can feel safe now.,” said Damir Gainutdinov of the Agora human rights organization that is providing legal support to all the DOXA editors.