Russian Journalist Faces Jail Time in Controversial Terrorism Case

Written by Camilla Jessen

May.08 - 2024 5:39 PM CET

Photo: Медиазона on Telegram
Photo: Медиазона on Telegram
The Russian court has arrested journalist Nadezhda Kevorkova until July 6 on charges of "justifying terrorism".

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The Basmanny District Court of Moscow has ordered the arrest of journalist Nadezhda Kevorkova until July 6 on charges of "justifying terrorism," according to reports by Mediazona citing a courtroom correspondent.

Kevorkova faces allegations under Part 2 of Article 205.2 of the Criminal Code, which deals with public justification of terrorism.

Court Proceedings and Defense Arguments

The court's decision came after the investigator argued that Kevorkova possesses "extensive connections" that could potentially influence the investigation, facilitate her escape, or enable her to continue her alleged criminal activities.

Despite these claims, Kevorkova has cooperated with the investigation but maintains her innocence, refusing to retract her publications. Instead, she has requested the investigation to ascertain if her published content contains elements of criminality.

Her defense lawyer advocated for alternative preventive measures such as house arrest or personal guarantee instead of detention.

Notably, the defense submitted guarantees signed by prominent figures, including the President of the Assembly of Islamic Business, Marat Kabaev, and others like writer Alexander Prokhanov and journalist Eva Merkacheva.

The court accepted these guarantees to be included in the case materials.

Requests and Rejections by the Court

The defense also requested the interrogation of Kevorkova’s ex-husband, Maxim Shevchenko, and sought to include quotes from Russian officials about the Taliban in the case materials.

Among these, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was noted for his remarks on improving relations with the Taliban. However, these particular requests were denied by the court.

The charges stem from two specific incidents; The first relates to a publication on Kevorkova's Telegram channel in 2018, which reposted an article by the late journalist Orhan Dzhemal about the 2005 Nalchik attack by Basayev’s group. The second charge pertains to a 2021 post that allegedly justified the activities of the Taliban.

Nadezhda Kevorkova, who specializes in religious topics, has focused much of her recent work on the Middle East and the North Caucasus, and has reported on the persecution of Muslims worldwide.

She is also the mother of journalist Vasily Polonsky.

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