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Moscow court postpones appeals hearing for arrested journalist Ilya Azar

The Moscow City Court has postponed the appeals hearing for arrested journalist and activist Ilya Azar until June 5, reports the organization “Apologiya Protesta” on Telegram, citing one of its lawyers, Leonid Solovyov. 

Solovyov, who delivered this message from the courtroom, did not give a reason for the hearing being delayed. Azar’s appeals hearing was supposed to take place on June 1. He will now remain in a special detention center until the rescheduled hearing.

On May 28, Moscow’s Tver District Court sentenced Novaya Gazeta journalist Ilya Azar to 15 days administrative arrest, after finding him guilty of repeatedly violating the law on public gatherings. Azar was arrested for holding a single-person picket in support of arrested “Police Ombudsman” administrator Vladimir Vorontsov on May 26.

Azar’s arrest sparked a series of single-person demonstrations, as journalists, activists, and municipal deputies protested in solidarity. Law enforcement detained dozens of the participants during these peaceful demonstrations, which have been ongoing since May 28.

Community leader Vladimir Vorontsov was jailed on extortion charges on May 8. During his arraignment, Vorontsov insisted that the charges against him are “revenge for his community’s activities to uphold the labor rights of the police’s rank-and-file officers.”

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