Law enforcement arrested at least 19 protesters who were conducting single-person demonstrations in support of jailed journalist Ivan Safronov outside of the Lefortovo Pretrial Detention Center in Moscow.
The first person arrested was journalist Sofya Rusova: she was conducting a solo-picket, holding a sign that read “Journalism is not a crime. Freedom for Ivan Safronov.”
Law-enforcement officials primarily arrested protesting journalists who were wearing t-shirts with the words “Freedom for Safronov.” The following journalists are among the detainees: Maria Karpenko, Olga Allenova, Anna Povago, Anna Vasilyeva, Maria Sher, Alla Pugacheva, Liliya Gallyamova, Maxim Kondratev, Alexander Chernykh, Olga Bolotova, Pyotr Parkhomenko, Viktoriya Feofanova, Alexander Rassokhin, and Arina Borodina.
Police officers also arrested Taisiya Bekbulatova, a former Meduza correspondent and the editor-in-chief of Holod Media. She is considered a witness in the Safronov case; law-enforcement officials raided her apartment in connection with the investigation on July 7.
Approximately 50 people took part in the demonstration.
Ivan Safronov previously worked as an investigative journalist reporting on Russia’s military-industrial complex for the Russian business newspapers Kommersant and Vedomosti. He went to work as a communications advisor to the head of Russia’s space corporation Roscosmos in May 2020.
On July 7, federal agents arrested him on treason charges. According to the investigation, Safronov passed classified information to Czech intelligence. Safronov has denied any guilt, while his defense lawyers maintain that he is being persecuted for his previous journalistic work. Moscow’s Lefortovo Court jailed him for two months that same day.