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Russian Journalists’ Union makes official appeal over jailing of independent journalist Sergey Smirnov
The Union of Russian Journalists has sent an “appeal to the relevant authorities” over the decision to jail Mediazona editor-in-chief Sergey Smirnov.
A statement published on the organization’s website underscores that “this judgement provoked a strong reaction from the journalistic community.” As such, journalists are demanding that the authorities probe “the legality and justifiability of prosecuting Sergey Smirnov.”
On Wednesday, February 3, Moscow’s Tverskoy District Court sentenced Sergey Smirnov to 25 days administrative arrest. He was found guilty of repeatedly violating the rules for holding public events over a post he shared on Twitter — police deemed the retweet an incitement to join unauthorized protests in support of jailed opposition politician Alexey Navalny.
Following his arrest on January 30, more than 30 media outlets expressed their support for Sergey Smirnov, including Meduza. After that, Smirnov was released from police custody under obligation to appear in court.
Sergey Smirnov and other protesters arrested amid the pro-Navalny demonstrations were sent to a special detention center in the village of Sakharovo outside of Moscow. On the morning of February 4, they released photos revealing the appalling conditions in which they were being held.
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