Russian police visit homes of journalists who covered the Navalny solidarity rallies
Police came to the home of Dozhd correspondent Alexey Korostelev on the morning of Tuesday, April 27, to press administrative charges against him for alleged involvement in an unauthorized rally on April 21.
According to the report on the independent TV channel’s website, Korostelev said that the two officials — a district police officer and a criminal investigator — showed him a video from the rally, in which he allegedly appears. However, the journalist maintains that it isn’t him shown in the video. Dozhd specifies that on the day of the rally, Korostelev was on assignment covering the protests, and was carrying a press card and wearing a “Press” vest.
Also on Tuesday morning, the police visited the home of Oleg Ovcharenko, a correspondent for Ekho Moskvy. The radio station’s editor-in-chief, Alexey Venediktov, confirmed that Ovcharenko was covering the protest in Moscow on April 21, “in accordance with an editorial assignment.” According to the police, Ovcharenko was allegedly working at the rally without a press card.
During his daily press briefing, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov suggested that the police visits could be related to an incident involving a person who wasn’t actually a journalist working at the April 21st rally with a press ID.
Though Peskov didn’t provide further details about the alleged incident, Dozhd assumes that he was referring to RIA Novosti’s reporting about the arrest of Denis Kabakov, the coordinator of Team Navalny’s St. Petersburg headquarters. According to RIA Novosti, Kabakov was detained during the rally in St. Petersburg on April 21, allegedly while wearing a “Press” vest and carrying a Dozhd press card.
On April 21, rallies in solidarity with jailed Kremlin critic Alexey Navalny took place in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and a number of other Russian citizens. Police officials detained 2,040 people across the country during the demonstrations.