Jailed journalist Ivan Safronov is facing harsher conditions since Vedomosti op-ed, lawyer says
Former journalist Ivan Safronov, who stands accused of treason, is facing harsher conditions in jail since publishing an op-ed in the newspaper Vedomosti last month, his lawyer says.
On Telegram, Safronov’s lawyer Ivan Pavlov wrote that after the publication of the op-ed, his client — who is in custody in Moscow’s Lefortovo pre-trial detention center — was moved to a higher-security cell located near the punishment cell. Safronov’s new cell has an additional grill in front of the door and an alarm installed on the window.
Pavlov also said that the prison staff are carrying out more frequent searches and warning Safronov about his behavior. “Searches have become commonplace, and the management staff constantly asks him not to do stupid things, but doesn’t specify which ones,” the lawyer explained.
The business newspaper Vedomosti published an op-ed by Ivan Safronov on July 23, in which he described the work of the investigation in the treason case, and confirmed that he turned down a plea bargain with investigators.
Safronov’s op-ed disappeared from the Vedomosti website several hours after its publication; the newspaper also said it had come under a DDoS attack. Access to the site was later restored, but Safronov’s article remained unavailable.
Commenting on the events, Safronov said he was “surprised that the article could offend such high-level people.”
Ivan Safronov’s lawyer, Ivan Pavlov, was detained in April on charges of revealing information from the pretrial investigation into the journalist’s case. Pavlov was banned from using the Internet and mobile communications ahead of the trial, as well as from contacting witnesses in the case against him. If convicted, he faces up to three months in jail and disbarment.
Late last month, Ivan Safronov was interrogated as a witness in the case against Pavlov. As a result, Pavlov can no longer communicate with his client. However, the lawyer has assured that he is still Safronov’s legal representative.