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US News In Russia, a former journalist accused of “treason” for a NATO country

21:15  07 july  2020
21:15  07 july  2020 Source:   rfi.fr

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Ivan Safronov, ancien journaliste d'investigation, dans la cage des accusés avant une audience devant le tribunal de Moscou, le 7 juillet 2020. © REUTERS / Evgenia Novozhenina Ivan Safronov, former investigative journalist, in the cage of the accused before a hearing before the Moscow court, July 7, 2020.

The arrest for “treason” of an ex-investigative journalist aroused the indignation of his former colleagues. Ivan Safronov is accused of having transmitted state secrets to the benefit of a NATO country. But in Russia, several media outlets supported him, assuring that it was because of his journalistic work that he was arrested.

From our correspondent in Moscow,

It had been just two months since he had decided to give up journalism. Disgusted by the taken over by the newspaper Vedomosti , Ivan Safronov had become a consultant with Roskosmos, the Russian space agency. Within hours of his arrest, his new employer claimed that the charges of treason against him did not relate to his current job.

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For the many journalists in Russia who have supported him, it is obvious: it is because of his past activities as a journalist that Ivan Safronov was arrested. In ten years of career, the journalist has multiplied blows of light and revelations on an ultra-sensitive sector in Russia, that of the defense industry.

Solidarity demonstration

According to a spokesperson for the Russian security services, quoted by the TASS agency, the former journalist is accused of having “collected and transmitted state secrets to a country's intelligence service of NATO ”. These charges could result in a sentence of twenty years in prison. According to the Russian press, it is perhaps an article published in 2019 and devoted to the sale of fighter planes to Egypt which has earned him these accusations of treason today.

Several Russian media expressed their solidarity with Ivan Safronov and many journalists came to demonstrate in the afternoon in front of the headquarters of the security services in Moscow. About ten of them were immediately arrested. A disillusioned comment on social media from one of his former colleagues: "It has become impossible to work as a journalist in Russia unless you serve the authorities. »

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