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Russian Journalists Detained After Covering Pro-Navalny Rallies

Officers arrived at the homes of Dozhd journalist Alexei Korostelev and Ekho Moskvy correspondent Oleg Ovcharenko early Tuesday. Alexander Demianchuk / TASS

Russian police have detained two journalists from leading independent news outlets after they covered recent protests in support of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, the Ekho Moskvy radio station reported Tuesday.

Officers arrived at the homes of Dozhd journalist Alexei Korostelev and Ekho Moskvy correspondent Oleg Ovcharenko early Tuesday and brought them to a Moscow police station, Ekho Moskvy and Dozhd reported. 

The two journalists haven’t been charged with any crimes. Korostelev was later released without charges and ordered to appear for questioning on April 30, Dozhd reported.

According to Ekho Moskvy, they were detained on suspicion of participating in the unauthorized protest on April 21 despite both having press accreditation and editorial assignment letters and wearing the required yellow press jackets.

“All seven Ekho correspondents who worked on 21.04 covering the protests should get ready,” Ekho Moskvy chief editor Alexei Venediktov tweeted

Later on Tuesday, Meduza special correspondent Kristina Safonova reported that police had come to her apartment.

The Kremlin said it did not know why officers visited the journalists but said the visits may have been connected to an incident involving an individual posing as a journalist at the rallies.

Last Wednesday’s nationwide protests called for authorities to let civilian doctors examine Navalny, who had been on hunger strike for three weeks to demand proper medical assistance. Over 2,000 people were detained at the protests.

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