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Jailed Russian Journalist Safronov Says Moved to Siberian Prison

Ivan Safronov Eugene Razumny / Vedomosti / TASS

Jailed Russian journalist Ivan Safronov has been transferred to the maximum-security prison where he will serve his sentence, he wrote on Monday in a letter to his supporters. 

Savronov, 32, has been moved to the IK-7 prison in Siberia’s Krasnoyarsk region, where inmates serve a combination of penal detention and compulsory labor.

"My route from Moscow (‘Lefortovo’) to Krasnoyarsk took about three weeks, which is considered fast,” Safronov said in a handwritten letter published by his supporters. 

Safronov’s transfer follows his September sentencing to 22 years in prison for treason, making it Russia’s first treason conviction for a journalist since 2001. 

He was found guilty of collecting secret information about the Russian military and handing it to spies for the Czech Republic as a defense journalist at top Russian newspapers Kommersant and Vedomosti. 

The reporter and his supporters deny the accusations and believe the case is revenge for reporting on Russian arms deals. 

A Moscow court rejected an appeal against Safronov’s sentence in December.

Both the journalist's legal team and prosecution witnesses argued that there were significant legal violations in the case against Safronov’s case. 

His lawyers have also said Safronov was subjected to pressure and intimidation throughout the investigation. 

Investigators allegedly pressured him to take a plea deal in exchange for a reduced 12-year sentence or a phone call to his mother.

He refused to take the plea deal. 

“...As before I can say with confidence: there is life everywhere, no matter what,” Safronov told his supporters Monday. 

In November 2022, the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Russian rights group Memorial listed Safronov as a political prisoner.

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