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Russia Arrests Journalist Over Videos for Late Dissident Navalny’s Team — Agency

Artem Geodakyan / TASS

Another journalist has been detained in Russia for "extremism" after being accused of making videos for the team of late opposition activist Alexei Navalny, the Associated Press reported Sunday.

Sergei Karelin, who has done work for AP, is the second journalist to be arrested over such allegations after Konstantin Gabov, who occasionally worked for the Reuters news agency, was detained on Saturday.

"The Associated Press is very concerned by the detention of Russian video journalist Sergei Karelin," the agency told AFP. "We are seeking additional information."

Gabov, who according to media reports also worked for Russian television channels Moskva 24 and MIR, as well as Belarusian news agency Belsat, will remain in pre-trial detention until at least June 27, the court's press service said on the Telegram messaging app.

Both Karelin and Gabov are accused of helping edit videos for the YouTube channel NavalnyLIVE, a platform used by Navalny's team, the court said.

Navalny, Russian President Vladimir Putin's most prominent critic, died at an Arctic prison in February. The Russian authorities designated his political movement as "extremist" in 2021, exposing staff and supporters to criminal prosecution.

Most of Navalny's allies are in exile or serving lengthy prison sentences.

The Russian authorities have in recent months stepped up the pressure on independent and foreign media in a concerted effort to silence dissident voices following the full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

In March, photographer Antonina Kravtsova was also held on "extremism" accusations after frequently covering Navalny's trials for SOTAvision, one of few media organizations documenting political crackdowns in Russia and designated as a "foreign agent" by the authorities.

Sergei Mingazov, a Russian journalist working for the Russian version of Forbes media, was detained on Friday and accused of spreading "false information" about the war in Ukraine.

Other jailed journalists include Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, an American citizen who faces spying claims that both he and the U.S. authorities reject.

Russian-American journalist Alsu Kurmasheva, who works for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, has also been behind bars since October for not registering as a "foreign agent" as required by the authorities.

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