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Russia Refuses to Release Journalist Alsu Kurmasheva

Alsu Kurmasheva. AP / TASS

A Russian court on Tuesday refused to release imprisoned U.S.-Russian journalist Alsu Kurmasheva, who faces up to 10 years in jail on charges of spreading "false information" about the country's army.

Tuesday marks eight months since Kurmasheva, a joint U.S. and Russian citizen, was arrested in Russia on charges of breaching its "foreign agent" law.

She was subsequently charged with spreading "false information" about Russia's armed forces under strict military censorship laws introduced days after Moscow launched its military invasion of Ukraine.

On Tuesday, the Tatarstan Supreme Court rejected Kurmasheva's appeal against an earlier decision to extend her pre-trial detention until Aug. 5, her employer Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) said.

The 47-year-old faces up to 10 years in prison on the charges, which have been condemned by U.S. President Joe Biden as retribution for her reporting.

Kurmasheva edited a 2022 book titled "Saying No to War," a collection of interviews and stories from Russians impacted by the war.

The journalist, who lived in Prague with her husband and two children, had her U.S. and Russian passports confiscated last summer after traveling to Russia for a family emergency.

She was initially fined for failing to declare dual citizenship but while she was awaiting the return of her passports she was arrested on the more serious charges.

No trial date has been set for Kurmasheva. Her lawyers have called for her to be released and put under house arrest pending trial.

RFE/RL President Stephen Capus called the case against her "needless" and "cruel."

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