The custody of highly regarded ex-journalist has set off a primary outcry among independent media companies in Russia, which are calling the current actions of the government, which is a part of the burgeoning crackdown.
Ivan Safronov, alleged of snooping for the Czech Republic and the U.S., was taken into custody on Tuesday morning, by agents from democratic security service of Russia, the Federal Security Service (FSD), which has alleged him of state betrayal, custody with a charge that holds a possible twelve to twenty years prison term.
The arrest of a highly regarded former journalist has set off major outcry among independent media outlets in Russia, which are calling the government’s latest actions part of a burgeoning crackdown. https://t.co/E7ukqjKdv2
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) July 8, 2020
Before two months, Safronov was a news reporter and covering space and defense industries of Russia for a dominant newspaper, Vedomosti, and spent a decade covering the similar beat at another leading newspaper, Kommersant. Moreover, Safronov has been a communications adviser since May, for the head of the space agency of Russia, Roscosmos.
On Tuesday, the attorney of Safronov told journalists that the Federal Security Service (FSB) alleges him of sharing secret info to Czech intelligence about the supplies of Russian arms to Africa and other military actions in the Middle East. Furthermore, a Moscow law court directed him arrested for 2 months in pretrial custody in the Lefortovo jail of the city.
Former journalists and colleagues from other publications demonstrated his arrest in front of the headquarter of FSB on Tuesday in Moscow, and above two dozen were arrested by the police officers. Besides this, three leading news companies of Russia, which include his 2 past papers, posted protests prominently on their sites, by describing that the arrest was planned to chill reporting in Russia.
Safronov is a patriot, Kommersant says
Kommersant, the newspaper where he operated for a decade, said that the allegations looked ridiculous and called Safronov a true patriot. Moreover, another top news company, RBC, said that this custody was a sign to Russian media society not to talk about secrets held by strong people.
On Tuesday. Ivan Pavlov, Safronov’s lawyer, told news reporters that the FSB accuses Safronov was engaged by Czech intelligence in 2012 and, in 2017, accursedly was given the job of sharing along intelligence about the supplies of military arms and other military works. Furthermore, that info was allegedly passed with the U.S. Pavlov continued, who said to news reporters’ materials for the case filled 7 volumes, proposing the Federal Security Service (FSB) had been making a case against Safronov for quite some time.