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Russian Independent Journalist Not Allowed To Leave Country

  • RFE/RL's Russian Service

KHABAROVSK, Russia -- The editor-in-chief of an independent Russian news website has been prevented from traveling abroad.

Oleg Potapenko of the online news portal in the Far Eastern city of Khabarovsk says he and his partner were detained for several hours in the city's airport, on November 12.

Police confiscated their mobile phones, laptops, and tablets, saying they might contain classified information.

Later Potapenko, who is openly gay, and his partner were prevented from boarding a plane to Hong Kong when border guards said a page was missing from Potapenko's passport.

Potapenko says the page has been cut off by a police officer, who requested his passport for a check earlier that day.

Potapenko was fined 2,000 rubles ($43) for the "violation of border crossing regulations."

Potapenko's website has reported about the presence of Russian troops in eastern Ukraine, where Ukrainian army has been battling pro-Russian separatists.