Makhmutova, 24, was sentenced in September to 5 1/2 years in prison for fraud, extortion, and assaulting police.
Makhmutova, a native of Bashkortostan, worked in Moscow for the community paper "Sud'ba Kuzminok." In 2006, she wrote about plans by local businesses to build a parking garage on a children's playground.
She accused the Kuzminki district head of corruption and wrote an open letter to the Moscow mayor asking for help.
Makhmutova's lawyer says the charges against her were fabricated by the government "to punish her for her stories" about corruption.