Daghestani reporter Abdulmumin Gadzhiyev has been officially charged with financing terrorism, a spokesman for the regional office of the Russian Investigative Committee told the TASS news agency on July 24.
Interfax confirmed the charges were filed from Magomed Magomedov, the deputy chief editor of Chernovik, an independent weekly where Gadzhiyev is the religious affairs reporter.
Gadzhiyev was detained on June 14 after officers of Daghestan’s Investigative Committee branch searched his home.
He was placed in custody for two months on June 18 by the Soviet District Court of Daghestan’s capital of Makhachkala.
His colleagues at three local publications say his arrest was based on “trumped-up” charges and on June 21 published front pages devoted to his plight.
The charge against Gadzhiyev was based on testimony from another suspect, who subsequently said that police extracted his testimony by torture.
Investigators say that Gadzhiyev had sent money to charities allegedly involved in funding the Islamic State extremist group and other militants -- accusations he and his colleagues have denied.
Magomedov said that investigators specifically accuse Gadzhiyev of advising residents through his publication to donate money to the Ansar charitable foundation.
Some of that money was then allegedly sent to militants in Syria.
Magomedov called the accusations “fabricated” and “absurd.”
On June 19, media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) urged Russian authorities to free Gadzhiyev.
Daghestan is a Muslim-majority republic in southern Russia.