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Moscow Court Upholds Extension Of Journalist's Pretrial Detention In Treason Case

Ivan Safronov stands in the defendant's cage at Moscow city court on September 15.

The Moscow City Court has upheld the extension of pretrial detention for former journalist Ivan Safronov, who is charged with high treason, to December 7.

The appeal of a September 2 ruling by Moscow's Lefortovo district court to extend Safronov's detention was held on September 15 behind closed doors as the case is classified. Safronov took part in the hearing from the Lefortovo detention center via a videolink, the court said in a statement.

The 30-year-old Safronov, who has worked since May as an adviser to the head of Russia's space agency Roskosmos, Dmitry Rogozin, is a prominent journalist who covered the military-industrial complex for the newspapers Kommersant and Vedomosti.

He was arrested on July 7 amid allegations that he had passed secret information to the Czech Republic in 2017 about Russian arms sales in the Middle East.

Safronov has rejected the accusations and many of his supporters have held pickets in Moscow and other cities demanding his release.

Human rights organizations have issued statements demanding Safronov’s release and expressing concerns over an intensifying crackdown on dissent in Russia.

Based on reporting by TASS and Interfax