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Police Search Russian Journalist's Home, Citing Terror Case


Pavel Nikulin (file photo)
Pavel Nikulin (file photo)

Police in Moscow have questioned an independent journalist who came under fire from the state last year over an article about a Russian man who joined Islamist militants in Syria.

Before taking Pavel Nikulin for questioning, police searched his apartment on January 31, saying that he was a witness in a case related to suspicions of terrorist training, a lawyer for the NGO Open Russia said.

Nikulin wrote on Telegram later that he had been released after questioning.

Lawyer Roman Klimov said police confiscated Nikulin's electronic devices, copies of Moloko Plus -- the magazine he edits -- and T-shirts with the magazine's logo.

Earlier, Nikulin wrote on Twitter that police came to his home to conduct a search in a case related to his article in The New Times magazine.

In June 2017, a Moscow court fined The New Times for publishing Nikulin's article about a young ethnic Russian man from the city of Kaluga, near Moscow, who converted to Islam and joined Islamist militants in Syria.

Before the court ruling, Russian media regulator Roskomnadzor warned The New Times that Nikulin's article contained elements of the "justification of terrorism."

The New Times' editor, Yevgenia Albats, called Roskomnadzor's warning "classic censorship" at the time, noting that President Vladimir Putin had publicly said many times that thousands of Russia citizens had joined Islamist militants in Syria.

Rights groups say Putin's government uses legislation that is ostensibly aimed at fighting extremism and terrorism to target Kremlin critics and silent dissent.

With reporting by Mediazona
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