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

Ivan Safronov attends a court hearing in Moscow on March 2.

The Moscow City Court has upheld a lower court decision to extend the pretrial detention of former journalist Ivan Safronov, who is charged with high treason, until May 7.

The appeal of a March 2 ruling by Moscow's Lefortovo district court to extend Safronov's detention was held on March 18 behind closed doors, as the case is classified.

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, 2020, 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. 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