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Pretrial Detention Extended For Russian Journalist Charged With High Treason

Ivan Safronov in a Moscow court in September 2020
Ivan Safronov in a Moscow court in September 2020

A court in Moscow has extended the pretrial detention of former journalist Ivan Safronov, who is charged with high treason, an accusation he and his supporters have rejected.

The Lefortovo district court on April 30 ruled that Safronov can be held at least until July 7. The hearing was held behind closed doors as the case has been designated as classified.

The 30-year-old Safronov, who has worked since May 2020 as an adviser to Dmitry Rogozin, the head of Russia's space agency Roskosmos, was previously 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 repeatedly denied 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

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