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Moscow Court Ups Student Editor's Daily Dose Of Freedom

Alla Gutnikova attends a court hearing in Moscow on April 14.
Alla Gutnikova attends a court hearing in Moscow on April 14.

MOSCOW -- A Moscow court has increased from one minute to two hours per day the amount of time that can be spent outside by an editor of a student magazine, who along with three colleagues is accused of endangering minors over a video related to rallies against opposition leader Aleksei Navalny's incarceration.

Doxa magazine said on Telegram on April 28 that the Moscow City Court upheld a lower court decision to impose pretrial restrictions for Alla Gutnikova for two months, but mitigated the restrictions, ruling that she is allowed outside for two hours daily, from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.

The court also allowed Gutnikova to move from her parents' apartment and stay at another address.

Two days earlier, the same court made similar rulings for Gutnikova's colleagues, Armen Aramyan, Vladimir Metyolkin, and Natalya Tyshkevich.

On April 14, a court in the Russian capital ordered the four editors not to leave their homes between midnight and 11:59 p.m. for two months, giving them only one minute to be outside each day.

The four were detained for questioning at the Investigative Committee after their homes and the magazine's offices were searched over the video, which the magazine posted online in January.

The video questioned teachers warning students about possible repercussions they could face for participating in unsanctioned rallies on January 23 and January 31 in protest of Navalny's arrest.

Doxa editors say the video was deleted from the magazine's website following a demand from Russian media watchdog Roskomnadzor to remove it.

More than 10,000 Navalny supporters were detained across Russia during and after the January rallies.

Many of the detained men and women were either fined or handed several-day jail terms. At least 90 were charged with criminal offenses and several have been fired by their employers.

Human rights groups have called on Moscow repeatedly to stop targeting journalists because they are covering the protests or express solidarity with protesters, since both are protected under the right to freedom of expression.

"Instead of targeting journalists, the authorities should hold accountable police who attack journalists and interfere with their work," Human Rights Watch said in a statement on February 3.

Navalny was detained at a Moscow airport on January 17 upon his arrival from Germany, where he was recovering from a poisoning in Siberia in August 2020 that several European laboratories concluded was from a military-grade chemical nerve agent.

Navalny has insisted that his poisoning was ordered directly by President Vladimir Putin, which the Kremlin has denied.

In February, a Moscow court ruled that while in Germany, Navalny had violated the terms of parole from an old embezzlement case that is widely considered politically motivated.

His 3 1/2-year suspended sentence from the case was converted to a jail term, though the court said he will serve 2 1/2 years in prison given the amount of time he had been held in detention.

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