MOSCOW -- A Moscow court has placed in de facto house arrest four editors of the student magazine Doxa who have been accused of "engaging minors in actions that might be dangerous" over a video related to unsanctioned rallies to protest the incarceration of opposition politician Aleksei Navalny.
The Basmanny district court late on April 14 ordered Armen Aramyan, Vladimir Metyolkin, Natalya Tyshkevich, and Alla Gutnikova 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.
Dozens of supporters held single-person protests near the court and organized "a live chain," to express support for the four editors. Police detained one of the protesters.
As the journalists left the court one by one after the announcement of their pretrial restrictions, supporters cheered and applauded them.
The video for which the journalists were charged questioned teachers' moves to warn students about possible repercussions they could face for participating in unsanctioned rallies on January 23 and 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 supporters of Navalny 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 covered the protests or expressed 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 as being politically motivated.
Navalny's 3 1/2-year suspended sentence from that 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.