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Russia arrests Reuters producer in Moscow for alleged work on Navalny’s YouTube channel

Moscow-based journalist Konstantin Gabov was arrested on allegations of involvement in an “extremist community” in connection with his apparent work producing videos for the Navalny Live YouTube channel, according to a statement from the press service of the Basmanny District Court on April 27.

The court identified Gabov as a producer for the Reuters news agency, which has not yet reported — or commented — on the arrest. Under the charges, Gabov could face imprisonment for a term of two to six years.

“A producer of the news service of the Reuters news agency is accused of committing a crime under Part 2 of Article 282.1 of the Russian Criminal Code (participation in an extremist community),” the court’s press office announced in a statement, cited by the Russian state-owned news agency TASS.

“Gabov participated in the preparations of photo and video materials for publication on the NavalnyLIVE YouTube channel,” the statement said. “The court ruled to place him in custody for the term of two months, i.e. until June 27, 2024.”

SotaVision journalist Antonina Favorskaya, who covered Alexei Navalny’s trials and notably recorded the last video of Navalny at a court hearing he “attended” via video link from the IK-3 prison in Kharp, was arrested in late March on similar charges. She was also accused of “participation in an extremist community” for her alleged involvement in Alexei Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (ACF).

The ACF and Alexei Navalny’s regional headquarters were recognized as “extremist” organizations in June 2021 and banned nationwide, exposing its staff and supporters to criminal prosecution.

Other journalists jailed in Russia include Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, who faces spying claims that both he and the U.S. authorities reject.

Russian-American journalist Alsu Kurmasheva, who works for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, has been behind bars since October for not registering as a “foreign agent” as required by the authorities.

The Russian Federal Penitentiary Service in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug reported the death of Alexei Navalny in the IK-3 prison above the Arctic Circle on February 16, one day after Sotavision’s Favorskaya showed him looking relatively healthy and in good spirits. The politician's family and associates are certain that he was murdered.

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