Russia: a photojournalist in Moscow is remanded in custody for “extremism”

HomeNewsRussia: a photojournalist in Moscow is remanded in custody for "extremism"

Kenya Nicol

Photojournalist Antonina Kravtsova has been charged with “extremism” by a Moscow court, which has remanded her in custody. The offence is punishable by up to six years’ imprisonment in the country, in the midst of a crackdown on Russia’s latest critical voices, such as opposition figure Alexei Navalny, who died on February 16.

Imprisoned for at least two months

Antonina Kravtsova, who worked under the name Antonina Favorskaya as a photojournalist, is charged with “participation in an extremist group”. She will be in custody for at least two months, until May 28, the Moscow courts’ press service reports on Telegram.

According to the court, she is accused of editing videos and publishing content for the Anti-Corruption Fund, an organization of opponent Alexei Navalny declared “extremist” in 2021 and banned.

Antonina Kravtsova regularly covered Alexei Navalny’s trials for SOTAvision, one of the last media outlets in Russia to document political repression and classified as a “foreign agent” by the Russian authorities.

Arrested on March 17

On February 15, the photojournalist shot the last video showing the opposition leader at a court hearing, the day before his death in an Arctic prison.

She was then arrested on March 17, a few hours after laying flowers on Alexei Navalny’s grave. She was subsequently sentenced to 10 days’ administrative detention for disobeying the police.

After serving this sentence a week ago, she was arrested again on her release from prison. Her apartment was then searched, as was that of her parents, in connection with this “extremism” case.

Other journalists questioned

Two journalists who had come to meet her on her release from prison were briefly arrested and their homes searched.

Olga Komleva, another journalist, was arrested in Ufa, in the republic of Bashkortastan. She has also been remanded in custody for two months after being accused of “participation” in Alexei Navalny’s “extremist” organization.

Putin said he “hoped” for an agreement

Some have been imprisoned in Russia for even longer, like Evan Gershkovich, charged with espionage in late March 2023. Last December, Russian President Vladimir Putin had said he “hoped” to find an “agreement” with the United States for the exchange of prisoners, including Evan Gershkovich, confirming that contacts existed with Washington, which he said had to “make an appropriate decision that suits the Russian side”.

Also in December, a Russian court decided to keep Evan Gershkovich in pre-trial detention until at least the end of January 2024, although his trial has not yet begun.

The 32-year-old American Wall Street Journal journalist, who has also worked for AFP in Moscow in the past, was arrested by Russian security services during a report in Ekaterinburg, in the Urals, in March 2023. He is accused of espionage, a crime punishable by 20 years’ imprisonment, but he rejects these charges, as do the United States, his newspaper, his relatives and his family.

Also discover