Home Inspiration U.S. Journalist Marks Six Months of Detention in Russia Amid Calls for Her Release

U.S. Journalist Marks Six Months of Detention in Russia Amid Calls for Her Release

Six months ago, Alsu Kurmasheva, a journalist for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and an American citizen, was detained in Russia under dubious circumstances, akin to the plight of Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich. Kurmasheva has faced deteriorating conditions in custody that threaten her health, and Russian authorities have continuously extended her detention.

The Freedom of the Press Foundation, along with numerous other civil society organizations and media outlets, have advocated for the U.S. State Department to recognize Kurmasheva as wrongfully detained, a designation that would intensify government efforts to secure her release.

Initially, Kurmasheva was arrested for not registering her U.S. passport and failing to comply with Russia’s “foreign agent” law, a statute frequently used against independent journalists. Since her arrest, Russian authorities have added accusations of disseminating false information about the Russian military, citing her contributions to a RFE/RL publication titled “Saying No To War: 40 Stories of Russians Who Oppose the Russian Invasion of Ukraine.

Further complicating matters, in February, Russia declared RFE/RL an “undesirable organization,” banning its operations within the country. This move was part of a broader crackdown on media that the Russian government views as threats, as stated by RFE/RL President Stephen Capus.

With her reporting clearly targeted by Russian authorities, there is a strong case for Kurmasheva’s wrongful detention designation. Her family, prominent lawmakers, and President Biden, who asserted the U.S. commitment to securing her release, have all spoken out against her continued detention.

Kurmasheva’s work for a congressionally funded media outlet underscores the importance of U.S. support for her and the broader principle of press freedom. The State Department’s designation is crucial, not only to facilitate her release but also to send a strong message in support of journalistic freedom globally. Russia must release Kurmasheva without delay, as every day she remains detained is a stark reminder of the risks journalists face in reporting the truth.

About The Author

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James D. Parker

James D. Parker is professional surveillance camera experts, understand more than 1,000 surveillance cameras, and have a wealth of surveillance camera related knowledge

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