Journalist arrested in Murmansk

By - April 28, 2024 The Independent Barents Observer

The Russian regime’s crackdown on journalism continues with two new arrests this weekend. 

Sergei Karelin was detained late Friday in Murmansk. On Saturday, he was presented for charges of extremism and the Murmansk court ruled a two-months custody period awaiting trial. Extremism charges brings a minimum of two years and a maximum of six years in jail.

It was The Guardian that first reported about the arrest.

In Moscow, journalist Konstantin Gabov was also detained this weekend on similar charges.

The two are accused of making materials for the YouTube channel of Navalny’s FBK Anti-Corruption Foundation. 

Karelin, who now are in jail in the Russian Arctic city, has previously worked for Associated Press and has been a cameraman for Deutche Welle until Russia launched its all-out war on Ukraine in February 2022. 

“The Associated Press is very concerned by the detention of Russian video journalist Sergei Karelin,” the news agency said in a statement quoted by The Guardian. 

Karelin has dual citizenship with Israel.

In March 2023, anti-media forces with the FSB arrested American journalist Evan Gershkovich on alleged espionage charges. Gershkovish works for the Wall Street Journal. 

Gershkovich previously worked with The Moscow Times, and several of his articles were republished in partnership with the Barents Observer

The trend of arresting journalists with citizenship in other counties started last year.

Radio Free Europe’s editor with the Tatar-Bashkir Service, Alsu Kurmasheva, who also holds both U.S. and Russian passports, was arrested last spring for failing to register as a so-called foreign again while visiting family in Russia.