Russian journalist who covered Navalny’s trial jailed in Moscow on extremism

Antonina Favorskaya, a Russian journalist that covered the trial of late Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny, has been jailed in Moscow on extremism charges.

Favorskaya, identified also as Antonina Kravtsova, was ordered by a Moscow court Friday to remain in custody pending an investigation and trial until at least May 28, The Associated Press reported.

Mediazona, an independent news site, reported that the journalist and her lawyer protested the decision to hold the hearing behind closed doors. The outlet posted a video online of Favorskaya being yanked away by an official.

She has been accused of collecting material, producing and editing videos and publications for Navalny’s foundation, which had been deemed as extremist by authorities. She’s been charged with involvement in an extremist group, which is punishable by up to six years in prison, per the news wire.

Navalny, one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s most outspoken critics, died in the country’s highest security prison in February. He was serving a 19-year sentence on charges of extremism. President Biden and other world leaders have criticized the death and said Navalny died at the hands of Putin.

Favorskaya was initially detained on March 17 while laying flowers on Navalny’s grave. She spent 10 days in jail after being accused of disobedience toward police and was later charged again, resulting in Friday’s court appearance, the AP reported.

According to Kira Yarmysh, the spokesperson for Navalny, Favorskaya did “not publish anything” on Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation platform.

“Even if we discard the falsity of the accusation, its essence remains — the journalist is accused of journalistic activity,” Yarmysh posted in Russian, translated to English. “There is no need to be surprised, but what darkness.”

The organization Reporters Without Borders said Favorskaya is among a group of six reporters who were arrested in Russia within a span of a few hours.

Her hearing came on the one-year anniversary of the detention of Evan Gershkovich, a reporter for The Wall Street Journal, who awaits trial in Moscow.

The Associated Press contributed reporting.

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