Russia tells us to do 'own business' on media freedom

Russia tells us to do 'own business' on media freedom


Moscow has asked the US embassy to "concentrate on its own business" after Washington's diplomatic mission raised concerns about curbing media freedom in Russia.


US embassy spokeswoman Rebecca Ross expressed concern Tuesday about the bandh on reporters in Russia.

"Watching the arrest after the arrest of Russian journalists - it's like a collective campaign against #Media Freedom," she tweeted.

"Focus on your own business," the Russian Foreign Ministry tweeted late Tuesday night.

Earlier in the day, the FSB Security Agency, a Soviet-era KGB successor, arrested the respected former journalist Ivan Safranov, 30, on suspicion of treason.

His detention caused panic among supporters and journalists, saying his arrest was a punishment for coverage of the Russian defense sector.

Safronov's defense team member Yevgeny Smirnov said the former journalist, who worked for Commercecent and Vomodosti newspapers, was suspected of cooperating with Czech intelligence since 2012.

FSB investigators believe the Czech intelligence operates under the guidance of the United States, Smirnov told AFP.

The FSB said that Safronov had collected confidential data about Russia's military, defense, and security and handed it over to the intelligence of the NATO member state.

On Wednesday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov again claimed that Safranov's arrest had nothing to do with his work as a journalist.

He dismissed the sentiments from former colleagues and the media that Safronov was not guilty.

Peskov told reporters: “We must wait for trial.

Safran's lawyer, Ivan Pavlov, said there are already seven sections of the former journalist's case, which indicates that the security service has been looking at him for a long time.

All major TV stations are state-controlled in Russia.

Journalists working for print and online outlets have recently complained to the Kremlin about press freedom and increased pressure.

On Monday, a journalist in the northwestern city of Pskov was fined nearly $ 7,000 for "justifying terrorism."

Prosecutors requested Svetlana Prokopieva be sentenced to six years in prison for commenting on the bombing.

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