Sergey Smirnov. Photo © Yelena Sineok,

08 February 2021, 23:10

Court shortens sentence of "Mediazona" editor-in-chief

In Moscow, a court refused to recognize Sergey Smirnov, the editor-in-chief of the "Mediazona", not guilty of calling for participation in a rally in support of Alexei Navalny, but shortened the journalist's arrest from 25 to 15 days.

On January 30, Sergey Smirnov was detained and accused of participating in an unsanctioned action in support of Alexei Navalny on January 23. On February 3, the court found the editor-in-chief of the "Mediazona" guilty of violating the procedure for holding a public event and sentenced him to 25 days of arrest. The defence insists that the post on the social media site, which the law enforcement bodies and the court considered a call to participate in the rally, was just a repost of a joke.

On the main page of its Russian-language website, the "Caucasian Knot" posted a banner with a hyperlink to the "Mediazona" in support of Sergey Smirnov. We insist that the right to a fair trial has been violated with regard to our colleague.

Sergey Smirnov has assured a judge that he attends rallies exclusively as a journalist, with the exception of a picket in support of Ilya Azar, a correspondent of the newspaper "Novaya Gazeta". However, the judge pronounced the decision that Sergey Smirnov was guilty and the reliability of the evidence was beyond doubt. Taking into account the fact that Sergey Smirnov is a journalist, the court has shortened the term of his arrest to 15 days.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on February 8, 2021 at 07:05 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

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