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Homeeurope newsRussian ex-journalist Safronov gets 22 years in prison for treason

Russian ex-journalist Safronov gets 22 years in prison for treason

  • A Russian court on Monday sentenced ex-journalist Ivan Safronov to 22 years in a penal colony after finding him guilty of treason, in a landmark case following the Kremlin's crackdown on press freedom.
  • Safronov was arrested in 2020 and accused of disclosing classified information. His lawyers said they will appeal the verdict.
  • His supporters say the case is retribution for his reporting which exposed details of Russia's international arms deals.

Former Russian journalist Ivan Safronov was arrested in 2020 and accused of disclosing classified information.Kirill Kudryavtsev | Afp | Getty Images

A Russian court on Monday sentenced ex-journalist Ivan Safronov to 22 years in a penal colony after finding him guilty of treason, in a landmark case for the Kremlin's crackdown on press freedom.

Safronov, a former defence reporter for the Kommersant and Vedomosti newspapers turned adviser to the head of Russia's space agency, was arrested in 2020 and accused of disclosing classified information.

Safronov's lawyers told the RIA Novosti news agency they will appeal the verdict.

His supporters say the case is retribution for his reporting which exposed details of Russia's international arms deals.

"Everybody who is close to Safronov believes the charge of treason is absurd," journalist Katerina Gordeeva said after interviewing his mother, sister and former colleagues for a documentary about the case.

Ahead of the sentencing, the European Union called on Russia to drop all charges against Safronov, 32, and release him unconditionally.

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