US-Russian journalist Alsu Kurmasheva has been ordered by a Russian court to be detained until December 5 for failing to register as a foreign agent. Kurmasheva, who works for Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) in Prague, Czech Republic, was detained on June 2 in Kazan, Russia while waiting for a flight back to the Czech Republic. Her passports were initially confiscated, and she was fined for not registering her American passport with Russian authorities. On October 18, new charges were announced, accusing her of refusing to register as a foreign agent. Kurmasheva's lawyer says she is innocent and plans to appeal. The expansion of Russia's law on "foreign agents" in 2022 has led to a crackdown on free speech and opposition. Kurmasheva is known for her reporting on the lives of ethnic minorities in Russia's Tatarstan and Bashkortostan regions, focusing on initiatives to protect and preserve their language and culture. This comes after the arrest of Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich in March, who was charged with espionage and could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted.
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