Russian ex-journalist Safronov given 22-year imprisonment

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Russian ex-journalist Safronov given 22-year imprisonment

A Russian court on Monday sentenced former journalist Ivan Safronov to 22 years in prison for treason, reported DW, quoting news agencies AFP and Reuters.

Authorities accused him of divulging state secrets.

Who is Safronov?

Ivan Safronov is a former defense reporter for the Kommersant and Vedomosti newspapers.

Later, he became an adviser to the head of Russian space agency Roscosmos.

Safronov was arrested in 2020, accused of disclosing classified information.

Prosecutors said Safronov shared state secrets about Russian arms sales in the Middle East with Czech intelligence.

The former journalist denied the charges, calling the trial a "complete travesty of justice."

He rejected a plea deal that would have given him a 12-year prison sentence. Safronov claims that information he allegedly shared with Czech foreign intelligence was all public and open source.

After Safronov allegedly revealed Moscow's plans to sell fighter jets to Egypt, the estimated $2 billion deal was scrapped after Washington threatened sanctions on Cairo.

Reactions

Ahead of the sentencing, the European Union called for Moscow to drop the charges and release Safronov.

Several independent Russian outlets, including Meduza, Novaya Gazeta and TV Rain ("Dozhd"), released a statement calling for Safronov to be released. The outlets said it was "obvious" that the former journalist was being punished for reporting on Russia's arms deals.

Also on Monday, a district court in Moscow revoked Novaya Gazeta's media license.

Russian ex-journalist Safronov given 22-year imprisonment

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