NEW YORK, July 9. /TASS/. The US-based rights organization, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) demanded the release of Ivan Safronov, a former journalist with Russia’s Kommersant and Vedomosti papers, and an adviser to the Roscosmos head.
"Ivan Safronov should be immediately released, and the bogus spying charges against him should be thrown out," Gulnoza Said, CPJ’s Europe and Central Asia program coordinator, was quoted as saying in a statement on the organization’s website.
"Other journalists who show their support for Safronov by protesting should be allowed to do so without fear of reprisal," she said.
In the past two days, people came to downtown Moscow’s Lubyanka to show their support for Safronov. Some 30 of them were detained, mostly journalists.
Ivan Safronov, an advisor to the Roscosmos chief, was detained by the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) on July 7 on suspicion of treason. The FSB says that Safronov was recruited in 2012 and in 2017 he provided the Czech intelligence agencies with information about Russian arms supplies to the Middle East and Africa. The information was later passed on to the US counterparts, according to the case materials.
Moscow’s Lefortovo court placed him in custody until September 6. Safronov faces up to 20 years in prison if found guilty.