06 Sep 2018 Lvl. 1
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Alert created on: 20 Jan 2017 Russian Federation

Russian Journalist Aleksander Sokolov Held in Detention since July 2015

Source of threatState
CategoryDetention and imprisonment of journalists
Partner RSF AEJ EFJ/IFJ Index
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Partner RSF AEJ EFJ/IFJ Index
Aleksander Sokolov, a Russian journalist who was working for the RBC Media Group at the time of his arrest, has been held in detention since July 2015. Human Rights groups and media freedom organisations declared the journalist to be a political prisoner.

Sokolov was arrested while he was helping to create a website for a group called “For Responsible Government” (IGPR “ZOV”), accused to revive an association banned in 2010 for extremism, “People’s Will Army”. The group IGPR “ZOV” was campaigning for a referendum to amend the Russian constitution so that politicians could be held accountable under criminal law.

Sokolov was initially charged for publishing “extremist content” and trying to “destabilize the government.” The second of these charges was subsequently dropped for lack of evidence and the main charge was changed to “organizing a terrorist group”.

Sokolov is the author of a thesis on public funds embezzlement and is an expert on these issues. His last article was about the embezzlement of public funds in the construction of the Vostochny Cosmodrome. His claims have been corroborated by the Russian Court of Accounts in December 2015, when it announced the discovery of “financial irregularities” in connection with this project and gave an estimate for the amount embezzled that was close to Sokolov’s own figure – around 93 billion roubles (1.27 billion euros).
Updates
New 06 Sep 2018
Alexander Sokolov was released on 28 August 2018. He remains under judicial control.
21 Dec 2017
On 21 December 2017, the Moscow Court of Appeal upheld Sokolov` sentence to three and a half years of detention.
11 Aug 2017
On 10 August 2017 Aleksander Sokolov was sentenced by a Moscow court to three and a half years imprisonment on extremism charges.
Journalists in detention

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Aleksander Sokolov
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