Radio Free Europe

RFE/RL journalists report the news in 22 countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established, including Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Russia.

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Russian Blogger Finally Allowed To Enter Georgia, Immediately Flies From Tbilisi To Lithuania.

Russian blogger Insa Lander, aka Insa Oguz (file photo)

Russian blogger Insa Lander, aka Insa Oguz (file photo)

A blogger from Russia's North Caucasus facing terrorism charges that she says are an attempt to stop her investigative reporting has been allowed to enter Georgia after being stranded for more than two weeks in a neutral zone at the Russian-Georgian border.

Insa Lander, also known as Insa Oguz, told RFE/RL on June 29 that she had gone to Georgia and then flew on to Lithuania after Georgian authorities allowed her to enter the country on July 27.

Lander, who fled her native Kabardino-Balkaria region on June 12, was stuck in a neutral segment of the border as Georgian authorities refused to allow her to enter the country, saying she had given "controversial information about the goal of her visit to the country." They never explained what that meant.

Amid an outcry by human rights groups, Georgia's Foreign Ministry then tried to justify its hesitance to allow the blogger to enter the country by saying that she was facing terrorism-related charges at home.

Lithuania's ambassador to Tbilisi, Andrius Kalindra, said at the time that Vilnius was ready to provide Lander with a visa if she was allowed to enter Georgia.

Lander, who resided in Moscow for many years, was arrested in Kabardino-Balkaria in December when she came to visit relatives. She was charged with recruiting a person to a terrorist group. The charge was based on an online chat she had with an acquaintance.

Lander and her supporters have rejected the charge, saying the case was fabricated to stop her from investigating possible corruption at a charity foundation led by a top official in Kabardino-Balkaria.

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