RFE/RL Correspondent Fined After Acquittal Reversed In Russia's Chuvashia.

CHEBOKSARY, Russia -- A court in the Republic of Chuvashia in Russia's Volga region has fined an RFE/RL correspondent in a case in which she was previously acquitted.

A court in the republic's capital, Cheboksary, fined Darya Komarova 10,000 rubles ($137) on August 2 after finding her guilty of taking part in an unsanctioned public gathering organized a year ago by an ally of jailed opposition leader Aleksei Navalny.

Navalny's team leader in the city, Semyon Kochkin, met with potential voters in Cheboksary in August 2020 to promote himself as a candidate for the city council.

Komarova, a correspondent for RFE/RL's Tatar-Bashkir Service, has insisted she was covering the event as part of her journalistic work, not taking part.

Cheboksary

Cheboksary

Komarova was also charged earlier this year with participating in two other unsanctioned rallies in Cheboksary in January, when demonstrators protested the arrest of Navalny in Moscow after his return from medical treatment abroad for a poisoning.

The Lenin district court initially ruled that Komarova was working, not participating in the events in question.

The case regarding the August rally eventually reached Chuvashia's Supreme Court following an appeal of all three cases against Komarova by the republic's Interior Ministry.

On June 22, the Supreme Court cited the absence of the date and registration number on her assignment papers to reverse the acquittal.

RFE/RL President Jamie Fly protested the Supreme Court's decision in June.

“The continued legal harassment of RFE/RL journalist Darya Komarova on manufactured charges is unacceptable. The court previously acquitted Darya, agreeing that she was a properly credentialed reporter on assignment," Fly said.

"This is just the latest indication that the Russian authorities are not serious about allowing independent journalists to do their jobs.”

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.

https://www.rferl.org/

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