Russia arrests journalist for links to nationalist group

30th July 2015, Comments 0 comments

Russian authorities have arrested a journalist from a respected independent business media outlet on extremism charges over his alleged membership of a nationalist group, officials said on Thursday.

A Moscow court on Wednesday ordered Alexander Sokolov, a journalist with the RBK newspaper and website, be held in custody until September 22 as investigators probed him for helping to run a right-wing anti-government organisation.

Sokolov was detained alongside nationalist former newspaper editor Yury Mukhin -- who has called for the ouster of President Vladimir Putin -- and a third suspect Valery Parfyonov, a court spokeswoman told AFP.

Investigators said in a statement that Sokolov helped run an organisation and website calling for a referendum to set up a people's tribunal to try Russia's top officials.

The fiercely nationalist group dubbed For Responsible Authorities! rails against official corruption and supports pro-Russian fighters battling the government in Ukraine.

Investigators said that the group's aims are the same as an earlier organisation that was banned for extremism in 2010.

A lawyer for the suspects told Russian radio that his clients would appeal their detention.

© 2015 AFP

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