MOSCOW, 8 Feb – RIA Novosti. The Kremlin does not plan to directly follow the trial of the editor-in-chief of Mediazona, Sergei Smirnov, who was arrested for 25 days, said Dmitry Peskov, press secretary of the Russian president.
“No, this is absolutely not our prerogative,” said Peskov, answering a question from journalists whether the Kremlin intends to find out from the Investigative Committee and the Ministry of Internal Affairs the validity of complaints about this case from the Union of Journalists of Russia (UJR).
He added that the Kremlin also does not plan to follow this process directly.
“We cannot (follow) directly, and it is unlikely that we should directly follow the process, but, of course, we are getting acquainted with the reports that appear in the press,” the press secretary of the Russian president said.
The Tverskoy Court of Moscow on Wednesday arrested Sergei Smirnov, editor-in-chief of Mediazona, for 25 days under the protocol of an unauthorized action on 23 January. The detainee's lawyers reported that the arrest was related to the repost of a comic record on Twitter, which ridiculed the external resemblance of Sergei Smirnov and the lead singer of the Tarakany group Dmitry Spirin, who starred in the video in support of Alexei Navalny's headquarters.
The day after the arrest, the Union of Journalists of Russia sent an appeal to the competent authorities with a demand to check the legality of the prosecution of Smirnov, since “this court decision caused a sharp reaction in the journalistic community.” On Monday, the Moscow City Court will check the legality of the journalist's arrest.
Uncoordinated rallies were held in Russian cities on January 23 and 31, which turned into clashes with security officials, arrests of violators and initiation of criminal cases, including the threat of mass infection of COVID-19.