GROZNY, Russia -- The Supreme Court of Russia's North Caucasus region of Chechnya has rejected the ruling of a lower court that granted early release to a jailed independent journalist.
Alaudi Musayev, a lawyer for journalist Zhalaudi Geriyev, said on November 8 that the regional Supreme Court canceled a ruling of the Naur district court in September to release his client early after serving three-quarters of his three-year prison term.
Geriyev was sentenced to three years in prison in 2016 for drug possession, a charge he has denied from the very beginning.
The Moscow-based human rights center Memorial has recognized Geriyev as a political prisoner and New York-based Human Rights Watch has said he is being "punished" for his work as a journalist.
Geriyev, a contributor to the website Caucasian Knot, has been known for his reporting on human rights in Chechnya, which is tightly controlled by Kremlin-backed Ramzan Kadyrov.
Rights activists have blamed Kadyrov and his paramilitary forces for serious rights abuses, including the widespread use of kidnapping, torture, and extrajudicial killing.