A Moscow court has fined Ali Feruz, an Uzbek citizen who works for the independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta, after ruling that he worked illegally in Russia.
The Basmanny district court issued the ruling late on November 21 and ordered Feruz to pay a 5,000-ruble ($85) fine.
Feruz pleaded not guilty, insisting that he was not Novaya Gazeta's permanent employee and did not receive regular salary from the newspaper for his work.
The court also ruled that he should be deported to Uzbekistan, but suspended that decision due to an August ruling by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).
The ECHR order to suspend the journalist's deportation was issued after rights groups said they feared Feruz could face torture, imprisonment, or even death at the hands of Uzbek authorities.
Last month, the same Moscow court upheld immigration officials' 2015 decision to refuse asylum for Feruz, saying that the journalist had failed to prove he faces danger in Uzbekistan.
Feruz is to remain at a holding center for foreigners whose status is in question until the ECHR issues a final decision about his case.
Novaya Gazeta spokeswoman Nadezhda Prusenkova said on November 22 that the court's decision to fine Feruz will be appealed.
Feruz, whose real name is Hudoberdi Nurmatov, was born in Siberia in 1986.
He left Russia for Uzbekistan at the age of 17 to live with his Uzbek stepfather and to accept Uzbek citizenship.
But he fled Uzbekistan in 2008, alleging he was detained and tortured for two days by members of Uzbekistan’s security service.
Prominent rights activists and intellectuals in Russia have called on the Kremlin not to deport Feruz.