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Russian Journalist Charged For 'Attending' Anti-Putin Protest


Yulia Faizrakhmanova says she was doing her job as a journalist when she covered a May 5 demonstration ahead of Vladimir Putin's inauguration to a fourth presidential term.
Yulia Faizrakhmanova says she was doing her job as a journalist when she covered a May 5 demonstration ahead of Vladimir Putin's inauguration to a fourth presidential term.

KAZAN, Russia -- A journalist in Russia's Republic of Tatarstan has been charged with attending an illegal protest against President Vladimir Putin and may face a fine or several days in jail.

Yulia Faizrakhmanova, a correspondent for the website Activatica.org, said she was summoned by police in Tatarstan's capital, Kazan, on June 27 and told that she was officially charged with attending an illegal public event.

Faizrakhmanova said she exercised her constitutional right to remain silent and did not talk to the police.

She denies any wrongdoing, saying she was doing her job as a journalist when she covered a May 5 demonstration organized by opposition politician Aleksei Navalny ahead of Putin's inauguration to a fourth presidential term.

She said she did not carry a sign or chant slogans at the protest, one of many held in cities across Russia that day. Police detained more than 1,600 people nationwide.

Faizrakhmanova has said she might run for a seat in Tatarstan's parliament in September.

Putin, who has been president or prime minister since 1999, was sworn in for a new six-year term on May 7 after a landslide victory in a March election.

The vote was marred by allegations of fraud and what international observers said was a lack of a genuine choice.

Navalny was barred from the ballot due to a conviction on financial-crimes charges he contends were fabricated by the Kremlin.

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