Thu, 09 Jul 2020

MOSCOW -- The Moscow City Court has cut the jail term of prominent journalist Ilya Azar to 10 days from 15 days amid a public outcry in Moscow and St. Petersburg over his incarceration.

The June 5 court decision means Azar should be released on June 7.

Azar, a 35-year-old Moscow legislator and journalist for the independent Novaya gazeta newspaper, was sentenced on May 28 after being convicted of repeatedly violating Russia's strict protest laws.

Azar was detained on May 26 for holding a single-person picket, a form of protest that does not require preliminary permission from the authorities, to protest against the jailing of Vladimir Vorontsov, an activist who has worked to expose violations within Russia's law enforcement agencies.

Police have said Azar was detained for violating the lockdown imposed to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

Dozens of his supporters, including a State Duma member, several municipal lawmakers, and journalists, were detained in Moscow and St. Petersburg on May 28-29 while holding single-person protests in his support.

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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