Read: What Putin really wants.
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The new law on disrespecting state symbols, in particular, intends to choke off freedom of speech, according to Rachel Denber, the Europe and Central Asia deputy director for Human Rights Watch. Separately, Grigory Vinter, the leader of a small human-rights organization, told the Novaya Gazeta newspaper that police had detained him on a train from Moscow and threatened to break his legs, accusing him of being a foreign agent and transporting forbidden extremist literature. Prokopyeva and her backers—more than 50, have put their signature to a petition in support of her—are fearful that being officially charged, and then convicted, is only a matter of time.
She has so far been questioned three times by investigators. One interrogator told her that working for Radio Free Europe was not patriotic. If Prokopyeva is charged, Felgenhauer has vowed to continue speaking out, particularly in favor of her colleague.
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We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters theatlantic. A new Russian law that criminalizes "disrespect" for Russian society is just Moscow's latest crackdown on freedom of expression in Russia. Read: What Putin really wants The new law on disrespecting state symbols, in particular, intends to choke off freedom of speech, according to Rachel Denber, the Europe and Central Asia deputy director for Human Rights Watch.
Bahgat was arrested after responding to a summons issued three days earlier to report to military intelligence headquarters in Cairo, where he was interrogated for seven hours.
Today, military prosecutors ordered him held provisionally for four days for the purposes of investigation. His most recent major story, for the Mada Masr news website last month, was about the trial and conviction in late August of 26 former military officers accused of conspiring with the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood to "overthrow the government. Bahgat's arrest has been widely condemned by international human rights NGOs and on social networks.
The past weekend's cases are a perfect example of this problem. The number of journalists in detention is alarming. The constant persecution of dissident voices must stop.
Yale-NUS College Cancels Course on Dissent
The management of the national TV station Al-Qahera yesterday suspended anchor Azzah Al-Hinnawi for directly appealing to President Sisi to tackle corruption during a programme last week about the heavy rain and flooding at the beginning of the week in Alexandria and Beheira. She criticized the performance of Sisi and other officials and called on the president to present his plan of action to the people.
Accusing her of a "lack of professionalism," Al-Qahera 's management said she had been suspended and would be questioned by the judicial authorities. President Sisi had already warned the media about unprofessional coverage of the flooding in Alexandria early last week. Salah Diab, a businessman and founder of the daily Al-Masry al-Youm , was arrested at his home in Gizeh yesterday for still unclear reasons believed to be linked to the newspaper's editorial policies or to a complaint brought against him in connection with corruption allegations.
His son was also arrested.
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