The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) expressed deep condemnation for the decision of the Court of the Central District in Sochi for its sentence against blogger Aleksandr Valov.
Valov, who is the founder and editor-in-chief of the local independent website BlogSochi, was arrested on 19 January and was charged with “blackmailing” the State Duma’s deputy, Yuri Napso, two days later.
Valov ran a live stream of his arrest, narrating while police members broke his door down, cut off the electricity and beat him. They also seized his computer, documents and money during the brutal arrest. He was charged with 300,000 Russian rubles (approx. 4,300 EUR) from the city´s federal parliamentary deputy. Valov pled not guilty and stated that his detention was politically motivated.
The blogger’s arrest came after BlogSochi published a report.
Valov faces up to seven years in prison if found guilty of his charges.
SEEMO is a network of editors, media executives and leading journalists in South, East and Central Europe.