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Russian police raid office of student journal DOXA – editors charged with inciting minors to protest, face 3 years behind bars

Russian police raid office of student journal DOXA – editors charged with inciting minors to protest, face 3 years behind bars
The office and apartments of journalists behind the online DOXA journal have been searched after the publication’s editorial board was accused by Russian authorities of encouraging minors to take part in unauthorized protests.

Based in Moscow and created by alumni of the city’s prestigious Higher School of Economics, the newspaper got into hot water with law enforcement after publishing a video in January this year supporting the right of young people to protest and denouncing the treatment of protestors.

Roskomnadzor, Russia’s federal regulator, demanded the video be removed. DOXA complied.

However, on Wednesday morning, police raided both the office and homes of the magazine’s editors, with members of the board being detained, questioned, and charged with enticing minors to commit illegal acts. State investigators opted to release the journalists, but imposed restrictions on their movements. If found guilty of inciting children to participate in unlawful actions, they each could be given three years behind bars.

The journalists, named as Vladimir Metelkin, Alla Gutnikova, Armen Aramyan, and Natalia Tyshkevich, may not leave their homes or communicate with anyone, except lawyers and close relatives, and are banned from using the internet for two months.

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According to Tatiana Kolobakina, another DOXA employee, the search was “tough” and lasted about four and a half hours, starting from 6.30 a.m.

In a statement posted to DOXA’s website, the publication expressed its desire to “continue to shed light on what is important to young people,” noting that it would not stop its activities.

The four DOXA editors aren’t the only people to be charged with encouraging minors to protest in recent months. In February, Russia placed Leonid Volkov, a high-profile associate of jailed opposition figure Alexey Navalny, on the interstate wanted list, after being charged for the same crime. As he is based in Lithuania, it is unlikely that Volkov will ever stand trial.

Earlier this year, three unauthorized demonstrations were organized by allies of Navalny, who is currently in prison after being judged to have broken the terms of a suspended sentence. On January 23 and January 31, organized marches were held in the center of cities throughout Russia, and on February 2, pro-Navalny supporters came out onto the streets of Moscow after he was sentenced to time behind bars.

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