Former journalist Safronov jailed for 22 years in Russia for treason

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A Russian court sentenced former journalist Safronov to 22 years in jail for fabricating treason.

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It was a fresh move in a widespread campaign against media and Kremlin dissenters and was largely perceived as being politically motivated.

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At the hearing on Monday at the Moscow City Court, some of Safronov's friends and coworkers screamed, "Freedom!" and applauded as the decision was read.

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Safronov was charged with disclosing military information to German and Czech intelligence.

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He proclaimed his innocence, claiming that he did nothing wrong and that he only obtained all of the material he needed for his journalistic job from public sources.

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Safronov called the hefty term sought by the prosecution "monstrous" and said it would damage the nation's reputation.

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that a journalist is only penalised for carrying out his duties. His defence argued in favour of a prompt punishment.

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On Monday, the European Union asked Russian authorities to dismiss all accusations against Safronov and "free him unconditionally."

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thus denouncing "the regime's continuous suppression of independent reporters."

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