first_img Listed as a “foreign agent”, Russia’s most popular independent website risks disappearing May 5, 2021 Find out more June 2, 2021 Find out more News January 24, 2018 Russia: RSF condemns well-known Sochi blogger’s arrest RussiaEurope – Central Asia Condemning abusesOnline freedoms Judicial harassmentImprisonedCouncil of EuropeInternet Читать по-русски / Read in Russian Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls for the immediate conditional release of Alexander Valov, a popular blogger in Sochi, in southwestern Russia, on the grounds that no evidence has been produced to support the extortion charge on which he is being held.Two days after BlogSochi editor Valov’s arrest on 19 January, a judge ordered him held provisionally for at least two months pending trial on a charge of trying to extort money from Yury Napso, a leading Sochi politician who is a representative in the Duma (Russian parliament).But the charge against Valov, who is well-known for his often critical blog posts about the resort city’s prominent residents, is based solely on a complaint filed by Napso’s assistant, with no sworn statement, no material evidence and no statement by Napso himself.“There is no basis for Alexander Valov’s provisional detention,” said Johann Bihr, the head of RSF’s Eastern Europe and Central Asia desk. “We call for the immediate release of this blogger, who has a right to a fair and impartial investigation of the charges against him.”Napso already sued Valov for defamation when the blogger accused him of appropriating a section of the beach in Sochi in order to build a private swimming pool. Valov was ordered to pay Napso 1,500,000 roubles (21,500 euros) in damages on appeal last month.The situation of the media in Sochi was the subject of a report by RSF in 2013. Russia is ranked 148th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2017 World Press Freedom Index. News Follow the news on Russia Help by sharing this information Organisation Receive email alertscenter_img News RussiaEurope – Central Asia Condemning abusesOnline freedoms Judicial harassmentImprisonedCouncil of EuropeInternet Russian media boss drops the pretence and defends Belarus crackdown Credit: BlogSochi.ru Related documents РБГ осуждает арест известного блогера из СочиPDF – 202.14 KB Two Russian journalists persecuted for investigating police corruption to go further RSF_en May 21, 2021 Find out more Newslast_img read more