Russia Still Denies Consular Visit For U.S. Reporter As She Marks 100 Days In Jail
The Russian government has not yet granted a request from U.S. officials to visit American-Russian journalist Alsu Kurmasheva in prison —her right as an American who has been detained in Kazan 100 days ago, the State Department said on Wednesday, TURAN's Washington correspondent reports.
"We remain incredibly concerned about the extension of her pretrial detention... Our request to visit her was denied on December 20th. The U.S. embassy in Moscow continues to seek appropriate consular access," Principal Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel told a daily press briefing.
Kurmasheva was detained in Kazan on October 18 while visiting her elderly, ailing mother. Awo months later, she was charged with spreading falsehoods about the Russian military.
"Russia has acknowledged her detention to us, to consular officials. But again, our request for consular access continues to be denied," Patel said.
He didn't offer any additional specifics on Russian denial, when pressed by TURAN's correspondent. In the meantime, he added, the U.S. has 'no higher priority' than the safety and security of American citizens overseas.
"Even one day unjustly behind bars is a tragedy," acting RFE/RL President Stephen Capus said in a statement on Wednesday, "but a U.S. citizen wrongfully held in a Russian prison for 100 days is outrageous."