N.Y. journalist arrives in Moscow

0

MOSCOW (AP) – A New York-based freelance journalist who was subjected to days of harrowing questioning by authorities in southern Russia arrived in Moscow on Sunday and should not have to return to the Dagestan region, her lawyer said.

Kelly McEvers traveled to Dagestan two weeks ago to research the impact of Islamic extremism in the region, which borders Chechnya. She said Saturday that interrogators alleging she had information about attacks in southern Russia confiscated her notebooks, tapes and computer hard drives, threatened her and subjected her to hours of questioning for three days last week.

McEvers said Saturday that authorities had left her unaware of her status and uncertain of whether she was free to leave Dagestan. But her lawyer, Yusup Dzhakhbarov, speaking by cell phone from a Moscow airport Sunday evening, said she had just arrived with him in the capital on a flight from the region.

Dzhakhbarov said McEvers faces hearings in Dagestan on an alleged administrative violation – reporting without accreditation as a journalist – but that she is not obliged to return to the region because he is empowered to represent her.

McEvers, 35, said Saturday that she had been detained for questioning for 10 hours, six hours and 10 hours over three days. On those days, she said, she was allowed to return to a private apartment each night to sleep but was a prisoner of her questioners during the daytime – unable to use a phone and intimidated by tough-looking men.

McEvers, who is on a fellowship from the International Reporting Project at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, said she had been interviewing students, imams, villagers and others about developments in mostly Muslim Dagestan.

A Regional Interior Ministry spokeswoman confirmed that McEvers had been detained but said she had no information about the matter.

Advertisement
SHARE