Moscow urges US to exonerate RT journalist

Moscow, Jan 27 (IANS) Russia hopes US authorities will drop charges against a reporter who was detained while “performing his professional duty”, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said on Friday.

Alexander Rubinstein, a reporter for RT America, was arrested in Washington last Friday along with other reporters covering a protest against the inauguration of US President Donald Trump, and kept in custody for nearly 24 hours.

He has been released on bond, with a preliminary court hearing scheduled for February 16.

Rubinstein was charged with felony rioting, which under US law was punishable by imprisonment for up to 10 years and a fine of $25,000.

“We hope that this incident will be meticulously investigated and the charges against Alexander Rubinstein and other journalists be dropped,” Zakharova told a news briefing, stressing that police officers detained Rubinstein although he presented his media credentials.

Zakharova noted that representatives of the media community and various international institutions had condemned the violation of journalists’ rights by U.S. authorities.