Court Extends Pretrial Detention For Daghestani Journalist Charged With Financing Terrorism

MAKHACHKALA, Russia -- A court in Russia's North Caucasus region of Daghestan has extended the pretrial detention of reporter Abdulmumin Gadzhiyev, who is charged with “inciting” the funding of terrorism.

The Soviet District Court in the Daghestani capital, Makhachkala, on October 15 ruled that Gadzhiyev must remain in pretrial detention until November 13.

Gadzhiyev's colleagues at three local publications have said his arrest was based on a “trumped up” charge and published front pages devoted to his plight shortly after his arrest in June.

The charge against Gadzhiyev, a reporter for the Chernovik independent weekly in Daghestan, was based on testimony from another suspect, who subsequently said that police extracted his testimony by torture.

Investigators initially charged Gadzhiyev with sending money to charities allegedly involved in funding the Islamic State terrorist group and other militants -- accusations he has denied.

The charge was changed later to "inciting" the funding of terrorism, which Gadzhiyev has also denied.

On October 2, Chernovik's headquarters was searched by masked police, a move which was harshly criticized by international rights groups and the OSCE's representative on freedom of the media, Harlem Desir.

Media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has urged Russian authorities to free Gadzhiyev.