Alsu Kurmasheva is editor of Radio LIberty’s Tatar-Bashkir service published on the website ‘Idel.Realii‘ and has both Russian and US citizenship. On 20 May 2023, for family reasons Kurmasheva travelled to Russia from Prague where she is based. While there, both her passports were confiscated and criminal charges were brought against her for failing to notify the authorities about her second citizenship (Article 330.2 of the Russian Criminal Code). On 11 October she was fined 10,000 roubles but her passports were not returned to her. On 18 October she was detained on charges of collecting publicly available information about Russia’s military activities without having submitted the documents required for inclusion in the register of ‘foreign agents’ (Article 330.1, Part 3, of the Russian Criminal Code). On 23 October 2023, Alsu Kurmasheva was remanded in custody.
Memorial has recognised Alsu Kurmasheva as a political prisoner. The Committee to Protect Journalists has called for Kurmasheva’s immediate release. Her detention has been condemned by Front Line Defenders. On 19 October Marie Struthers, Amnesty International’s Director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, said:
The persecution of Alsu Kurmasheva is an example of the relentless crackdown on journalism and the right to freedom of expression in Russia. It also marks an alarming escalation in the harassment of media professionals, as it’s the first time this offence has been used to directly target a journalist for their professional activities, putting her at risk of a five-year imprisonment.
The EU’s chief diplomat, Josep Borrell, has called on Russia to ‘immediately release’ Alsu Kurmashev. Meanwhile, activists who protested her arrest and those of other journalists have been charged with violating the regulations governing public gatherings.
Write to Alsu Kurmasheva
To write to Alsu Kurmasheva to express your support for her, please send your letter as an email to us at: firstname.lastname@example.org. We shall translate the letter into Russian for you and either, depending on your request, mail the translated letter on your behalf to Alsu or return the letter to you for posting in an envelope with an address written in Russian. If we send the letter on your behalf, we ask that you compensate us for the cost of postage from the UK (currently £2.20 – $2.73; €2.52). To learn more about our letter writing project, click here: Write to Russia.
Alsu Kurmasheva is in custody in Remand Prison No. 2 in Kazan, the capital of the Republic of Tatarstan.
The address for writing letters to her is:
420030, Республика Татарстан, Казань, ул. Большая, 98, ФКУ СИЗО-2 УФСИН России по Республике Татарстан, Курмашевой Алсу Хамидовне, 1976 г. р.
If you would like to write to another person unjustly deprived of liberty in Russia, the project Write to Russia has so far highlighted the following cases:
- Sasha (Alexandra) Skochilenko – imprisoned for peaceful anti-war protest – https://www.rightsinrussia.org/write-to-russia-2/
- Mikhail Zhilin – imprisoned for refusing to fight against Ukraine – https://www.rightsinrussia.org/write-to-russia-3/
- Aleksei Arbuzenko – imprisoned for protesting the war against Ukraine – https://www.rightsinrussia.org/write-to-russia-4/
- Aleksei Navalny – imprisoned for peaceful participation in electoral politics – https://www.rightsinrussia.org/write-to-russia-5/
- Evgeny Zinich- imprisoned for his faith – https://www.rightsinrussia.org/write-to-russia-6/
- Alsu Kurmasheva – held on remand for her work as a journalist – https://www.rightsinrussia.org/write-to-russia-7/