31 Jan 2018 18:48

Questioning of journalist who interviewed Russian who went to Syria to fight ends -rights activists

MOSCOW. Jan 31 (Interfax) - Journalist Pavel Nikulin has left the building of the Federal Security Service after being questioned in connection with a case involving training for the purpose of engaging in terrorist activities and he remains a witness in the case, Open Russia said.

"The questioning has been completed, Pavel's status has not changed, he remains a witness," valentine Dekhtyarenko, human rights manager with the movement Open Russia, told Interfax on Wednesday.

During the questioning, Nikulin was asked whether he has visited Syria, whether he knows people who are members of illegal groups, and under what circumstances the interview was conducted, she said. He reduced to testify, using Article 51 of the Russian Constitution.

In the meantime, Roman Klimov, a lawyer for Nikulin, said he was not told about possible actions in the future. "The investigator decides on the tactics of investigative and other procedural actions. It is quite possible that Pavel will be summoned for questioning," he said.

On Wednesday morning, Nikulin's residence was searched by officials from the Federal Security Service's branch in Kaluga. The search was connected to the criminal case opened on the basis of the article of the Russian Criminal Code dealing with "undergoing training for the purpose of engaging in terrorist activities" over Nikulin's article "From Kaluga with Jihad," which was published by The New Times in March 2017.

In May 2017, the editor-in-chief of The New Times, Yevgeniya Albats, said the editorial board had received a warning from Roskomnadzor over "From Kaluga with Jihad." She said the agency had found "indications of justification of terrorism" in the material. The magazine was fined 100,000 rubles over the article in June 2017.