The editor of a Russian news outlet angered by its investigation into the Kremlin, which also involved poisoning opposition politician Alexei Navalny, said authorities had declared him a wanted man.
Roman Dobrokhotov, editor-in-chief of The Insider, told Reuters that officials had accused him of illegally crossing the border to leave Russia.
He said that he is currently out of Russia and does not want to reveal his location. He did not say how he had left Russia.
The Interior Ministry did not respond to a request for comment. There was no other confirmation of Dobrokhotov’s condition from the authorities.
Media outlets and journalists critical of officials faced mounting pressure ahead of a parliamentary election this month and campaigns against people that officials see as a threat to political stability show no signs of defeat.
Insider angered officials by helping state security officials identify the reason behind the poisoning of Navalny in August last year. The Kremlin denies any responsibility for Navalny’s fall ill.
Insider is one of several media outlets that Russia has this year declared media “foreign agents”, a designation that carries negative Soviet-era connotations, affects advertising revenue and imposes labeling requirements on outlets. Is.
The Kremlin denies that media outlets are targeted for political reasons. It added that the action against them is based entirely on the law and that media labeled as foreign agents can continue their work in Russia.
Dobrokhov said on Twitter that on Thursday morning police searched two Moscow apartments of Dobrokhotov’s family and parents and seized mobile phones and computers. The Insider reported that police officers also took his wife for questioning.
His lawyer, Yulia Kuznetsova, told Reuters that he was declared a wanted person on 23 September.
Dobrokhotov said police confiscated his passport in July after officers searched his home and named him as a witness in an unrelated defamation case.
She accused police of acting illegally by taking her passport and told Reuters she had every right to travel outside Russia. He also said that he considers the allegation that he had crossed the border illegally.
“It’s obviously a tool to put pressure on me in the first place and secondly an attempt to find out where I am and what kind of investigation I’m currently engaged in,” he said.
Dobrokhotov earlier this month accused the Russian state of destroying the media and said a choice before him and his allies is whether to leave or stay in Russia and become a political prisoner.
Dobrokhotov attended a conference in Tallinn, Estonia in early September, attended by aides of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.