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Journalist in Crimea Charged With Extremism

FILE - Police stand guard at a local parliament in Simferopol, Crimea.

The lawyer for a Crimean journalist says his client has been charged with extremism for allegedly undermining Russia's territorial integrity, which could put him in prison for five years.

Emil Kurbedinov said late on Wednesday that Mykola Semena, who works for a local website of Radio Free Europe, has been formally charged with extremism. In April, a local court issued an order barring Semena from leaving the regional capital, Simferopol.

Shortly after Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in March 2014, the Russian parliament passed a law making it a criminal offense to question Russia's territorial integrity - in this case, by opposing the occupation of the Crimean peninsula.

Prosecutors earlier accused Semena of justifying “sabotage and extremism” in his articles.