A court in Albania has decided to reject an extradition request to Russia for photographer and blogger Svetlana Timofeeva (Lana Sator), who was arrested on charges of espionage. This is reported by the Balkan edition of Radio Liberty.
Timofeeva herself did not make any statements during the meeting, and her lawyer welcomed the court’s decision. “It was the right decision based on the law. If this citizen is extradited to Russia, she will be persecuted, her life will be in danger, because her position on the Putin regime is known,” Timofeeva’s lawyer said.
In Albania, the photographer is suspected of espionage, and in Russia she was arrested in absentia for illegally obtaining information constituting a state secret. In March, Timofeeva asked for political asylum in Albania – she said she feared persecution if she returned to Russia.
Timofeeva is the author of photographs of abandoned industrial and military facilities, more than 250 thousand people have subscribed to her Instagram account. In August 2022, she, Russian Mikhail Zorin and Ukrainian Fyodor Alpatov were detained in the town of Gramsci in Albania while trying to enter a military factory that produced ASh-78 assault rifles in Soviet times, copies of the Soviet AK-47.
The detainees claimed that they wanted to hold a photo session there. They had a gas canister with them, it is alleged that with its help they tried to resist when the plant was detained by the guards. All of them face up to 20 years in prison.