Spanish-Russian journalist Pablo Gonzalez held six months in Polish jail on bogus spying charge

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Spanish journalist Pablo González has languished six months in preventive detention in Poland on fraudulent accusations of spying for Russia. His arrest was coordinated between NATO states, including Spain’s Socialist Party (PSOE)-Podemos government, and has met with silence by European and US media.

Pablo Gonzalez [Photo by #FreePabloGonzález]

The journalist was arrested by Poland’s Internal Security Agency (ABW) on February 28 after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, as he covered the refugee crisis in the Polish town of Rzeszow. He is accused of working for Russian military intelligence (GRU). No evidence has been presented that González handed any information to the Russian secret services, however, or even that he ever had any intention to do so. However, the Polish Prosecutor’s Office asked to prolong his detention last Friday; this will be examined by the regional court of Przemysl today.

Polish authorities’ spurious evidence includes that González was in possession of two passports bearing different names, one Russian and one Spanish—implying that one was a false identity used for espionage. González’s Russian passport names him as Pavel Rubtsov, using his father’s surname; his Spanish document identifies him as Pablo González Yagüe, using his mother’s two surnames. Pablo is the Hispanicised version of the Russian name Pavel.

González is the grandson of one of the “war children”—children transferred to the USSR for safety during the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) that followed Francisco Franco’s fascist coup in 1936. He has dual Russian and Spanish nationality and his father, whom he visits regularly, lives in Moscow. He has worked for different Spanish media such as the La Sexta television network or the liberal newspapers Público and Gara.

His work for these newspapers, his ability to speak Russian, and his credit card from Caja Laboral (“Workers Fund”), a Basque credit union, were cited as evidence of alleged “pro-Russian” views.

The WSWS reiterates its demand that González should be immediately released. The arrest of a journalist on baseless spying charges is an anti-democratic attack on freedom of information and freedom of speech. It is a reactionary measure aiming to intimidate journalists and silence opposition to official, state-sanctioned narratives on the imperialist proxy war in Ukraine instigated by Washington and its NATO allies.

It comes amid an imperialist campaign to censor Russian media like RT and Sputnik, including cancelling them from social media like Twitter, Facebook, Tik Tok, YouTube and Google News; and seeking to block Russian artists and musicians from appearing internationally.

JournoNews Corp
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