Russian Scientists Held for Months on Spy Charges

Reports out of Russia are that two of the country's scientists have been held since March on charges of spying for China. Svyatoslav Bobyshev and Yevgeny Afanasyev study gas dynamics at Baltic State Technical University and were arrested in March, although few details about the case have emerged. Russia's Federal Security Service apparently made the arrests, and some Russian academics have suggested the cases have no merit. The Moscow Times reports:

Yury Ryzhov, an academician and member of the Public Committee to Protect Scientists, said the latest arrests were a continuation of "lawlessness" against scientists spearheaded by "corrupt organizations." The head of the committee, Ernest Chyorny, called the case "murky" and said his organization could not take any action because of a lack of information about the case. He said about 20 scientists have been targeted by the FSB on espionage and treason charges since the late 1990s, adding that he believed that the cases aimed only to boost the FSB's image.

John Travis

John Travis is the News Managing Editor at Science and also plans and edits news coverage of biology and biomedical topics.