- Associated Press - Thursday, October 16, 2014

BOSTON (AP) - Two American journalists running a journalism workshop were briefly detained in Russia on suspected visa violations.

Beth Daley, a reporter at the New England Center for Investigative Reporting, says the center’s founder, longtime Boston television reporter Joe Bergantino, was arrested Thursday at the workshop in St. Petersburg.

She says authorities also detained Randy Covington, director of Newsplex at the University of South Carolina.

Daley told the New England First Amendment Coalition that Bergantino and Covington were charged with “teaching an educational workshop illegally because they were using the wrong visas.” Bergantino and Covington were taken to a Russian court and ordered to leave the country by Friday and cease all journalism training before being released.

Daley says they refused to sign a document that said they were in the country illegally.

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