Update, 11:12 a.m., Oct. 16, 2014: Bergantino will be not be deported, but will be allowed to leave as planned on Saturday. He will not be allowed to conduct further workshops.
Boston journalist Joe Bergantino was detained by Russian authorities Thursday morning in St. Petersburg.
Bergantino was detained in Russia along with former WBZ executive and current University of South Carolina professor Randy Covington. Bergantino and Covington were conducting journalism workshops for The New England Center for Investigative Reporting, a nonprofit investigation-reporting unit based at WGBH News and Boston University.
Bergantino's colleague at the New England Center for Investigative Reporting, Beth Daley, said she spoke with Bergantino Thursday morning.
"I had a brief conversation with Joe — is that the Russian officials say they're going to charge him and his co-worker with teaching an educational workshop illegally because they are in the country using the wrong visas," she said.
"This morning they began their second batch of trainings in St. Petersburg, and Russian immigration police came in and asked to talk to them," Daley said. "After talking to them for about an hour, they let them continue the workshop, but then shortly thereafter came back and took them downtown and began questioning them."
Daley said Bergantino and Covington are concerned but are being treated fairly and were given tea and cookies while they await the court hearing. The situation is believed to stem from a visa issue.