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CPJ demands separatism charges against Crimean journalist be dropped

17.02.2017, 12:01

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has urged Russia-imposed authorities to drop all charges against journalist Mykola Semena, an RFE/RL contributor accused of separatism in the Moscow-controlled Ukrainian region of Crimea. Radio Libety informs.

In a February 16 statement, CPJ Europe and Central Asia Program Coordinator Nina Ognianova said that "criticizing authorities is not a crime" and called on Russian-imposed authorities to "stop harassing journalists in Crimea."

A preliminary hearing in the case against Semena starts in Simferopol today, on February 17.

Semena was charged with separatism in spring 2016 after he wrote an article on his blog that was critical of Moscow's seizure of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014. He denies the charges.

If convicted, he may face up to five years in prison.

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