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EU called to release 10 journalists detained in Crimea

07.05.2021, 16:17
CrimeanSolidarity/ Krym.Realii/ RFE/RL
CrimeanSolidarity/ Krym.Realii/ RFE/RL

The European Union called on Russia to release 10 journalists unlawfully detained in the temporarily occupied Crimea. Such is the message the European Union’s statement signed during an online meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council on May 6, as Ukrinform reported.

"We call on Russia to immediately release all illegally detained journalists, including Vladyslav Yesypenko, as well as Osman Arifmemetov, Marlen Asanov, Remzi Bekirov, Timur Ibragimov, Server Mustafayev, Seyran Saliyev, Amet Suleimanov, Ruslan Suleimayev and Rustem."

The European Union has also expressed concern over the persistent human rights violations in the temporarily occupied Crimea. The EU statement said that they deeply regretted the continuing attacks on freedom of expression and media freedom on the illegally annexed Crimean peninsula, including the closure of broadcasters.

Since 2014 the Russian occupation of the Crimea limited access of independent journalists to the peninsula. Against the background of the suppression of professional journalism in the temporarily occupied peninsula, citizen journalism began to evolve fast pace. However, the occupiers are also prosecuting these representatives of independent journalism in Crimea on fabricated charges.

As IMI reported, on March 10, On March 10, on March 10, n March 10, Russian FSB officers detained Vladislav Yesipenko, a freelancer of Radio Svoboda (Crimea.Realities project), in the occupied Crimea. Yesipenko took part in the action dedicated to Taras Shevchenko's anniversary, which took place in Simferopol on March 9. The arrest term is until May 11.

Yesipenko is accused of gathering information "in the interests of Ukraine's special services," including for the Foreign Intelligence Service, the Russian FSB's Public Relations Center reported on March 16. According to the FSB, Yesipenko "carried out photo and video recording of the area, livelihoods and places of mass stay of people in the Crimea."

On 5 May, a new charge was brought against Vladyslav Yesypenko. His wife Kateryna Yesypenko said Vladyslav was accused additionally of an illegal acquisition, transfer, sale, storage, or carrying of weapons and ammunition (Art. 222 of the Criminal Code).

As IMI reported, on April 30, the Russian-controlled Kyiv District Court of Simferopol extended his arrest for two months more, until July 11

As IMI reported, on April 13, Vladislav Yesipenko's lawyer Oleksiy Ladin said that his client was threatened with murder by a FSB officer if he withheld his previous testimony he made under torture.

On April 12, Ladin reported that in the first days after his detention, the FSB had illegally taken saliva from Esipenko for a biological examination.

On April 9, As IMI reported, on April 12, Russian FSB officers in Crimea threatened the execution to Vladyslav Yesypenko, an arrested contributor to Radio Liberty (Crimea.Reality RFE/RL project), after he accused the FSB of torturing him before the Crimean court..

As IMI reported, on April 6, Vladyslav Yesipenko said that FSB investigators had tortured him. He said this on April 6 during a session of the Supreme Court of Crimea.

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