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Half of Semena case is operative video shooting of his computer screen - lawyer

14.12.2016, 18:51

Half of the criminal case against the Crimean journalist Mykola Semena is operational video shooting of his computer screen, indicating the constant surveillance and bugging by the security services. Andriy Sabinin, one of Semena's lawyers, told this at the press conference "Crimean captives of Kremlin" on Dec.13, the Information Center of Human Rights said.

"Imagine that you are sitting and working and someone is watching you. Even now, when I am mailing him, they watch. The man does something, works while being recorded all the time. In fact, it means that half of the criminal case against him is a record of his mental work,"- said Sabinin.

According to his words, the journalist is still at large. Still, the lawyer indicates that Semena can be imprisoned because of charges (Part 2 of Art. 280.1. Of the Criminal Code of Russia "Public calls to commit acts aimed at violating the territorial integrity of the Russian Federation"). Sabinin added that the article provides punishment up to 5 years of imprisonment. Yet, lawyers are still hoping that journalist won't get a maximum penalty.

According to Sabinin, the referred article appeared in Criminal Code of Russia, almost immediately, after the annexation of Crimea. 

However, the lwyer says that Semena's case stands out among similar cases. "We are talking about calls of action on the Internet, social media or at public events. Semena was working in the mass media, which is not relevant to Russia. Besides, the main office of the media is not located in Ukraine. The article that was published on the site of media is a reason of putting him under restraint,"- Sabinin said.

By his projections Semena's case can get to the court by the end of this year or, taking in account the long New Year holidays, until mid-January.

Sabinin also stressed the importance of publicity. "Russian courts - they are all the same. They sigh when they hear about adversarial. But media attention attracts the attention of civil society. But any action in support of Semena is impossible in Russia. If people come to the action, they will be picked up and judged with the same article. But this (action of support, publicity - Ed.) is possible in Ukraine. It will give some benefits in the future. For example, it might help to get him out of a jail. Semena dreams about moving to Galicia," - Sabinin said.

The lawyer brought up an example of the political prisoner Afanasyev, who was sentenced but pardoned later. "Publicity is important, especially if actions are aiming Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs," - Sabinin concluded.

As IMI reported earlier, on April 19, the so-called 'Crimean Prosecutor' Natalia Poklonska made a statement that the Russian Federal Security Service launched a case against the Radio Liberty's  Crimean journalist from Krym.Realii for 'encouragement to violate Russia's territorial integrity.' On April 19, Mykola Semena's house was searched by the occupation law enforcement.

Semena was released after interrogation against an undertaking not to leave. 

On Apr.28 in the annexed Crimea, journalist Mykola Semena, who is accused by the Kremlin-controlled authorities in "separatism", is summoned for interrogation again.

On Apr.29 officially an accused after another interrogation by the Crimean authorities controlled by Russia.

 

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