In Crimea, freedom of press has been destroyed – Journalist Serhiy Mokrushyn
Since March, in Crimea freedom of press has been consistently destroyed. This was the statement of the representative of the Crimean Center of Journalist Investigations and the Institute of Mass Information Serhiy Mokrushyn on a press conference on June 13 in «Ukrinform» regarding the situation with freedom of press in Ukraine since the beginning of the Russian aggression. According to him, in Crimea there are no Ukrainian TV channels or radio stations, or Ukrainian newspapers, they were all replaced by Russian media outlets. Local residents still can get Ukrainian news on the Internet, via satellite or in cable network. Mokrushyn pointed out that there are only a couple independent media outlets left; in particular, these are the Center of Journalist Investigations, «Krym. Realii», and the ATR TV channel. Most journalists of independent media outlets left Crimea, often together with the rest of the editorial offices. The ones left are under thorough observation by the so-called Crimean community defence and the Russian Federal Security Service. Journalists of independent media outlets are not allowed to attend the government’s sessions; the editor-in-chief of the Crimean Tatar newspaper ‘Avdet’ is being regularly summoned to the prosecutor’s office under a suspicion of extremism. The official media outlets with significant readership avoid burning social and environmental issues, and independent media outlets, despite their desire to cover such topics, cannot get any information from the authorities. Pro-Russian media outlets offer nothing but propaganda. The Center of Journalist Investigations has already received a message to leave their office in downtown Simferopol.
Earlier this month, on June 2, Serhiy Mokrushyn and his colleague editor Vladlen Melnikov were detained by militia gunmen in Simferopol. They were held at the so-called militia HQ and were beaten until the police arrived. They were released without a protocol or any charges.