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Journalist Yesypenko is facing psychological pressure while imprisoned in Crimea, says wife

10.05.2023, 18:27
Vladyslav Yesypenko at the Simferopol district "court", December 13, 2021. Photo by the Graty
Vladyslav Yesypenko at the Simferopol district "court", December 13, 2021. Photo by the Graty

After the start of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, employees of the Kerch Penal Colony No. 2 are closely monitoring the behavior and words of journalist Vladyslav Yesypenko, says his wife Kateryna to the Association of Relatives of the Kremlin's Political Prisoners.

She explained that there is only one-way communication with him now.

"He calls no more than once a month. His conversations with the defense attorney take place in the presence of an inspector from the colony, which violates the attorney-client privilege. Due to the Russian law on fakes issued March 4, 2022, the lawyer and I try not to call this war a war during our conversations with Vladyslav and avoid this topic in principle. After all, we understand that one unfortunate remark and they may transfer of my husband to a stricter prison or open an administrative case," said the journalist's wife.

She adds that the conversations between her and her husband take place through the prison network and are monitored by the colony's administration. The journalist also notes that other prisoners are allegedly watching him and trying to "catch him if his tongue slips."

"Husband said that almost every week the administration of the colony summons him and warns him not to say anything unnecessary to me and the lawyer. The administration is afraid that we will turn to the Commissioner, to human rights advocates, which will trigger an inspection," adds Yesypenko's wife .

As IMI reported, on August 18, the Russian-controlled Supreme Court of Crimea reduced Vladyslav Yesypenko's sentence from six to five years in a general regime colony. The journalist's defense is going to contest this ruling in cassation and request parole for Yesypenko in half a year. Yesypenko will also have to pay a fine of 110,000 russian rubles.

Yesypenko is detained in the "penal colony №2 of the FPS Administration in the Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol" in Kerch.

On February 16, the russian-controlled Simferopol District Court sentenced Krym.Realii freelancer Vladyslav Yesypenko to six years in penal colony for alleged illegal storage and transportation of an explosive device.

Speaking in court on February 15, Yesypenko said the case was politically motivated.

On March 10, 2021, russian FSB officers detained "Radio Svoboda" freelancer journalist Vladyslav Yesypenko in the occupied Crimea. Yesypenko took part in a demonstration dedicated to Taras Shevchenko's birth anniversary, which took place in Simferopol on March 9. Vladyslav Yesypenko was charged with gathering information "in the interests of Ukraine's special services," including the Foreign Intelligence Service, the russian FSB's Public Relations Center reported. According to the FSB, Yesypenko "had been performing photo and video recording of the area, welfare facilities, and places of mass gatherings of people in the Crimea."

Vladyslav Yesypenko has stated that FSB investigators had tortured him in order to extract a confession from him.

In December 2022, the Prosecutor's Office of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol issued a suspicion notice to a Russian FSB operative who was involved in the torture and illegal imprisonment of Vladyslav Yesipenko. The actions of the suspect are classified as a violation of the laws and customs of war (Article 438 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine).

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