Kotsaba says accusing him of high treason is attack against freedom of press
A blogger from Ivano-Frankivsk considers accusations of high treason and impediment to activities of the Armed Forces of Ukraine against him “an attack against freedom of press and of having an opinion”. He said this on February 5 in Ivano-Frankivsk city court, where he was testifying for over two hours, Radio Liberty reports.
On January 17, 2015, Kotsuba published his open video address to the President of Ukraine. In this address, he asked Ukrainians to ignore the mobilizations, which is, as he said, an illegal thing to do for Armed forces when no official war status is in place. He also said he would rather be in prison than in the Army, where he can be sent to the east.
The Independent Media Union of Ukraine expressed opinion that although the public addresses of the blogger to ignore mobilization might be part of anti-Ukrainian campaign, criminal case against Kotsuba makes a precedent based on which any journalist or public figure can be accused of commiting a crime by just expressing opinion that is not in line with the authorities. The advocates of Amnesty International called Kotsuba prisoner of conscience and asked to release him.