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Media Movement and human rights activists call for international pressure on Russia to release journalist Oleg Baturyn

14.03.2022, 19:51

Media movement and human rights activists call on the international community to put pressure on Russia to immediately disclose the whereabouts of journalist Oleg Baturyn, who has gone missing on March 12, 2022 in Kakhovka, Kherson region and to set him free. Also they call Russia to strictly comply with international humanitarian and international criminal law amidst the armed conflict.

On March 12, 2022, a local journalist for the Novy Den newspaper Oleh Baturyn went missing in Kakhovka (Kherson region). His wife reported that about 4 pm an acquaintance called Oleg and suggested to meet him near a bus station, which is located near the journalist's house. Around 4:30 pm, Oleg went to the meeting, leaving his phone and documents at home. He promised to come back in 20 minutes. But he did not return.

According to local chats, the Russian military was seen near the bus station at about 4:50 p.m.

We will remind, in Kakhovka there are no Russian military on a constant basis, but the next town Nova Kakhovka has been occupied. There is an attempt to create a military-civilian administration controlled by the Russians.

Media Movement believes that the abduction of Oleg Baturyn, a journalist and civilian, and his secret forcible detention in an unknown location amidst the international armed conflict in the territory controlled by the armed forces of the Russian Federation are signs of a war crime.

According to the Geneva Convention relativeto the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 1949, the taking hostage of persons who do not take an active part in hostilities, is strictly prohibited and is considered a war crime.

According to the Center for Journalistic Investigations, the Kherson region Prosecutor's Office has opened a criminal investigation into the abduction of Kherson journalist Oleh Baturyn, qualifying him under Article 438 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine as a violation of the laws and customs of war. 

The Media Movement and human rights activists call on the international community to put pressure on Russia to immediately disclose the whereabouts of journalist Oleg Baturyn, who went missing on March 12, 2022 in Kakhovka, Kherson region, and the grounds and location of his detention. We call to put pressure on Russia to release Oleg Baturyn and to adhere to international humanitarian and international criminal law in the context of the armed conflict between the Russian Federation and Ukraine.

The Russian Federation is a country with almost zero tolerance for independent media. Russia's repressive policy toward journalists has been a part of everyday life in the occupied territories of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, Sevastopol, Donetsk and Luhansk regions since the first days of the occupation. As Russian troops advance, more and more of Ukraine is facing despotism, arbitrariness and impunity, which afflict many categories of people, including journalists. 

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, the Institute of Mass Information has recorded more than 50 war crimes committed by the Russian military against journalists and the media. In particular, it is the murder and shelling of Ukrainian and foreign journalists, the cessation of broadcasting and the seizure of the property of television and radio organizations and the activities of other media.

Media Movement

NGO "Detector Media "

NGO "Institute of Mass Information"

IA "Center for Journalistic Investigations"

Center for Civil Liberties

Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union

Kharkiv Human Rights Group

Crimean Human Rights Group

ZMINA Human Rights Center

Vostok SOS Charitable Foundation

NGO "INFLUENCE GROUP"

"CHESNO" movement

CrimeaSOS 

Regional Center for Human Rights

NGO "Joint Action Center"

NGO "Cherkasy Human Rights Center"

GS "Legal Development Network"

NGO "Hromadske Radio"

NGO "IPC-Kherson Media Center"

NGO "Institute for Regional Press Development"

Human Rights Educational House - Chernihiv

NGO "Kharkiv Anti-Corruption Center"

NGO "Human Rights Platform"

SaveDnipro / SaveEcoBot 

Internews-Ukraine

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