Moscow-appointed Crimean prosecutor requests 19 years in prison for journalist Tsyhipa
On October 4, the Mosocw-installed Supreme Court of Crimea held the fourth hearing in the case of journalist Serhiy Tsyhipa. The occupying authorities of Crimea accuse him of espionage under Article 276 of the Criminal Code of Russia. The prosecutor requested 19 years in prison for the illegally imprisoned Ukrainian citizen.
Serhiy Tsyhipa's wife, Olena, shared this with Suspilne.
Serhiy is currently held in the PTDC-2 in Simferopol. The occupiers are trying him for espionage. Four closed hearings have already taken place; now the occupation court must announce the ruling. According to the journalist's defense lawyer, the prosecutor is asking for 19 years of imprisonment for Serhiy Tsyhipa.
Serhiy Tsygipa is a journalist, activist and ATO veteran. Since the start of the full-scale invasion, he has been volunteering, participating in pro-Ukraine rallies and reporting on the actions of the occupiers in Ukraine's south. The Russians kidnapped the journalist on March 12, 2022.
"I only learned what had happened to him in April. All this time I had been trying to find something out. I was calling everyone, writing to everyone, friends, acquaintances, the Novaya Kakhovka mayor. And then, you know, I thought to myself: I did have a hunch, some kind of intuition, that Serhiy had been taken to Crimea," said Olena.
Nataliya Okhotnikova, a human rights adviser at the ZMINA Human Rights Center, has been working on Serhiy's case almost since the moment of his abduction. Together with the journalist's relatives, they managed to establish a timeline.
"His phone was later used to send messages to other participants. To other activists and journalists. That is, other people were have been invited to meet from his phone. However, it was a trap," the human rights activist stressed.
It has been reported that another Kakhovka journalist, Oleh Baturin, fell into such a "trap".
In a comment to Suspilne Crimea, he said that he had known Tsyhipa for a long time. When he received a text asking for a meeting at a bus station, he agreed despite having a bad feeling about it.
"Arriving at the bus station at 5 pm, I saw a white minivan with Ukrainian license plates, civilian, without any labels, but the figures of the people sitting in the front seats looked nothing like Serhiy Tsyhipa, so I turned around to head home, but heard someone getting out of the minivan and running towards me, and I realized that was it – I had been caught," said Baturin.
In the building of the Kherson Oblast Administration, where the occupiers brought Oleh Baturin with a mask over his head the day after his detention, he heard the voice of Serhiy Tsyhipa among other prisoners. He gave his name during the interrogation.
Serhiy Tsyhipa is a journalist and author from Nova Kakhovka who has been in Russian captivity for a year and a half. He was kidnapped for his active pro-Ukraine stance and his reporting. His efforts facilitated a mass event of civil disobedience in the city. Tsyhipa was also actively volunteering, helping people obtain food and medicine.
After his arrest he went out of contact and for a while his relatives knew nothing of his whereabouts or his fate. Later, they learned from a propaganda video on Russian TV that he was alive and in a jail.
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