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Occupiers sentence journalist Serhiy Tsyhipa to 13 years in prison

06.10.2023, 15:50
Photo by Olena Tsyhipa
Photo by Olena Tsyhipa

The Moscow-installed Supreme Court of Crimea announced the ruling in the case of journalist and volunteer Serhiy Tsyhipa. The occupiers sentenced him to 13 years in prison.

Serhiy Tsyhipa's wife, Olena, spoke to "Suspilne Crimea" about this.

"Serhiy was given 13 years in prison. The lawyer says he behaved well. We are not stopping there, we will file an appeal," she said.

The hearing was behind closed doors, but the Russian propaganda agency RIA Novosti also reported on the ruling and published the journalist's photo from the hearing.

"Ukrainian citizen S. Tsyhipa has been sentenced to 13 years in prison for espionage by a Crimean court. The case was considered behind closed doors, no details were reported," the news says.

Serhiy Tsyhipa 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.

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. In her comment to Suspline she said that the journalist's phone had later been used to send messages to other protesters, activists and journalists. That is, other people were have been invited to meet from his phone as if it was him arranging the meetings.

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.

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