OSCE calls to drop charges from Semena
the Chief Monitor of the Special Monitoring Mission to the OSCE Permanent Council, the Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović expressed concern once again regarding the persecution of Crimean journalist Nikolay Semena from the Krym-realii online media outlet and condemned the continued deterioration of media freedom in the occupied Crimea. Dunja Mijatović delivered her regular report to the OSCE Permanent Council on Jan.20, Krym.Realii.
She recalled that on January 20 Nikolay Seed charged with "public calls for actions that violate the territorial integrity of the Russian Federation." The indictment followed the publication of an article written by a journalist, where he expressed his opinion on the status of the peninsula. If found guilty he faces up to five years in prison.
“The case of Semena reminds us all of the arbitrary practice of silencing critical voices in Crimea,” Mijatović said. “It is totally unacceptable to persecute the journalist for expressing his views. I call for all charges against Semena to be dropped.”
“I once again call on all those responsible for law and order in these areas to stop the destruction of freedom of the media and do their utmost to ensure the safety of journalists,” Mijatović said.
Mijatović added that it is difficult to give a comprehensive assessment of the current state of affairs of media freedom and to engage with journalists in conflict-affected parts of Ukraine and in Crimea, due, primarily, to a number of access and security obstacles.
“Access to information, plurality of opinion and the safety of journalists continue to suffer in times of crisis,” Mijatović said. “As is the case in Crimea, the ongoing deterioration of free expression and free media in conflict-affected parts of Ukraine is deeply disturbing.”