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russia keeps 14 journalists from occupied Crimea under arrest – human rights activists

23.08.2022, 13:14

A total of 14 journalists are currently behind bars in the russian federation and occupied Crimea. This was stated by the head of ZMINA Human Rights Center Tetyana Pechonchyk during a press conference on August 23 in Kyiv, Ukrinform reports.

"Iryna Danylovych, citizen journalist, as well as citizen journalist, representative of the Crimean Solidarity initiative Vilen Temeryanov, have been imprisoned earlier. Thus, we already have 14 journalists, citizen journalists in particular, who are behind bars in the russian federation and in Crimea, which has been occupied by it," Pechonchyk stressed.

She also reminded that as of now, 140 people have been subjected to politically motivated prosecution on the Crimean Peninsula.

At the same time, Pechonchyk expressed her belief that after the invasion of the russian federation, the situation in the russian-occupied Crimea was slightly overshadowed by the unprecedented scale of atrocities, war crimes, and crimes against humanity which the russian federation is currently committing in the territories of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia oblasts.

"Currently, the number of civilian hostages, prisoners of war being held in the russian federation and in the territories occupied by it has increased dramatically," Pechonchyk said.

But, according to her, Crimea is seeing an unprecedented rise of repression, and the list of political prisoners is only growing; in particular, this applies to those people who were performing journalistic work as citizen journalists.

At the same time, the head of the ZMINA Human Rights Center specified that every 10th political prisoner in Crimea is a journalist, namely a citizen journalist.

Pechonchyk said that it is also important not to forget about those political prisoners who were behind bars before the full-scale russian invasion.

In this context, she mentioned the case of one of the Crimean political prisoners, Radio Liberty journalist Vladyslav Yesypenko. He was arrested by russians in March 2021 for a fabricated crime.

As IMI reported, on August 22, the trial in the case of citizen journalist Iryna Danilovych, accused of illegal possession of explosives, began in the russia-controlled Feodosia city court.

On August 18, the russia-controlled Supreme Court of Crimea reduced Vladyslav Yesypenko's sentence from six to five years in a general regime colony. The journalist's defense is going to contest this ruling in cassation and request parole for Yesypenko in half a year. Yesypenko will also have to pay a fine of 110,000 russian rubles.

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