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Russian authorities prevent Yesypenko from talking to his family, says the journalist's wife

13.03.2023, 16:42
Krym.Realii (RFE/RL)
Krym.Realii (RFE/RL)

The Russian authorities do not allow convicted freelancer journalist working for Krym.Realii, Vladyslav Yesypenko, to talk to his family. His wife Kateryna shared this with Krym.Realii.

"There is no way to write to him now, because there is no way to pay for such letters in Russia. Phone calls are near impossible as well. Vladyslav gets visits by a lawyer, but their meetings take place according to a complex procedure. Last week, Vladyslav called for the first time in a long time. He said he felt fine. He says that we couldn't contact him because the administration was blocking the phone calls," she said.

Kateryna Yesypenko added that the prison administration listens to her personal phone conversations with her husband, therefore, "Vladyslav cannot say much."

"It always seems to me that I am doing too little, because there is no end result that I am trying to achieve – my husband's release. The goal of all our efforts is that he be released as soon as possible. There are times when you feel strong enough to defeat everyone and achieve everything, and sometimes it seems that you can't do anything anymore. But I have no right to give up, because my husband and all our political prisoners must be set free. Last month we lost two people who died in Russian colonies. This is the case when we did not have time, where we did not work well, where we did not have what it takes to free our people before Russia killed them," the journalist's wife said.

The publication reminds that Vladyslav Yesypenko celebrates his birthday on March 13.

As IMI reported, on August 18, the Russian-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.

Yesypenko is detained in the "penal colony №2 of the FPS Administration in the Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol" in Kerch.

On February 16, the russian-controlled Simferopol District Court sentenced Krym.Realii freelancer Vladyslav Yesypenko to six years in penal colony for alleged illegal storage and transportation of an explosive device.

Speaking in court on February 15, Yesypenko said the case was politically motivated.

On March 10, 2021, russian FSB officers detained "Radio Svoboda" freelancer journalist Vladyslav Yesypenko in the occupied Crimea. Yesypenko took part in a demonstration dedicated to Taras Shevchenko's birth anniversary, which took place in Simferopol on March 9. Vladyslav Yesypenko was charged with gathering information "in the interests of Ukraine's special services," including the Foreign Intelligence Service, the russian FSB's Public Relations Center reported. According to the FSB, Yesypenko "had been performing photo and video recording of the area, welfare facilities, and places of mass gatherings of people in the Crimea."

Vladyslav Yesypenko has stated that FSB investigators had tortured him in order to extract a confession from him.

In December 2022, the Prosecutor's Office of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol issued a suspicion notice to a Russian FSB operative who was involved in the torture and illegal imprisonment of Vladyslav Yesipenko. The actions of the suspect are classified as a violation of the laws and customs of war (Article 438 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine).

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