SBU warned the chief editor of “Verzhe” about inadmissibility of separatism
Chief editor of weekly edition from Zaporizhzhia “Verzhe” Roman Priadunov was invited for an interview to the SBU branch in Zaporizka oblast, where he was given an official warning about inadmissibility of behavior which might be identified as a crime described in article 110 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (“Offence against territorial integrity and inviolability of Ukraine”). Roman Priadun reported this to IMI representative in Zaporizka oblast. According to him, the reason for such actions of SBU was a number of publications in the weeky edition, in particular, op-eds of local political researcher Tetiana Nikolaeva. The officers explained that they received complaints from private citizens about the content of the newspaper. As they engaged experts for analyzing the article in question, their opinion was that the article might include claims that constitute a crime ("Offence against territorial integrity and inviolability of Ukraine"). "To tell you the truth, the officers were very polite with me, they said several times that they do not attempt to influence the editorial policy of the newspaper. But I still think otherwise. As an editor, I see this situation as an attempt to intervene into activities of the newspaper and web-site “Verzhe”. Press officer of SBU in Zaporizka oblast Serhiy Levchenko confirmed to the IMI representative that Roman Priadun was officially warned on September 14. Media lawyer of IMI Roman holovenko commented this case as follows: “In the article of Mrs. Nikolaeva, I see no separatism as such, (just like Russian intervention in Donbas is not separatism proper), but, in fact, this article denies involvement of the Russian Federation in this conflict. This is not considered an offence, so SBU could not bring anyone to responsibility, they just conducted “an interview”. Yet what the intelligence could do was to clarify if the article in question was conceived by the author independently, or, perhaps, it was published based on orders of RF agents to influence the political situation in the Southeast of Ukraine. Also, if similar articles do not appear on the same dates in other newspapers of the region, who orders such articles, who creates and has them published. Then, perhaps, they could talk about a an offence”.
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