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Solidarity campaign to support Yesypenko started on social networks

16.07.2021, 14:31
Screenshot from the video of Radio Liberty
Screenshot from the video of Radio Liberty

The #JournalismIsNotaCrime campaign in support of Vladislav Yesipenko, a Radio Svoboda freelancer arrested in the Crimea, has started on social networks. The chairman of the Ukrainian Center for Civil Liberties and Initiatives Oleksandra Matviychuk announced it on July 16 on her Facebook page by, as Krym.Realii reported.

"Every one or two days, a post from Ukrainian and foreign journalists about Vladyslav's case and crackdown of press freedom in the occupied Ukrainian territories will appear on social networks Facebook and Twitter," she wrote.

According to Oleksandra Matviychuk, one of the goals of the action is to keep Vladyslav Yesypenko's case in focus during the summer season.

"If the occupying authorities of Crimea wanted to silence journalists on the peninsula, they shot themselves in the foot," the statement said.

Matviychuk also noted that, apart of Vladyslav Yesypenko, nine other civil journalists from the Crimea are behind bars.

"These are Server Mustafayev, Timur Ibragimov, Marlen Asanov, Seyran Saliyev, Remzi Bekirov, Ruslan Suleymanov, Osman Arifmetov, Rustem Sheikhaliyev, Amet Suleymanov," the statement said.

The first to take part in the action of solidarity with Vladislav Yesypenko was a well-known Ukrainian journalist Vitaliy Portnikov, who published a relevant post on his Facebook page.

We will remind, the action in support of Vladyslav Yesypenko took place earlier in social networks.

On July 6, a rally in support of a journalist was held on Independence Square in Kyiv.

On July 15, in the Russian-controlled Simferopol District Court, a Russian prosecutor announced an indictment in the case of Radio Liberty journalist Vladislav Yesipenko. He is charged under Articles 223-1 (illegal manufacture of explosives, processing or repair of explosive devices) and 222.1 (illegal acquisition, transfer, sale, storage, transportation or carrying of weapons, their main parts, ammunition) of the Criminal Code of Russia. 

Sanctions under both articles include up to 12 years in prison. The maximum term of imprisonment under a combination of two articles is 18 years of imprisonment.

On July 6, the Simferopol Occupation Court extended Vladyslav Yesypenko's arrest until January 18. Yesypenko fainted that day as he was being transported from the court building to a pre-trial detention center.

As IMI reported, on March 10, Russian FSB officers detained Vladislav Yesypenko, a freelancer of Radio Svoboda (Crimea.Realities project), in the occupied Crimea. Yesypenko took part in the action dedicated to Taras Shevchenko's anniversary, which took place in Simferopol on March 9. The arrest term is until May 11.

Yesypenko is accused of gathering information "in the interests of Ukraine's special services," including for the Foreign Intelligence Service, the Russian FSB's Public Relations Center reported on March 16. According to the FSB, Yesipenko "carried out photo and video recording of the area, livelihoods and places of mass stay of people in the Crimea."

On 5 May, a new charge was brought against Vladyslav Yesypenko. His wife Kateryna Yesypenko said Vladyslav was accused additionally of an illegal acquisition, transfer, sale, storage, or carrying of weapons and ammunition (Art. 222 of the Criminal Code).

As IMI reported, on April 13, Vladyslav Yesypenko's lawyer Oleksiy Ladin said that his client was threatened with murder by a FSB officer if he withheld his previous testimony he made under torture.

On April 12, Ladin reported that in the first days after his detention, the FSB had illegally taken saliva from Esypenko for a biological examination.

On April 9, As IMI reported, on April 12, Russian FSB officers in Crimea threatened the execution to Vladyslav Yesypenko, an arrested contributor to Radio Liberty (Crimea.Reality RFE/RL project), after he accused the FSB of torturing him before the Crimean court..

As IMI reported, on April 6, Vladyslav Yesypenko said that FSB investigators had tortured him. He said this on April 6 during a session of the Supreme Court of Crimea.

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