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Wife of arrested Crimean journalist fears for his life

22.03.2021, 13:02
RFE/RL
RFE/RL

Kateryna Yesypenko, the wife of Ukrainian journalist Vladyslav Yesypenko, who had been arrested in the occupied Crimea, fears for her husband's life and health. In his video published on March 18 she saw traces of beatings on his face. Kateryna Yesipenko said this on March 19, as  Ukrinform reported.

"I want to say once again that I fear for the life and health of my husband, especially after yesterday's video. This video is another proof of beatings, torture and abuse of a person. This is confirmed by the non-admission of two independent lawyers to her husband,” as Kateryna said.

According to her, there were traces of beatings on his face and neck. In addition, despite the fact that she sent him a parcel with clothes, he was given someone else's clothes, under which they tried to hide something.

"The shape of the body was visually disproportionate, that is, I assume that he had something disguised under his clothes: either a device or a corset," the woman suggested.

She also said that on March 16, after FSB report about charges against Vladyslav, on the sixth day of Vladyslav's detention, she had a strange phone call.

According to her, her husband's voice was even, without any emotion, and at first, she did not even recognize him.

"I asked him, 'Did they beat you?' He said he could not answer. Asked if he knew that the lawyer Sineglazova was appointed by the occupying power, he said he knew it and added that he had recused the lawyer Kurbedinov. I tried to express my indignation saying he tied our hands. But he gave an unequivocal and firm answer that there would be no other lawyer, ”Kateryna said.

According to her, the man also said that she and the child could come to him in the Simferopol pre-trial detention center.

"He said that FSB investigator Vlasov allowed a meeting with his child, you can come to the pre-trial detention center. Come, the investigator allowed, why not use this opportunity while this is possible, ”Kateryna recounted her husband's words.

Kateryna called the detention and arrest of her husband in the occupied Crimea, where they left in 2015, illegal, and asked for help "from anyone who can help bring the day of the release of journalist Vladislav Yesipenko closer."

As IMI reported, on March 10, Russian FSB officers detained Vladislav Yesipenko, a freelancer of Radio Svoboda (Crimea.Realities project), in the occupied Crimea. Yesipenko 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.

Yesipenko 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."

Human rights activists said Yesipenko was denied access to an independent lawyer and called for his release .

On March 12, it became known that Yesipenko was being held in a temporary detention facility in Simferopol.

On March 19, it became known that Vladyslav Yesipenko was accused of espionage in favor of the secret services of Ukraine. Human rights activists do not exclude that the FSB would use physical pressure on him.

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