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Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Freelancer Detained in Crimea

March 16 – Jamie Fly, the President of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), condemned the arrest of Vladyslav Yesypenko, a freelancer with RFE/RL’s Crimea Realities project, by Russian authorities in the annexed Crimea. Yesypenko was detained on March 10 for two months, as Crimea Realities reports.

The Center for Public Relations of the Federal Security Service (FSS) of Russia stated that Yesypenko is accused of gathering information in the interests of the secret service of Ukraine by taking photos and videos in Simferopol.

In response to a request from RFE/RL Crimea Realities project, Ukraine’s foreign intelligence service said that it “does not comment on provocations by Russian intelligence services” but posted a message on its Facebook page saying the FSS was setting the scene for the Kremlin to “celebrate” the 7th anniversary of Russia’s occupation of Crimea in early March.

Human rights activists said Yesypenko has not been given access to an independent lawyer, and called on Russian authorities in Crimea to release the journalist.

More on RFE/RL in Ukrainian.

The US Embassy reacted to arrest of journalist Yesypenko in Crimea: “We condemn Russia’s politically motivated arrest of journalist Vladyslav Yesypenko in Crimea. Russia’s illegal occupiers have no legitimate authority to restrain free press, arrest individuals arbitrarily, and deny due process rights,” the US Embassy in Kyiv wrote on Twitter.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on its website demanded independent attorney access for Yesypenko. The Ministry stated that the Russian Federation should provide information on where Yesypenko is currently being held and the state of his health.

More on Detector Media in Ukrainian and on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Ukrainian.

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash