SBU raids Communist Party on suspicion of treason & planning a coup
Searches have been carried out, on the eve of Victory Day, at the homes of Petro Symonenko and other leading Ukrainian communists. According to the Security Service, this was in connection with a previously unreported criminal investigation into very serious charges, though the grounds for those charges remain largely unclear.
Sentenced into silence for saying that Crimea is Ukraine & reporting Russian repression
“You can jail a person, but how do you imprison thoughts?” The question was put by Ukrainian activist Suleyman Kadyrov on 3 May during the appeal hearing against his 2-year suspended sentence for a comment on Facebook that Crimea is Ukraine.
Ukraine refuses asylum to journalist facing persecution in Kazakhstan
Ukraine’s Migration Service has refused to explain to Detector Media why it rejected Kazakhstani journalist and opposition activist Zhanara Akhmet’s request for asylum. Simply claiming that the information is ‘confidential’ and contains personal data will not do given the serious grounds for believing that Akhmet will face persecution if forcibly returned to Kazakhstan.
Mother of arrested Crimean Tatar activist sentenced for ‘insulting’ and ‘depressing’ a police officer
49-year-old Zarema Kulametova has been convicted in Russian-occupied Crimea of ‘insulting’ a police officer on the day that her son disappeared for several hours after being taken away by armed enforcement officers. The officer was awarded ’compensation’ after claiming to have ’been depressed for several months"
Ukrainian human rights activist & journalist detained as SBU revenge for criticism?
Until recently, Oleksiy Svyetikov assured the OSCE that there were no threats for journalists in Ukraine, citing his own frequent criticism of the authorities as proof. The events on 29 March radically changed his mind
Ukrainian journalist loses defamation suit for criticizing Moreira propaganda film on Ukraine
A French court has upheld a ruling that found Ukrainian journalist Anna Chesanovska guilty of defaming Paul Moreira in comments about his highly controversial film on Ukraine ‘Masks of the Revolution. As well as a prohibitive fine, the journalist has been ordered, in effect, to retract the truth about a film which is grossly manipulative and misleading
Petition regarding the ongoing failure to allow Azerbaijani journalist Fikret Huseynli to leave Ukraine
The Prosecutor’s office has effectively stolen Azerbaijani journalist Fikret Huseynli’s passport despite a court ruling which makes it possible for him to leave Ukraine
Far-right thugs attack Ukrainian film festival DocuDays human rights events
Over 50 young far-right activists descended on events linked to the Docudays Film Festival on 26 March. As well as demolishing posters promoting tolerance and diversity, they also tried to prevent people from attending a panel discussion on far-right movements. In refreshing contrast to at least one previous occasion, the police acted swiftly, ensuring that the event took place and that the participants were able to safely leave after it.
Crimean Tatar civic journalist jailed for reporting repression in Russian occupied Crimea
Nariman Memedeminov has been arrested on spurious ‘terrorism’ charges concocted over YouTube videos posted back in 2012. This is a flagrant attack on civic journalists who in conditions of Russian censorship and control of the media provide vital information about human rights violations
Kremlin-backed Donbas militants hold imprisoned journalist in ‘real concentration camp’
It is almost a year since Stanyslav [Stas] Aseyev was taken prisoner by Kremlin-backed Donbas militants. There are real concerns about his health, and there remains no sign that the Russian-controlled militants are planning to release him or around 100 other hostages.
Crucial EU Initiative that Outs Kremlin Lies Under Fire
A crucial program that identifies Kremlin methods of disinformation has come under attack. Alarmingly, one of the key accusations is that its activities constitute an attempt to restrict freedom of speech. The situation could not be more absurd.
Ukraine is putting persecuted journalist’s life in danger
“If I am killed or kidnapped or extradited to Azerbaijan in the near future, all responsibility lies with the Ukrainian authorities”. Azerbaijani journalist Fikret Huseynli had serious grounds for making this sombre warning, and for asking bitterly how he has deserved such appalling treatment from Ukraine. He is not the only journalist whose freedom, or life, Ukraine’s Prosecutor General is endangering for reasons so unclear that it is hard to exclude the possibility of direct collusion with the Azerbaijan authorities.
Mounting Soviet-style jamming of independent media & hate speech in Russian-occupied Crimea
If in Soviet times, it was the BBC and other western broadcasters whose radio stations were jammed, it is now Ukrainian Internet sites that Russia is either totally or partially blocking in occupied Crimea
Ukrainian anti-corruption journalists attacked, then charged with ‘invading privacy’ of Putin associate Medvedchuk
Ukraine’s National Police have initiated a criminal investigation into claims that journalists from the Skhemy anti-corruption program violated the right to privacy of controversial Ukrainian politician Viktor Medvedchuk. The move comes soon after criminal charges were brought against guards who tried to prevent the journalists from carrying out their investigation, and is viewed by the Skhemy team as retaliation and an attempt to intimidate them.
Sinister attempt in Ukraine to arrest / abduct opposition Azerbaijani journalist Fikret Huseynli
An attempt was made in Kyiv on March 5 to detain Fikret Huseynli, a journalist working in exile for an opposition channel, and facing a baffling ‘extradition check’ in Ukraine. Huseynli received political asylum and later citizenship in Holland and there is no way that Ukraine can legally extradite him to Azerbaijan. The events on 5 March, however, compound concern that an attempt could be made to abduct him, and hand him over to the Azerbaijani authorities..
Ukraine Police accused of attacks on journalists leaving one hospitalized
One journalist was hospitalized with chemical burns after the dispersal on March 3 by Ukraine’s ‘new police’ of the protest camps outside parliament. Two other members of the press also complain of ill-treatment from officers in helmets, who they say were not wearing any insignia to enable individual identification. .
Russia tries new propaganda stunt over Russian journalist sent to be shot in Donbas
Almost four years after the debunking of Russia’s attempt to claim that Anatoly Klyan was killed in a Ukrainian “attack on soldiers’ mothers and journalists’, Russia’s Investigative Committee has tried it on again
Ukraine’s government accused of following Russia with new Internet surveillance measures
Prominent Ukrainian NGOs have demanded the government reject plans underway to allow the Security Service [SBU] to use special means of surveillance of Internet providers. They warn of the scope for excessive snooping and interference by law enforcement and regulatory bodies similar to the repressive measures used in the Russian Federation.
Dramatic retrial order after pro-Russian journalists imprisoned for over 2 years
The Kyiv Court of Appeal has revoked the 9-year sentences passed on journalist Dmytro Vasylets and media worker Yevhen Timonin for their alleged help for the Novorosiya propaganda channel, and has ordered a retrial. The two men, who have been in custody since November 2015, were placed under house arrest for two months and will have to wear electronic bracelets.
‘Treason’ retrial of controversial Ukrainian blogger Ruslan Kotsaba goes hopelessly wrong
The re-trial of Ruslan Kotsaba, a highly contentious blogger and Amnesty International’s first prisoner of conscience in post-Maidan Ukraine has been suspended with a court in the Ivano-Frankivsk oblast sending the indictment back to the prosecutor’s office. The Dolyna District Court concluded that the prosecution had failed to formulate the indictment, as required by law. It remains to be seen whether the prosecutor will try to reformulate the charges, or will let this case which Ukraine seems doomed to lose at the European Court of Human Rights die an ignominious death.