Statement from the Crimean Association of Free Journalists and the Committee on Monitoring Press Freedom regarding the sentencing of Volodymyr Lutyev
The Crimean Association of Free Journalists and the Committee on Monitoring Press Freedom in the Crimea wish to register their concern and surprise at the sentence passed down by the Sevastopol Appeal Court on the publisher and chief editor of the newspaper “Yevpatoriya Weekly”, Volodymyr Lutyev.
Our colleague, accused of ordering the murder of the former deputy of the Crimean Parliament, Mykola Kotlyarevsky who was often the subject of the journalists incriminating material, was sentenced by the court to 8 years deprivation of liberty with confiscation of property. The court also ordered Volodymyr Lutyev.to pay 100 thousand UH in compensation to Mykola Kotlyarevsky.. Lutyev condemns this court ruling and is planning to lodge an appeal with the Supreme Court of Ukraine.
The Crimean Association of Free Journalists and the Committee on Monitoring Press Freedom in the Crimea, while not presuming to question the justice and lawfulness of the sentence passed on our colleague, call upon the Human Rights Ombudsperson, who knows the “Lutyev case” very well, and the Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine to give the fate of the journalist the attention it warrants and to make an assessment of the actions of the judges of the Sevastopol Appeal Court.
We believe that in our country the right of each citizen to a fair and impartial trial must be scrupulously observed.
Lilia Budzhurova, Chair of the Coordination Council,
The Crimean Association of Free Journalists
Volodymyr Prytula, Head of the Committee on Monitoring Press Freedom in the Crimea