Ongoing chronicle of abductions


While media attention has focused on the OSCE military observers taken prisoner by the pro-Russian militants in Slovyansk, there is no let-up in the number of other people taken hostage. Journalists are being advised to not go to the city for very good reasons.

Nothing has been heard since April 26 of Serhiy Shapovalov, a journalist from VolynPost and his relatives and colleagues have reported him missing to the police. The journalist was covering the situation in Kharkiv, but then told friends that he had set off for Slovyansk.  There has been no contact with him since Saturday evening.

If, as feared, he has been abducted, he will be at least the fifth journalist presently held hostage. . Only foreign journalists have been released.

Yury Lelyavsky, a Lviv journalist freelancing for the TV channel ZIK was seized at around 20.00 on Friday evening.  It seems that his Lviv registration was deemed to be suspicious.

Telekritika reports that it has information from reliable sources about some of the hostages.  According to this information there is one unnamed journalist in the SBU [Security Service] basement, and believe it to be streamer Artem Deineha.  As reported, he was abducted after he had posted live coverage of the storming by the pro-Russian militants of the SBU builders.  He is reported to be in a satisfactory condition, however others have been beaten up.  One person, identified only as Viktor has a bad back injury as the result of the beating.  

The whereabouts of Open Dialogue journalist Sergiy Lefter are unknown.

Irma Krat, civic activist and journalist, is being held separate with at least one other woman.

As reported, journalist Yevhen Hapych and his brother Hennady were released from the SBU basement in Slovyansk on Saturday morning.  Yevhen’s wife told Telekritika that their release may have been because of the considerable publicity given the two brothers’ disappearance. Neither man is prepared to give any comment.  They were obviously beaten, with Halyna Hapych saying that although they are bruised, nothing is broken.  They have told their families that the worst thing was the psychological pressure with anything being possible and no grounds for expecting human treatment.  The Berkut officers, they says, are the most vicio possible.  Both brothers were interrogated many times with the questions being about whether they belong to the nationalist party Right Sector.  Their attitude changed, Halyna Hapych says, when they realized that the brothers really did not have political motives. 

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