Luhansk CVU fear Alchevsk journalist’s life could be in danger


The Luhansk regional branch of the Committee of Voters of Ukraine [LR CVU] has issued a statement expressing deep concern that the life of their colleague may be in danger.  On Thursday they learned that Alchevsk journalist Yury Hukov [who writes under the pseudonym Yury Aseyev] had been arrested and was being held ‘in a punishment cell’ at the headquarters of the Aidar Battalion in the village of Polovinkino.

LR CVU contacted both the regional administration and, via an intermediary, those in charge of the anti-terrorist operation [ATO] for the Luhansk oblast.

They were told that Hukov had joined the Aidar Battalion as a volunteer, and had sworn an oath.  As a military person, he had allegedly committed a military misdemeanour and his case would be dealt with by the prosecutor, lawyers and the court.  They probed no further since they did not wish to put pressure on the investigators.

However on Sunday they received further information suggesting that Hukov’s life may be in danger.  As far as they are aware, he had not been charged and has not been allowed to see a lawyer, although he was arrested five days ago.  Nor has he been able to pass on any information about what it is he’s accused of.

They have, however, received information which they cannot check but which is serious enough for them to believe it necessary to publish it .  They have been told that a pro-Russian militant was detained and died after being subjected to torture.  Hukov is alleged to have been arrested because he tried to convince the other battalion members that they must not use such methods against a prisoner.

They say that although they can’t check, if the information is correct, then Hukov may be in danger since those involved in the prisoner’s torture could want to get rid of the witness of a crime.

They call on human rights groups to use all possible channels to force the authorities to ensure Hukov’s safety. 

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