Ukrainian swimmer flees persecution in Crimea: “It’s worse than Soviet times!”

Sevastopol marathon swimmer Oleg Sofyanik has decided to stay in mainland Ukraine after being summoned for questioning about another Ukrainian, Yury Ilchenko who is in detention, seemingly for an article opposing Russia’s occupation of Crimea. | detail

Visits 5973

Convicted of ’hate speech’ for criticizing Russian annexation of Crimea

Mustafa Yagyaev, the imam of a village mosque in Crimea, has received a 2 year suspended sentence and been prohibited from “any activity involving the circulation of information” after three colleagues claimed that he had made comments about Crimea returning to Ukraine, Russians, etc | detail

Visits 3213

Crimea’s journalists in exile as Russia muzzles free press

"Journalists and journalism are under attack in Crimea now. This has to stop. When critical journalists are silenced to the last one it will mark the end of independent journalism in the region, and my fellow Crimeans will be left face-to-face with lawlessness and Russian propaganda. The world must not let this happen." | detail

Visits 1840

17-year-old Crimean charged with ‘extremism’ for social network entries

Yet another anonymous Crimean is facing criminal charges on unclear charges in Russian-occupied Crimea, this time a teenager | detail

Visits 3068

Unjustified Takedown of Facebook Accounts Critical of Russia Threatens Free Expression

Amid an ever-growing trend of Russian internet censorship, PEN American Center and PEN Ukraine are gravely concerned by reports that Facebook has removed content and deactivated or suspended accounts of Ukrainian and Russian users critical of the Putin regime. | detail

Visits 2938

Vital Crimean Tatar Channel ATR renews broadcasting from Kyiv

Two and a half months after ATR. the unique Crimean Tatar TV channel, and most Crimean Tatar media were silenced in Russian-occupied Crimea, ATR and children’s channel Lale have begun broadcasting from Kyiv. The response from the occupation authorities has been predictably hostile | detail

Visits 2595

Militants detain, beat and ’deport’ independent Russian journalist

Pavel Kanygin had a gun put to his head and was beaten a day after he reported the first serious protest against the militants’ shelling in Donetsk, and the same day that he and 8 others were reported to have challenged Putin’s decree classifying information about military losses in Ukraine | detail

Visits 4817

Protest over bill that could silence investigations into military corruption

A new bill proposing criminal liability for something fuzzily referred to as “information support for terrorism” has been roundly condemned by the Stop Censorship movement and Ukraine’s most prominent media organizations | detail

Visits 1955

Special Zombie Status? Kremlin-backed ’republics’ block all independent media

Kremlin-backed militants in Donbas have taken another step to prevent Ukrainians in militant-controlled areas from learning about Russian military involvement in the war in Donbas, criminal dealings by rival militant gangs, etc. The blanket censorship coincides with their demand for ‘special status’ as integral parts of Ukraine | detail

Visits 3576

Ukraine dissolves notorious ‘Public Morality Commission’

The Cabinet of Ministers has at long last issued a decision envisaging the dissolution within 5 months of Ukraine’s anachronistic commission on ‘protecting public morality’. It is a welcome move but one that should have gone further since the dangerously vague law which the Commission was created to police remains intact. | detail

Visits 2929

Ukraine’s Old and New Enemies of the Press

There are old names in the newly published list of this year’s Enemies of the Press, as well as poignantly appropriate new categories to cover the grave threats to press freedom in Russian-occupied Crimea and in the so-called ‘Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics’. | detail

Visits 2572

United in Homophobic Bigotry: Right Sector echoes Russian anti-LGBT line

On the eve of a planned Equality March through Kyiv, the leader and other members of the Ukrainian ultra-nationalist Right Sector party have come out with anti-LGBT and anti-western statements identical to those regularly churned out by their ideological opponents in Russia | detail

Visits 5148

President signs dangerously flawed ‘decommunization’ laws

President Poroshenko has signed highly contentious laws one of which effectively criminalizes public expression of views held by many Ukrainians. The assurance given that a bill will be tabled to rectify some of the problems appears to refer to only one of the laws and begs the question of why faulty laws should be signed into law before being corrected | detail

Visits 9745

Concern over SBU searches and interrogation of Odesa journalists

Searches and interrogations were carried out on Thursday of journalists from the Odesa-based anti-government Internet publication Timer, including the Chief Editor, Yury Tkachov. The SBU appears to have launched a criminal investigation over alleged separatism | detail

Visits 1816

"Decommunization" Laws: Deeply Divisive and Destined for Strasbourg

If the President signs into force the “decommunization” laws, European Court of Human Rights judgements against Ukraine will be only a matter of time. The message given to a significant percentage of Ukrainians, especially in Donbas, will be that their views are not respected and must be changed. | detail

Visits 3160

Crimean “Patriots” called on to denounce opponents of annexation to FSB

Leaflets circulated in Simferopol are calling on “citizens of Russia” to report people who opposed annexation or who took part in the Crimean EuroMaidan to the FSB. While maybe not initiated by the FSB, the leaflets are quite in line with recent efforts to find ‘victims’ so as to prosecute opponents of annexation. | detail

Visits 3040

Well-known Crimean blogger summoned for interrogation

Ukrainian blogger and civic activist Liza Bohutska who was driven from her home in Crimea last September after a major search and hours of interrogation has been summoned by the FSB for questioning at the ‘Centre for Countering Extremism’ in Russian-occupied Crimea | detail

Visits 3366

Analysis of the Law on Prohibiting Communist Symbols

Volodymyr Yavorsky provides a detailed analysis of the draft Law ‘On condemning the communist and National Socialist (Nazi) totalitarian regimes and prohibiting propaganda of their symbols’ [hereafter, the Law]. He focuses on the degree to which the said bill complies with international human rights standards and practice in democratic countries. | detail

Visits 8393

CPJ: In Crimea, press freedom deteriorates at a rapid pace

The Committee to Protect Journalists has also expressed concern over the deteriorating situation with freedom of the press in Crimea since Russia’s annexation and calls on Vladimir Putin to ensure that it is reversed | detail

Visits 1949

Russian-occupied Crimea joins 10 world’s worst for press freedom

In its latest report Freedom of the Press 2015, Freedom House speaks openly of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and gives Crimea under Russian occupation a damning assessment on all rights, including freedom of expression. | detail

Visits 3985

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