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Two journalists still held captive by Slovyansk militants


Two journalists – Irma Krat and Serhiy Lefter – are still being held by the armed militants in Slovyansk in eastern Ukraine. Three foreign journalists, two Italian, and one Belarussian who were filming in the city had their papers, equipment and money taken away when seized on Monday morning, but they were later released.

Irma Krat - chief editor of Hidden Truth TV and a member of a EuroMaidan self-defence unit made up only of women – was seized by the militants on Sunday evening.  The website News of Donetsk showed a vThe militants appear to be accusing her of taking part in “torture of anti-Maidan demonstrators and the shooting of Berkut riot police”.  Efforts were underway throughout the day to obtain her release.

Of particular concern is the fact that one of the Russian propaganda channels LifeNews posted an “interview” supposedly given by Krat on Monday afternoon, i.e. while being held captive.  The written report adds details that Krat is not heard saying, however the whole propaganda exercise is profoundly disturbing and place in question the journalist’s apparent statement that she has been treated well  A little later Channel 5 posted another interview in which Krat says that she is being treated fine and where one of her captors denies that she is in custody, saying that she is “an invited guest” “by agreement”, that she wanted to feel what it’s like to be detained.  Since the images from Sunday evening show a woman believed to be Krat led away with a huge blindfold over her face, this seems improbable.

It is understood that Krat is being held together with Serhiy Lefter from the Open Dialogue Foundation who was abducted on April 16. 

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