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Crimean Field Mission activists detained on Russian border



Update:  Olha Skrypnyk and Vissarion Asayev were later released and placed in a hotel near the border crossing.  As of Friday evening it is understood that they have not been stopped from taking the train to Kyiv and are expected to arrive early on Saturday.  A number of human rights organizations issued a statement of protest on Friday, accusing the Russian authorities of breaching both Russian and international law and applying direct pressure on civic activists.

Russian border guards in the early hours of Sept 12 took Ukrainian national Olha Skrypnyk and her husband Vissarion Asayev, a Russian national, off the train from Moscow to Odessa   The border guards announced that the two human rights activists were restricted in leaving the Russian Federation.  The Mission reports that as of 3 a.m. on Friday morning, they were being questioned by Major Sergei Filichev.

Olha Skrypnyk is deputy head of the Crimean Human Rights Field Mission and the director of the Almenida Centre for Civic Education.  Vissarion Asayev is also an expert for the Crimean Field Mission.  The couple presently live in Kyiv and are actively addressing human rights issues related to the Crimea, as well as defending the rights of people who fled Crimea after it was annexed by Russia and came to mainland Ukraine. 

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