22 October 2016

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"Absurd charges": Russian Journalist Union requires FSB explanation on Sushchenko's arrest

Chairman of the Russian Union of Journalists Vsevolod Bogdanov has sent a letter to the head of Russia's FSB Federal Security Service, Alexander Bortnikov, requesting to provide detailed explanations on the arrest of Ukrinform journalist Roman Sushchenko.

Photo from UNIAN
Photo from UNIAN

"It is reported that immediately after your appeal on behalf of the Russian Union of Journalists, as well as requests of the OSCE representatives, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and other international organizations in connection with the arrest of Ukrinform correspondent Roman Sushchenko, the Russian Union of Journalists held an emergency working meeting, where it was decided to appeal to the leadership of the FSB for explanations," Secretary of the Russian Union of Journalists Nadezhda Azhgikhina wrote in a letter to the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine, reported.

According to Azhgikhina, the organization is "extremely concerned about what happened" and continues to monitor the situation.

The head of the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine Sergiy Tomilenko has confirmed that once the Union became aware of the detention of Ukrainian journalist in Moscow, it asked the Russian Union of Journalists, the International and European Federation of Journalists, and the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatovic to show solidarity in campaigning for the release of the Ukrainian journalist.

"The absurdity of espionage charges against Roman Sushchenko is quite obvious. But this obviousness should be stressed not only in statements but also in the appeals of various international structures," Tomilenko said.

MEPs call on Putin to release Ukrainian journoAs UNIAN reported earlier, members of NGO Public Monitoring Commission of Moscow found Ukrinform journalist Roman Sushchenko being remanded in custody at the Lefortovo pre-trial detention facility.

A Moscow court ruled to arrest him on accusations of espionage (Article 276 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation) for two months until November 30.

On October 3, Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) accused Sushchenko of being a Ukrainian intelligence officer.

"Kremlin! Stop kidnapping:" Rally outside Russia Embassy in Kyiv (Photos)A source told UNIAN on October 8 that Russia had deliberately isolated the Ukrainian journalist, as a Ukrainian consul is allowed to visit him only on October 14.

All court hearings on Sushchenko are scheduled to be held behind closed doors.

Ukraine's Ministry of Foreign Affairs has handed a note of protest against the illegal arrest of the Ukrainian journalist over to First Secretary of the Russian Embassy in Kyiv Ivan Zavorin.

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