24 October 2016

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Ukrinform journalist left without food, water on first day of arrest in Moscow

Journalist from Ukraine's Ukrinform news agency Roman Sushchenko, who has been arrested in Moscow, was left without food and water on the first day of his detention, and he has lost about six kilograms while in custody, according to Russia's Novaya Gazeta.

Russia's FSB detained Sushchenko on September 30 / Photo from UNIAN
Russia's FSB detained Sushchenko on September 30 / Photo from UNIAN

"We have asked Roman if any physical pressure was applied to him. Sushchenko answered 'no.' But on the first day there was psychological pressure. And he was left without food and water on that first day. He received something to eat only in Lefortovo [a pre-trial detention center in Moscow] for the first time after his detention," Novaya Gazeta journalists wrote after they had visited Sushchenko in Levortovo.

Sushchenko told them he had lost about six kilograms.

In Lefortovo, Sushchenko got his personal belongings back, but he had to return the borrowed clothes, thus he has no second pair of clothes now, his Russian colleagues wrote.

The Ukrainian journalist also told them he did not drink tap water and he was not provided by bottled water, therefore he drank tea served twice a day.

Novaya Gazeta journalists say that Sushchenko is still kept in an isolation unit. "The room is absolute ascetic. The utensils include a metal plate, a spoon, a mug. There are three books: [by Russian writers Mikhail] Bulgakov, [Valentin] Pikul and a Russian-French dictionary; a few sheets of paper and a pen," they wrote.

The journalist told them he would get the pen in the morning, and it would be taken away in the evening.

Russia formally charges Ukrainian journo Sushchenko with espionageAs 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.

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.

"Kremlin! Stop kidnapping:" Rally outside Russia Embassy in Kyiv (Photos)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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