Council of Europe declares alert level of threat to freedom of speech in Crimea

Council of Europe declares alert level of threat to freedom of speech in Crimea

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Ukrinform
The Council of Europe with a reference to the Committee to Protect Journalists has assigned the highest level of threat to freedom of speech in Crimea as the Russian de facto authorities in Crimea opened a criminal case against journalist Nikolai Semena.

This was posted on the website of the Council of Europe.

"On 19 April 2016, FSB agents in the Russia-annexed Ukrainian region of Crimea raided and searched the house of journalist Nikolai Semena (freelancer with Krym.Realii - RFE/RL's Crimea service), confiscated his reporting equipment, and briefly detained him for interrogation in connection to a criminal probe on charges of making calls to separatism," the statement reads.

The case against the Crimean journalist was entered into the category of "other acts having chilling effects on media freedom."

Based on the lawyer’s statement, the Committee to Protect Journalists concluded that Crimea prosecutors are overseeing the probe against Semena.

The so-called Crimean prosecutor's office opened a criminal case against journalist Nikolai Semena for his article "containing the statements aimed at violation of Russia's territorial integrity." The journalist may face up to five years in prison.

The European Council recalled that the case was at least the second time since the annexation of Crimea that the Russian authorities in Crimea had investigated a journalist on separatism charge.

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