State Department demands Russia drop charges against journalist Semena

State Department demands Russia drop charges against journalist Semena

Washington has expressed concern about the decision of a court in Russian-occupied Crimea against Ukrainian journalist Mykola Semena and demanded that all charges be dropped.

The Office of State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert made a respective statement on Monday, September 25, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.

"The United States is deeply troubled by the decision of a court in Russian-occupied Crimea against Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty journalist Mykola Semena, convicting him of separatism charges and handing down a two-and-a-half year suspended sentence and a ban on future journalistic activity," reads the document.

The statement notes that this conviction was based on the fact that Semena had criticized Russia's occupation and attempted annexation of Crimea in his writing.

"We call on the Russian occupation authorities to vacate Mr. Semena's conviction, allow him to resume his journalistic activity, and cease their campaign to stifle dissent in Crimea," the statement reads.

At the same time, the State Department stressed that "Crimea remains an integral part of Ukraine, and the United States remains steadfast in its support for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine."

As Ukrinform reported, on September 22, the Kremlin-controlled Zheleznodorozhny District Court of Simferopol issued a "verdict" against Crimean journalist Mykola Semena. The West has already described this decision as a violation of the freedom of expression and freedom of the media in Russian-annexed Crimea.


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