OSCE media freedom representative Harlem Désir said this during a meeting at the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine, an Ukrinform correspondent reported.
"We understand that relations between some countries are quite complicated during the conflict, as between Russia and Ukraine now. The OSCE was founded inter alia to promote the conflict settlement, and we have always underscored that journalists are not part of the conflicts between the countries," Désir said, adding that hence the OSCE insists on the release of Roman Sushchenko.
He recalled that the charges brought against Sushchenko did nothing with his professional activities. At the same time Désir stressed that Sushchenko had not concealed his occupation.
In addition, the OSCE media freedom representative noted that the member countries of the Organization had signed the Helsinki Declaration in 1975, obliging to support the activities of journalists, including the international journalists.
Désir noted that the OSCE also called for the release of journalist Mykola Semena and blogger Stanislav Aseev, adding he had raised this issue during a visit to Moscow last year.
In turn, Director General of National News Agency of Ukraine “Ukrinform” Oleksandr Kharchenko stressed that Sushchenko, illegally detained in Russia, had been imprisoned in Russia on trumped-up charges already for a year and a half.
"We highly appreciate the efforts made by the OSCE to free our colleague. This support is very important for Roman, his family and the entire Ukrinform team," Kharchenko assured.
As reported, Ukrinform correspondent in France Roman Sushchenko was arrested on September 30, 2016 in Moscow where he arrived on a private visit. He was accused of “espionage”, allegedly being a member of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry. The Ukrainian Main Intelligence Directorate denied allegations of the Russian Federal Security Service.
January 24, 2018, the Moscow City Court extended the arrest of Ukrinform journalist Roman Sushchenko until March 30, 2018.
Roman Sushchenko has been working with the Ukrainian National News Agency Ukrinform since 2002, being a Paris-based correspondent since 2010.
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