US in OSCE calls on Russia to free journalist Roman Sushchenko

US in OSCE calls on Russia to free journalist Roman Sushchenko

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Ukrinform
Russia should release Ukrainian journalist Roman Sushchenko, who was illegally detained in Moscow two years ago and sentenced to 12 years in prison on trumped-up charges of espionage.

"September 30 will mark the two-year anniversary since Ukrainian journalist Roman Sushchenko was illegally detained in Moscow and later tried under on trumped-up charges of espionage. On September 12, the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation ruled to uphold the decision. We join the calls of various participating States and the Representative on Freedom of the Media Harlem Désir for Russia to release Roman Sushchenko," Harry Kamian, the Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. of the U.S. Mission to the OSCE, said at the OSCE Permanent Council meeting in Vienna on Thursday, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.

During the OSCE Permanent Council meeting, Ukraine raised the issue of the release of Ukrinform correspondent Roman Sushchenko, who has been illegally detained by the Kremlin for two years. Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the International Organizations in Vienna Ihor Prokopchuk called for the immediate and unconditional release of illegally convicted Roman Sushchenko, Oleg Sentsov, Volodymyr Balukh and other Ukrainian political prisoners.

This appeal was supported by the delegation of the European Union. In the statement on behalf of all 28 member states, Permanent Representative of the European Union to the OSCE Ioannis Vrailas called on the Russian Federation to immediately release journalist Roman Sushchenko, film director Oleg Sentsov, activist Volodymyr Balukh and other illegally detained Ukrainians.

Canada’s representative to the OSCE also urged Russia to release Roman Sushchenko and other Ukrainian political prisoners.

About 70 Ukrainian political prisoners, including Ukrinform journalist Roman Sushchenko, are currently held in Russia and in Russian-occupied Crimea.

Ukrinform's Paris-based correspondent Roman Sushchenko was illegally detained on September 30, 2016 in Moscow, where he arrived on a private trip. On October 7, 2016, he was charged with “espionage.”

On June 4, 2018, the Moscow City Court sentenced Sushchenko to 12 years in a high-security penal colony. The appeal against the sentence was filed on June 5. On September 12, the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation upheld the verdict of the Moscow City Court.

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