“Freedom of media and right to freedom of expression are pillars of any democratic society. On World Press Freedom Day we urge Russia to release illegally imprisoned under politically motives charges Ukrainian journalist Roman Sushchenko, stop political persecutions and guarantee freedom of expression in temporarily occupied Crimea,” the Mission of Ukraine to the EU posted on Facebook.
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." Russia's FSB claimed that Sushchenko is a member of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry. The latter denied this allegation.
On June 4, 2018, the Moscow City Court sentenced Sushchenko to 12 years in a high-security penal colony. The Supreme Court of Russia upheld the verdict on September 12.
On November 7, the Russian Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN) informed Ukraine's Embassy in Moscow that Sushchenko had been transferred to Penal Colony No. 11 of the FSIN directorate for the Kirov region (the town of Kirovo-Chepetsk, the village of Utrobino).
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