OSCE urges Russia to release Sushchenko and Sentsov

OSCE urges Russia to release Sushchenko and Sentsov

The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Harlem Désir, welcomed the release of RIA Novosti Ukraina journalist Kirill Vyshinsky and called for the release of Ukrinform journalist Roman Sushchenko and film director Oleg Sentsov, illegally detained in Russia.

The relevant statement has been posted on the OSCE website.

“The release of a journalist is always positive, and I welcome that Kirill Vyshinsky is finally free after such a long and difficult pre-trial detention,” Désir said, calling for all charges against Vyshinsky to be dropped at the next hearing set for September 16.

“On this occasion, I also call for the release of all other detained journalists and authors in the OSCE region, in particular Roman Sushchenko and Oleg Sentsov in Russia,” Désir stated.

In May 2018, the Ukrainian security services raided the office of RIA Novosti Ukraina and arrested Vyshinsky on charges of high treason. In July 2018, he was presented with additional charges and his pre-trial detention was extended several times. The Representative previously intervened with the Ukrainian authorities to release him, recalling that “journalists should not under any circumstances be imprisoned for their journalistic work and must have the right to freely express opinions and dissenting views, even those that could be considered controversial.”

Yesterday, August 28, the Appeals Court of Kyiv ruled that Vyshinsky was set free from pre-trial detention under personal obligation to attend his trial and inform the court on his whereabouts and work, as well as to refrain from contacting witnesses in his case.


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