European Federation Of Journalists Insists On Release Of Vyshinsky From Ukrainian Jail
MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 23rd August, 2018) The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) continues to condemn the detention of Kirill Vyshinsky, the head of the RIA Novosti Ukraine portal, by the Ukrainian authorities and maintains that he should be released from prison, EFJ General Secretary Ricardo Gutierrez told Sputnik on Thursday.
Friday will mark 100 days since Vyshinsky was detained. Gutierrez recalled that after the detention, the EFJ condemned the Ukrainian authorities move in an official communique, published on the Council of Europes Platform to promote the protection of journalism and safety of journalists.
"Our position remains unchanged. Vyshinsky should be released. This is a very relevant case for us, it is an officially registered case of violation of journalists rights. The global community condemns the country that has violated [these rights]," Gutierrez pointed out.
The official noted that the US-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and the French-based Reporters Without Borders (RSF) NGOs endorsed the EFJs communique in support of Vyshinksky. Moreover, OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Harlem Desir condemned the journalists detention, Gutierrez noted.
The Ukrainian authorities, however, had tried to justify the detention of Vyshinsky by saying that the journalist and his colleagues had covered the Crimea referendum on joining Russia, Gutierrez continued, stressing that such activities were a part of their job, and calling the Ukrainian authorities' response to the EFJ communique "unconvincing.
Vyshinsky was detained by the Ukrainian authorities in May on suspicion of treason and supporting the self-proclaimed people's republics of Donetsk and Luhansk in Ukraine's embattled Donbas region. He remains in detention without bail since then. Moreover, a Ukrainian court has ordered to seize the journalists property.
The Russian Foreign Ministry characterized Kiev's actions against RIA Novosti Ukraine as an outrage. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated that the actions of the Ukrainian authorities with respect to RIA Novosti Ukraine were unacceptable, while the Russian embassy has delivered two protest notes to the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry demanding to stop aggression against media workers.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Vyshinsky's arrest was politically motivated and that the incident demonstrated an unprecedented and unacceptable policy of Ukrainian authorities targeting journalists, who were just doing their jobs.