OSCE Media Freedom Representative Urges Release Of Ukraine's Suschenko Convicted In Russia

OSCE Media Freedom Representative Urges Release of Ukraine's Suschenko Convicted in Russia

OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Harlem Desir regretted on Wednesday the decision of the Russian Supreme Court to approve the 12-year sentence for Ukrainian national Roman Suschenko and reiterated call to release him.

VIENNA (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 12th September, 2018) OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Harlem Desir regretted on Wednesday the decision of the Russian Supreme Court to approve the 12-year sentence for Ukrainian national Roman Suschenko and reiterated call to release him.

Russia's Supreme Court earlier in the day ruled to authorize the decision of a lower court to sentence Suschenko, who was convicted of espionage, to 12 years in prison.

"Journalism is not a crime and media workers should carry out their work under safe conditions, without fear of being harassed, attacked or imprisoned. I hope the decision to convict Sushchenko will be overturned in appeal and I reiterate my call on the Russian authorities to release the journalist from prison," Desir said as quoted in an OSCE press release.

Similar statement was made by the International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ and EFJ).

"The IFJ-EFJ joined its affiliates the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine (NUJU) and the Independent Media Trade Union of Ukraine (IMTUU) in condemning the harsh verdict and in urging Russian authorities to release Sushchenko until thorough evidence of the allegations against him has been presented," the IFJ said in a statement.

The Ukrainian national was convicted of spying on Russia's Armed Forces and National Guard. According to Ukrinform news agency, Suschenko had been its employee since 2002 and had worked as a special correspondent in France since 2010. The Ukrainian citizen was arrested in September 2016, soon after he arrived in Moscow.

Suschenko has denied the charges.

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