OSCE experts urge allowing Crimean journalist Semena to leave for mainland Ukraine

Дата: 14 September 2016
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Participants in the 3rd working meeting of the OSCE experts on civil liberties in Almaty called on the Russian authorities to immediately grant Crimean journalist Mykola Semena an opportunity to undergo medical treatment in a specialized medical institution. Otherwise, the worsening health status of journalist and consequences will be on Russian authorities’ conscience.

The statement expresses concern over the deteriorating health status of Mykola Semena. It is noted that according to the information of the Kyiv Institute of Neurosurgery, the journalist needs to undergo surgery, otherwise, there is a risk that he will receive a disability. However, the criminal case instituted against him by Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), does not allow him to go to the mainland of Ukraine for treatment.

The statement was adopted at the initiative of the Human Rights Information Centre. In addition, the Centre, inter alia, recommended that OSCE should support the proposal of OSCE representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatovic to establish the international monitoring mission on the rights of journalists in Crimea.

April 19, FSB raided a number of premises of Crimean journalists. The criminal proceeding was launched against Mykola Semena for alleged incitement to violation of territorial integrity of the Russian Federation with the use of the media. The case was initiated after his articles had been published on the site of Crimea.Realities project of the Radio Liberty. He faces up to five years in prison.

Late April, the congress of the European Federation of Journalists issued a statement condemning reprisals against journalists in Crimea. The case of Mykola Semena was one of the key points in the statement.

Late May, OSCE representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatovic announced the beginning of work on the creation of an international monitoring mission on the rights of journalists in Crimea.

Recently, Semena’s lawyer Oleksandr Popkov and Deputy Information Policy Minister of Ukraine Emine Dzhepar mentioned at a press conference the critical deterioration of health status of Mykola Semena and the need for surgery in the Institute of Neurosurgery in the mainland Ukraine.

The working meeting of OSCE experts was held for the third time already. The first two meetings were held in Berlin and Tbilisi. The participants develop recommendations to contribute to improving the human rights situation.

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