Location Ukraine Ukraine

Arrested Journalist has Wrote an Exciting Letter from a Jail

Open letter to OSCE
by Elena Glishchinskaya

I’m a professional journalist, mother of two minor children, and appeal to you with the last hope for protection against arbitrariness of law enforcement officers who carry out the order of the authorities to eliminate unbiased journalists, active social activists and potential political rivals.
I am the prisoner and the victim of the political regime in Ukraine. Currently I am contained in prison just for having faithfully performed my journalistic and civic duty, expressed my views openly.
During the last five years, I worked in the south of the Odessa region in various media: in newspapers, on television. My material on the history and culture of Bessarabia became winners of various professional contests, I was an expert and a participator of international programs and conferences related to Bessarabia.
Currently my social work – the organization of two round tables “The Many Faces of Bessarabia” on the development of cultural and social initiatives, and participation in a sanctioned protest of workers in Belgorod-Dniester trading port, who advocated the preservation of their jobs – it has become the basis to accuse me of separatism.
Bodies of pre-trial investigation in the face of the SBU offered me openly to confess separatism and anti-state activities and promised instead patronizing attitude in court. At the same time they openly declared that they need statistical data of this category of cases, and my case, according to their plan, must end by the recognition of guilt and signing an agreement with the prosecutor’s office and the courts.
In my opinion, this approach to capture and expose “state criminals” undermines the democratic and legal foundations of the state. Hundreds of people are languishing in the prisons of Ukraine on the same trumped-up charges.
I – honest journalist and patriot of my city, my region, for a long time engaged in public, social and charitable activities, has never called for split the country, to overthrow the institutions of power.
One gets the impression that the beating of my confession, manipulating my children, threatening me, the law enforcement agencies of Ukraine covered by this real criminals – officials, MPs, bribe takers, who pull down the country from inside and there are the true cause of dissent in the regions.
If somebody examines the alleged episodes, it would be seen that the SBU investigators have not any evidence that my work was aimed at a violation of Ukraine’s territorial integrity.
In addition, the public information in the local media on the holding round tables and rally clearly shows the peaceful, constructive, patriotic character of these events, all this is ignored by the SBU investigation.
Instead, the prosecution is built on unfounded assumptions; facts are considered one-sided, biased.
Held at my house searches yielded no results, that is why computers my children were seized as evidence, as well as books on the history of journalism and the Odessa region. The evidence base for charges is based on information taken out of context of collected materials within my professional activities.
My accusation is formulated as follows: “As a result of my professional activity in the further future the conditions could be create under them the population may think that the state can not cope with its functions on the south of Odessa region, and this could lead to the threat of separation Bessarabia from Ukraine”. That suggestion was enough to send me to jail.
I would especially like to draw attention to the fact that justice in Ukraine is completely subjected to directions of authorities and law enforcement agencies. Thus, when the measure of restraint was discussed in court, my lawyer pointed out that the investigation of the SBU has lack of evidence for imputed me activities, but the court did not understand and delivered the decision to take me into custody.
I’m 50 days in prison now, though the only things that can put me blame – an objective journalism, attention to the problems of ordinary people; I have never deviated from my principles and do not distort the information to please powerful people.
What is happening now is an attempt to time-of-government “shut your mouth” to journalists, silence is what is really going on, get rid of active, thoughtful citizens.
Such pressure from the government, the ideological blockade has not been since the days of Stalin.
In fact, today, the media have become puppets of the government and militaristic propaganda mouthpiece threatened violence. Using my example, they make silent many regional journalists and social activists.
I was faced with blatant lies, injustice, and arbitrariness of law enforcement bodies and the lack of freedom of speech in Ukraine. All democratic principles are violated and purpose are perverted for which people fought and died on the Maidan. In late June, the deadline for my arrest, and the investigating authorities from SBU are preparing an application to extend the period of detention.
During this time, no new evidence has appeared, in the only one formal interrogation I confirmed that I consider myself innocent. However, knowing lawlessness in court, prosecutor’s office and the SBU, I can be left in prison even indefinitely.
I beg you to pay attention to my situation, on the fate of hundreds people imprisoned by the political regime in Ukraine.
I am ready to defend my innocence in court, but now ask for help to resist the lawlessness of power that is trumped-up charges without evidence and will do everything to keep me in prison.

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