Location Ukraine Ukraine

Kiev regime continues to harass opposition journalists

On March 5, the SBU officers searched the apartment of the Kiev-based journalist Vladimir Skachko. Skachko is known for his publications, which are oppositional to the current Ukrainian government, notes “Strana” web-site. In addition, he is a frequent guest of Russian talk shows.

The search was carried out in the framework of the criminal proceedings under Art. 110 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (separatism). The search warrant was issued by the Kherson City Court at the request of the unit of the Ukrainian General Prosecutor’s Office responsible for the territory of Crimea. Skachko received a suspicion and summons for questioning. For interrogation, he must appear in the Kherson Security Office in the morning of March 11.

Article 110 implies imprisonment up to 10 years. In addition, this article provides only one preventive measure for the time of the investigation — taking into custody. Thus, Vladimir Skachko may be in prison next week.

During the search, lawyer Alexey Panasyuk arrived at Skachko’s apartment, but the SBU officers did not let him in on pretext that he did not have sufficient documents confirming that he was a lawyer.

The search in the apartment of Vladimir Skachko lasted more than 14 hours, and the Doctor of Philology from the Academy of the SBU read his texts on the spot and carried out linguistic examination, deciding on the illegal nature of the texts.

In the meantime, trials of other Ukrainian journalists continue. They are also accused of separatism.

On February 8, the Kherson court extended until April 8 a measure of restraint in the form of detention for the chief editor of RIA Novosti Ukraine, Cyril Vyshinsky. Recall that law enforcement officers detained Vyshinsky in Kiev on May 15, 2018. He was declared suspected of treason (part 1 of article 111 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine), which provides for up to 15 years in prison.

On March 6, the Zhitomir Court once again extended the preventive measure in the form of house arrest to journalist Vasiliy Muravitsky, who is suspected of treason. Recall that the Security Service of Ukraine detained Muravitsky in Zhitomir on August 1, 2017. According to the SBU, his articles were published on «websites that were administered from the Russian Federation and the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine.» The prosecutor’s office reported that he faces up to 15 years in prison with confiscation of property. On June 27, 2018, the Zhitomir court sent Muravitsky under house arrest, and before that the journalist was in custody for more than ten months.

The human rights organization Amnesty International and the International Society for the Protection of Human Rights officially recognized Muravitsky as a prisoner of conscience.

On the same day, it became known that the court in the case of Zaporozhe journalist Pavel Volkov, who is suspected of encroaching on the territorial integrity and inviolability of Ukraine, is entering its final stage. Pavel himself wrote about this on his Facebook page. “Friends, we are entering the final stretch in the trial — testimony, debate and sentence,” he said.

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