Ukrainian human rights organizations believe the arrest of the journalist Roman Sushchenko is part of the war waged by Russia against Ukraine

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Ukrainian human rights organizations “Human Rights Information Center” and the “Center for Civil Liberties” believe that the arrest of Roman Sushchenko, the correspondent of the news agency “Ukrinform”, in Moscow under allegations of spying is not only a struggle for freedom of speech.

This is a continuation of the policy, Russian government carries out in relations with Ukraine: Ukrainian citizens either captured in Russia or kidnapped from Ukraine. Russian government puts forward absurd accusations, exerts psychological pressure and resorts to torture to force them to plead guilty. These actions are a part of the war, Russia wages against Ukraine. 

If Roman Sushchenko is not immediately released, he will become the 29th person in the list of “the prisoners of Kremlin”. For now, 28 people imprisoned for political reasons in Russia. Most of them are connected with Crimea. Only a few were released during exchange process in exchange for Russian soldiers, who were captured in Ukraine. But still, most of them remain behind bars. Some of them are in terrible physical and psychological state. 

Three Ukrainian journalists, against whom a criminal case for alleged violation of the territorial integrity using the media is opened, can join “the list” too. They can be imprisoned for 5 years. Two of them are on the territory of Ukraine in relative risk. 

Meanwhile, journalist Mykola Semena is in Crimea without a right to leave the peninsula. In addition, he has health problems that require surgery. The Russian government denies the opportunity to travel to Kyiv for treatment. 

Ukrainian NGOs call on the Ukrainian government and the international community to defend Ukrainian political prisoners in Russia and occupied Crimea, release them and prevent new victims of this repressive policy.