OSCE Representative on the Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatovic has condemned the intimidation of independent journalists in Crimea following the detention of Natalia Kokorina, a journalist and editor with the 'Crimean Centre for Investigative Journalism' news portal.
"This detention is a reminder of the ongoing practice of the de facto authorities in Crimea to intimidate and persecute independent media representatives for their work," the OSCE press service quotes Mijatovic as saying.
According to reports, Kokorina was detained by Federal Security Service (FSB) agents that were searching her parents' apartment in Simferopol. Kokorina was not given access to legal aid during the search and detention, and no reason was given for her being detained.
"I call on the de facto authorities in Crimea to immediately release Kokorina," Mijatovic said.
FSB agents also searched the apartment of the parents of Hanna Andriyevska, the former editor of the news portal. The search was reportedly conducted in relation to one of Andriyevska's articles published by the news portal. Her father's computer was seized.
"The repression of free media and independent voices we witness in Crimea is nothing short of a fundamental violation of basic human rights," Mijatovic said.