77 percent of political prisoners are Crimean Tatars, Every Tenth is Citizen Journalist

Ukrainian News
Canan Kevser
23 July 2020, 19:32
Canan Kevser
23 July 2020, 19:32

Every tenth political prisoner in Crimea is a citizen journalist, says Tetiana Pechonchyk, Head of ZMINA Human Rights Center. Her statement came during a press conference in Kyiv on Tuesday.

"Out of 100 Crimean political prisoners, 77 are Crimean Tatars. Thirty-seven political prisoners stay in Crimea, while 63 prisoners are in Russia. Forty-two people already received sentences of 4 to 19 years in prison. Out of 100 people, ten are citizen journalists. Every tenth political prisoner is a citizen journalist," she said.

One more citizen journalist is currently under house arrest, Pechonchyk reported.

"These are people who are persecuted because of their civic, human rights, journalistic activities, because of their religious and political views and support for Ukraine," the Head of the Human Rights Center said.

In total, she added, Crimean human rights activists have recorded about 350 cases of violations of the rights of journalists and bloggers.

"These cases include a number of criminal and administrative cases, at least eight cases of physical violence against journalists and attacks on them, detentions by paramilitary groups, as well as at least 40 searches, 18 interrogations, 48 cases of seizure of or damage to equipment. In addition, the occupation ‘authorities’ have banned Crimean journalists from entering Crimea four times," Pechonchyk said.

According to her, 30 cases of threats, 18 cases of censorship and blocking of Ukrainian online media outlets, seizure of television and radio frequencies, and almost 100 cases of obstruction of streaming are known.

The human rights activist stressed that, according to the data of Freedom House international organization, Crimea is one of the "worst territories in the world for journalistic activity."

As reported, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine announced the launch of a long-term campaign to protect eleven activists who are citizen journalists and streamers of the Crimean Solidarity initiative: Server Mustafayev, Tymur Ibragimov, Marlen Asanov, Seyran Saliyev, Remzi Bekirov, Ruslan Suleymanov, Osman Arifmemetov, Rustem Sheikhaliyev, Nariman Memedeminov, Ernes Ametov and Amet Suleymanov.