Comment by the Information and Press Department on the continuing detention of Russian journalist Kirill Vyshinsky in Ukraine

Friday, 24 August 2018 12:02

The Kiev authorities continue to exert unjustified pressure on the Russian media, hindering the work of various TV channels, web portals, radio stations, print media and other media resources. The situation with Editor-in-Chief of the RIA Novosti Ukraine portal Kirill Vyshinsky, who was arrested in Kiev on trumped up treason charges, is absolutely intolerable. We emphasise that the case in point is a man who carried out his work as a journalist openly and in line with the corresponding laws of the host country with respect for and in full compliance with journalism ethics.

It has been 100 days since Kirill Vyshinsky was taken into custody. On July 11, the Kherson City Court extended his pre-trial detention until September 20 in breach of the Ukrainian legislation. The first instance court exceeded the maximum custody extension limit, as was stated by an appeals court, which reduced it until September 8, 2018.

At the same time, there is no reason to hope that the situation will improve and be brought in conformity with Ukraine's international commitments. Further proof of that was the appeals court's refusal to release Vyshinsky on bail. The Russian journalist's rights continue to be violated: the authorities deny him meetings with Russian consular officials, arguing that in addition to Russian citizenship, he also has Ukrainian citizenship.        

As a reminder, OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Harlem Desir, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Dunja Mijatovic, and representatives of media and human rights organisations have already expressed concern over the tough measures applied to Vyshinsky. The Ukrainian authorities were urged to “refrain from unjustified restrictions on the work of foreign journalists as this affects the dissemination of information and freedom of the media.” Under the Helsinki Final Act, the OSCE member states must not only help create but also improve conditions enabling journalists from one member state to perform their professional activity in another member state.

We are convinced that all instances of hampering the work of journalists or media staff, irrespective of their nationality or citizenship, call for a decisive condemnation by the international community. The Russian Foreign Ministry will continue to monitor closely the situation and provide every possible assistance to Kirill Vyshinsky.

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