The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatovic pointed to the deterioration of the situation on security of journalists and freedom of expression in the Russian-occupied Crimea, according to the statement issued by the organization.

First Mijatovic remembered the  detention of the Crimean journalist Nikolai Semena who faces a five-year prison term in Russian Federation:

“The case of Semena reminds us all of the arbitrary practice of silencing critical voices in Crimea,” Mijatović said. “It is totally unacceptable to persecute the journalist for expressing his views. I call for all charges against Semena to be dropped.”  

In turn, the Ambassador of the OSCE SMM in Ukraine Ertugrul Apakan informed about a ban of over 350 websites in areas not controlled by the Ukrainian government and continued restriction of access to Ukrainian media outlets, both in print and broadcast. Particularly worrying, the Representative noted, is the continued threats and intimidation of media workers, as well as the arrests of bloggers.

Earlier QHA reported that the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe adopted a Resolution demanding the Russian Federation to release Ukrainian journalists Nikolai Semena and Roman Sushchenko, as well as director Oleg Sentsov.