The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine expresses its strong protest to the Russian Federation over the so-called “court decision” of the Russian occupation authorities in Donetsk, sentencing Ukrainian citizen, journalist Stanislav Aseev, to 15 years of imprisonment on charges of spying and calls to extremist activities.
The unlawful detention and the pseudo-sentence of Stanislav Aseev confirm once again that the occupation regime considers independent journalism as one of the main threats to its functioning. It is not surprising that the UN OHCHR in its report on the human rights situation in Ukraine, 16 May - 15 August 2019, highlighted the absence of space for public expression of critical views in the occupied Donbas.
It should be stressed that the unlawful imprisonment constitutes a crime in Ukraine. Those involved in Mr. Aseev’s detention will be held accountable in accordance with the Criminal Code of Ukraine.
We demand from the Russian Federation the immediate release of Stanislav Aseev and all other unlawfully detained Ukrainian citizens. We call on the international community to condemn the unlawful imprisonment of Mr. Aseev and to step up the pressure on Russia in order to secure the unconditional release of all Ukrainian citizens, who are being held hostages in the Russian Federation or in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine.