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UKRAINE:
IMPRISONED JOURNALIST GOES ON HUNGER STRIKE

Update info:
18 Jul 2018
Country:
UKRAINE
Subject:
Stanislav Aseev
Gender m/f: m
Period:
17 Aug 2018
Distribution date:
18 Jul 2018
UA No:
160/2017

Stanislav Aseev, a Ukrainian freelance journalist who the pro-Russian separatists in Donetsk have kept in detention on spurious charges since June 2017, has declared a hunger strike. The de facto authorities claim the journalist committed “espionage”- a trumped up accusation, based solely on his legitimate, peaceful work as a journalist.

He has declared a hunger strike, demanding better conditions in detention, the provision of adequate medical care, and, ultimately, his release. According to credible sources, Stanislav Aseev is currently being held in an informal detention facility which used to be a factory The de facto authorities of the self-styled “Donetsk Peoples’ Republic” (“DNR”) have repeatedly denied visits to Stanislav Aseev by the UN Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine. Amnesty International has received information from a confidential source suggesting that in June 2017 Stanislav Aseev was subjected to torture and other ill-treatment in detention. 

The detention conditions in the facility do not comply with international standards, according to people who were held in the same place and released during a prisoner exchange between the Ukrainian authorities and the “DNR” in December 2017. The space, amongst other things, does not have a special dedicated medical team to assist detainees and medical help is given only on an ad hoc basis. According to Ehor Firsov, a former Ukrainian MP and friend of Staislav Aseev, Stanislav Aseev is being held in a humid, cold room in the basement of Izolyatsia, and as a result, has developed a bad cough, for which he has not received regular treatment.

Agents of the “DNR” claim Stanislav Aseev committed espionage, an accusation which appears to be related to Stanislav Aseev’s work as an undercover journalist, reporting on Donetsk. The “investigation” into the espionage allegations are ongoing. There are serious concerns about his health and the arbitrary nature of the proceedings against him.

Take action

Please write immediately in Russian, English or your own language calling on the de facto authorities to:

  • Immediately release Stanislav Aseev;
  • Pending his release, allow him to be visited by the UN Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine and ensure that he has regular access to adequate medical care;
  • Ensure that Stanislav Aseev and other journalists are able to carry out legitimate journalist activities without interference, including when travelling in and out of the territories affected by the conflict in eastern Ukraine;
  • Remind them that under international humanitarian law, which is binding on all parties in conflict, arbitrary, abusive and prolonged detention of civilians is prohibited.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 17 AUGUST 2018 TO:
Head of the DNR
Aleksandr Zakharchenko
Donetsk, Ukraine
Email: op@dnr-sovet.su
Salutation: Dear Mr. Zakharchenko

Head of MGB
Vladimir Pavlenko
Donetsk, Ukraine
Email: mgbdnr@yandex.ru
Salutation: Dear Mr. Pavlenko

And copies to:
Ombudsperson of the DNR
Darya Morozova
Donetsk, Ukraine
Email: ombudsman_dnr@mail.ru

Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date. This is the third update of UA 160/17. Further information: https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/EUR50/6725/2017/en/