IFJ/EFJ urge Russia to let a Ukrainian journalist return to Kiev for urgent treatment

Ukrainian freelancer Mykola Semena should be allowed to leave Crimea and return to Kiev to receive urgent treatment on a spinal injury.

The International and European Federation of Journalists (IFJ/EFJ) have written to the Russian authorities to urge them to allow Mykola, who is under investigation for allegedly promoting separatism, to leave Crimea.

Mr Semena, who also suffers from cardiac problems, needs the treatment or he risks becoming permanently invalided and the Kiev Institute of Neuroscience has said it will treat him.

However, as Mr Semena is under investigation by the Russian security forces – the FSB - he is required to have the permission of the Russian authorities to leave Crimea.

The IFJ and EFJ have backed calls by their Ukrainian affiliates, the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine (NUJU) and the Independent Media Trade Union of Ukraine (IMTUU) in urging the Russian authorities to allow him to leave for treatment.

This follows earlier calls for the unfounded charges against him to be dropped.

On 19 April, the Federal Security Service (FSB) agents in the region of Crimea raided and searched the house of Semena, confiscated his reporting equipment and briefly detained him for interrogation in connection to a criminal probe into separatism. IMTUU and NUJU insisted that the charges against the journalist are fabricated.

Semena's case has been submitted to the Council of Europe Platform to promote the safety and protection of journalists in which the IFJ and EFJ, representing 600,000 journalists in the world, are partners. Together the Federations have submitted 140 alerts in the past year alone.

For more information, please contact IFJ on + 32 2 235 22 16

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