UPDATE (21/08/2018): Ukrainian media and human rights organisations issued a statement today to condemn the so-called “interview” with detained journalist Stanislav Aseev aired by Rossiya 24.
Russian television channel Rossiya 24 has aired on August 17 an interview with kidnapped journalist Stanislav Aseev, in which he “confesses” to working for Ukrainian intelligence in Donbass. The interview has raised concerns that Aseev, who has been illegally imprisoned in Donetsk for over a year, was coerced into confessing to false espionage charges.
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) has said it considers the “confession” of spying for the Ukrainian government given by Stanislav Aseyev “to be highly questionable”. “We question the circumstances of this purported confession. We have no idea when it was made, or under what conditions or duress,” said RFE/RL spokesperson Joanna Levison.
Aseev’s friend Yegor Firsov, a former Ukrainian parliamentarian, wrote on Facebook: “I have the feeling that they forced Stanislav to confess to everything they could imagine.”
Aseev was detained by the so-called “DPR” forces at the beginning of June 2017 in Donetsk. On 20 June 2017, representatives from the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine (NUJU) and the Russian Union of Journalists (RUJ) called for Aseev’s immediate release.
The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) today reiterated its urgent call for the journalist’s release.
Picture credit: Kirill Kudryavtsev / AFP.