European Federation of Journalists

Ukraine ends pre-trial detention of RIA Novosti journalist

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) have today welcomed the pre-trial release of RIA Novosti journalist, Kirill Vyshinsky, in Kyiv, Ukraine.

The release came after the IFJ-EFJ have expressed several times their concerns over the long-lasting pre-trial detention of Vyshinsky.

In May 2018, the Ukrainian security services raided the office of RIA Novosti in Ukraine and arrested its bureau chief and journalist, Kirill Vyshinsky, on charges of high treason. In July 2018, Vyshinsky was given additional charges of illegal handling of weapons. His pre-trial detention has been extended several times. On 19 July 2019, Vyshynsky appeared in court in Kyiv and the court extended again his pre-trial custody by two months, to 19 September.

Today, the federations welcome the court’s decision to release him from custody before the official deadline. However, the federations emphasised that Vyshinsky’s pre-trial detention should have ended at least one year ago.

The IFJ and and EFJ said: “We do not understand why the Ukrainian judiciary unnecessarily prolonged his detention. It seems clear to us that Vyshinsky has been targeted in retaliation for his journalistic work,”

“The fight against the so-called propaganda must not fall short of international standards on freedom of the media. The Ukrainian authorities must respect the rights of journalists to freedom of expression, which includes expressing dissenting views, and to report on issues that could be considered controversial or offensive.”

The IFJ and EFJ call on the Russian and Ukrainian authorities to release other journalists who are currently detained in both countries. They include:

  • Rashid Maysigov
  • Abdulmumin Gadzhiev
  • Roman Sushchenko
  • Stanyslav Aseev
  • Aleksandr Valov
  • Alexander Batmanov
  • Svetlana Prokopieva
  • Dmytro Vasylets (electronic bracelet)
  • Yevhen Timonin (electronic bracelet)

Credit photo: AFP