European Federation of Journalists

Russian authorities in Crimea detain two journalists

Journalist Lutfiye Zudiyeva. Credits: Anton Naumlyuk / Graty.

The Russian authorities continue to crack down on journalists in occupied Crimea. On 27 July, the police have arrested two more journalists there. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined its affiliate the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine (NUJU) and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) in denouncing these repeated arrests, which are clearly aimed at intimidating the press.

On 27 July, Russian police arrested professional journalists Lutfiye Zudiyeva and Kulamet Ibraimov as they were preparing to cover the trial of three Crimean Tartar activists before the Crimean Supreme Court. Zudiyeva and Ibraimov showed their press cards to police before their detention. On the evening, the Simferopol court held a brief hearing. The court ordered Ibraimov to be detained for five days on charges of repeatedly participating in an illegal protest. The same court fined Zudiyeva 12,000 rubles (120 EUR) and charged her with participating in an illegal protest “with the purpose of subsequently giving information in the media”. Zudiyeva was released late Thursday evening after spending almost 13 hours in detention.

The journalists work with the human rights group Crimean Solidarity. Zudiyeva is also a correspondent for the Ukrainian media project Graty and Ibraimov is a correspondent for independent Russian news website Grani. Zudiyeva has covered trials and human rights issues in Crimea since 2019, and Ibraimov has also covered the trials of human rights activists.

The EFJ joined CPJ in calling on authorities in the Russian-occupied Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea to drop all charges against Lutfiye Zudiyeva and Kulamet Ibraimov, release Ibraimov immediately, and stop prosecuting journalists.