Week-ending 9 July 2021
On 6 July 2021 a court in Simferopol, Crimea, extended the pre-trial detention of Vladyslav Yesypenko, an RFE/RL freelance correspondent by six months. Yesypenko was detained by the FSB in March on suspicion of collecting information for Ukrainian intelligence and has been charged with ‘making firearms.’ According to reports, Yesypenko’s lawyer has said Yesypenko testified during a closed court hearing in April that he was tortured with electric shocks, beaten, and threatened with death unless he ‘confessed’ to spying on behalf of Ukraine.
RFE/RL, 6 July 2021: A court in Russian-occupied Crimea has extended the detention of an RFE/RL freelance correspondent by six months as dozens of people rallied in the Ukrainian capital to call for his release. A court in Simferopol ruled on July 6 that Vladyslav Yesypenko, who has been detained since March, will remain behind bars until December as he awaits trial. The next hearing is set for July 15.
Human Rights in Ukraine, 7 July 2021: The ‘trial’ has begun in Russian-occupied Crimea of freelance RFE/RL journalist Vladislav Yesypenko, with the preliminary hearing on 6 July remanding him in custody for a further six months. On the basis solely of a grenade allegedly ‘found’ in Yesypenko’s car, but not containing his fingerprints, the journalist is accused of illegal preparation and possession of a homemade explosive device, charges which seem far removed from the extensive ‘spying’ that he ‘confessed to’ under torture.