July 9, 2024

09.07.2024 – Russian Journalist Timofei Ilyushin Released by Transnistrian – Transdniestrian Authorities After Detention

On 26 June 2024 the separatist authorities of Moldova’s Transnistria – Transdniestria / Pridnestrovie (not international recognized Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic – PMR / Приднестро́вская Молда́вская Респу́блика) released Russian journalist Timofei Ilyushin (Тимофей Илюшин). Ilyushin, who works for the independent Russian online publication Sotavision (Sota – https://sotavision.world/), had been detained by the authorities in Tiraspol on 24 June 2024 during his reporting. Chisinau’s (Chișinău), Moldova, Reintegration Bureau confirmed the release on 27 June 2024.

Sotavision reported that Ilyushin was detained by the Ministry of State Security in Transdniester (Министерство государственной безопасности ПМР) and was held in a detention center.

You can read the Sotavision article about this case: https://sotavision.world/nash-korrespondent-zaderzhan-v-pridnestrove/

According to official Russian sources, he was expelled from Transdnestria for illegally crossing the border and video filming military facilities in the village of Parcani (Парка́ны). In March 2023, Transdnestrian authorities had declared Ilyushin an “undesirable” person, banning him from the region. For the general Prosecutor’s Office of the Russian Federation the activities of the foreign non-governmental organization Sota media, are unwanted on the territory of the Russian Federation.

According to officials in Tiraspol, “for illegally crossing the state border of Transnistria, Timofey Ilyushin was detained for 48 hours until the circumstances were clarified, and then under Art. 18.1 of the Code of Administrative Offenses of the PMR Violation of the regime of the state border of the PMR expelled from the territory of the republic”.

Timofei Ilyushin gained media attention in 2021 after participating in protests in Moscow (Москва), Russia, and subsequently emigrating to Bishkek (Бишкек), Kyrgyzstan. In early 2023, his grandmother in Moscow was allegedly threatened due to his anti-army posts. Collaborating with Sotavision from January 2023, Ilyushin reported harassment by Kyrgyz authorities linked to his attempt to organize an rally, leading him to flee to Transnistria. There, he faced accusations of undermining constitutional order due to his journalistic activities, prompting another escape to Chisinau, where he sought political asylum and attempted to start a media outlet on Transnistria. Despite being previously declared an “undesirable person” in Transnistria, Ilyushin returned for unknown reasons and continued to criticize its authorities.

The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) condemns the detention of journalist Timofei Ilyushin by the separatist authorities in the not international recognised Moldova’s Transdniester region. Such actions represent a blatant violation of press freedom and the fundamental rights of journalists to carry out their work without fear of persecution. SEEMO will be closely monitoring this situation and urges the authorities to respect the principles of free and independent journalism.

The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) is a regional non-governmental, non profit network of editors, media executives and leading journalists in Southeast, South, East and Central Europe. SEEMO members are in Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Moldova (with the territory of Transdnestria), Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Türkiye / Turkey, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. Austria, Italy, Vatican and San Marino have a special status in SEEMO. SEEMO has over 3000 individual members, and additional media as corporate members.

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