February 27, 2024

27.02.2024 – Where ih Ukrainian Journalist Dymitro Khyliuk Now, Missing for 2 years?

Ukrainian journalist and human rights defender Dmytro Khyliuk (Дмитро Хилюк), is unlawfully detained in Russia for the past two years. Khyliuk works for the the Ukrainian Independent Information Agency (UNIAN – УНІАН https://www.unian.info).

Recent information reveals that a Ukrainian prisoner of war, released from captivity, allegedly encountered Khyliuk in May 2023. However, there has been no trace of him since that encounter. Allegedly to several sources, Dmytro Khyliuk, engaged in a lengthy conversation with the released prisoner on 12 May, 2023, during their transfer from Novozybkov (Новозыбков) prison in Oblast Brjansk (Брянская область) in Russia near the Ukrainian border to the IK-7 (колонія №7) penal colony in Pakino (Пакино), situated several hundred kilometers east of Moscow (Москва), Russia.TTo some other sources he could be also in the IK-1 (колонія №1).

During a journey, a source identified as Ihor (Ігор), had the opportunity to converse with Khyliuk, who had been held in close proximity at Novozybkov prison. Ihor noted that while Khyliuk appeared mentally strained from his imprisonment, he seemed physically well. Ihor revealed that Khyliuk had endured at least three months of solitary confinement.

As Ihor stated, Khyliuk expressed deep concern for his mother. Despite repeated requests, Khyliuk was denied permission by prison authorities to contact his family or his company.

Upon their arrival at the penal colony, the two men were separated, and Ihor was transferred to a different prison in Russia in the Mordovia (Мордовия) region. He was eventually released in January 2024 without any further contact with Khyliuk. Concerns mount over Khyliuk’s whereabouts.

Questions surrounding Khyliuk’s detention persist, as official correspondence from Russian authorities to various lawyers maintains that he is not held on any charges. According to Russian authorities he is not in custody. Khyliuk was apprehended by Russian soldiers outside his parents’ residence north of Kyiv (Київ) in village of Kozarovych (Козаровичі), Vyshhorods’kyi district (Вишгородський район), Ukraine, on 3 March 2022. The village was occupied on 26 February 2022, the third day of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Journalists from Slidstvo.Info the partner of the South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) in Ukraine talked last year to Dmytro Khyliuk’s parents, who last saw their son in March 2022. This is described in the documentary film Occupation: The Price of a Word that is also visible on you tube channel.

Khyliuk works as journalists since 2005. During the entire period of work, he specialized in various topics – he started with economics and finances, then he continued with political reporting covering the Verkhovna Rada and work of the leading politicians. He worked as a correspondent in the news agencies “Context Media”, “RBK-Ukraine”, “Independent News Bureau”, “ForUm”, “News24UA”. In 2013 he started to work as a correspondent for UNIAN, specializing in working with courts and law enforcement officers.

The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) condemns the detention of Ukrainian journalist Dmytro Khyliuk and is asking the Russian authorities to urgently inform the family of Khyiluk and the public where he is. The lack of transparency surrounding his whereabouts and the denial of basic rights, including the ability to contact his family and receive legal representation, are flagrant violations of human rights. We call upon the Russian authorities to provide verifiable evidence of his safety and well-being and immediately release Khyliuk. Journalists must be allowed to carry out their work without fear of persecution or imprisonment, and Khyliuk’s continued detention is a stark reminder of the ongoing threats faced by media professionals worldwide. SEEMO stands in solidarity with Khyliuk and his family, and we urge the international community to join us in demanding justice for him and all journalists unlawfully detained.

SEEMO also supports the Reporters Without Borders (RSF) requests proof of life for Ukrainian journalist who is Russian “state hostage”

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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