Vienna, 31 October 2016 – The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) condemned the behavior of authorities in Crimea towards media freedom and human rights, after journalist Mykola Semena was denied access to mainland Ukraine, where he intended to go in order to undergo necessary medical treatments.
Semena was accused earlier this year of using his work in the media as propaganda to call for “violations of the territorial integrity of Russia”. The journalist is said to have additional health issues that could lead to disability, if the travel ban imposed on him is not lifted so that he can receive treatment. Another recent case is the temporary detention of Oleksiy Nazimov, editor-in-chief of daily Tvoya gazeta, who is facing criminal charges. Allegedly, after the newspaper started looking into supposed illegal activities of the Crimean authorities, Nazimov was detained.
“Intimidation, censorship and incarceration of journalists are strong signals that tell us what a problematic media atmosphere we currently have in Ukraine and Crimea. We call on authorities to release detained journalists, and allow others to travel freely in accordance to their personal and health requirements. These cases reminded us that we must observe closely what happens in this region, and try to help media workers in any way we can” Oliver Vujovic, SEEMO Secretary General said today.