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Kiev denies OSCE mission access to LifeNews detained journalists

Published time: May 21, 2014 22:30
Journalists Oleg Sidyakin (C) and Marat Saichenko (R). (Image from twitter user@euromaidan)

Journalists Oleg Sidyakin (C) and Marat Saichenko (R). (Image from twitter user@euromaidan)

Ukrainian authorities are not letting the OSCE special monitoring mission visit the detained journalists from Russia’s LifeNews channel, Andrey Kelin, Russia's permanent representative to the organization, said.

Ukrainian authorities are not letting the OSCE special monitoring mission visit the detained journalists from Russia’s LifeNews channel, Andrey Kelin, Russia's permanent representative to the organization, said.

“At our request, the OSCE mission is demanding a meeting with the journalists, but the Kiev authorities forbid them from doing,” Kelin told ITAR-TASS news agency.

Russia will continue pushing for action on the part of the OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) aimed at releasing the LifeNews crew, he added.

According to the representative, the situation around journalists, Oleg Sidyakin and Marat Saichenko, “continues to deteriorate.”

“We know that they’re accused of terrorism, with other far-fetched charges being pressed against them,” he explained.

Russia intends to raise the issue of “grave violation of the rights of journalists in Ukraine” at a meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council on Thursday, he stressed, adding that the “same question will be asked by delegations from other countries as well.”

Russia’s permanent mission has passed the address from the country’s National Broadcasting Association to the OSCE leadership, in which the violation against Russian journalists by Kiev’s coup-imposed government are described, Kelin said.

There are more and more concerns about the obstruction of the media in Ukraine in anticipation of the presidential election in the country on May 25, he concluded.

Sidyakin and Saichenko were detained on Sunday soon after they released a scandalous video, which showed a UN-marked helicopter being used by the Ukrainian army in a military operation in the rebelling eastern regions.

On Tuesday, RT’s contributor Graham Phillips was arrested by Ukrainian forces at a checkpoint in the city of Mariupol. He was released after almost 36 hours of detention by various Kiev security forces.

On Monday, The OSCE’s representative on freedom of the media, Dunja Mijatovic, has addressed Kiev in a letter, urging it to “stop intimidating and threatening members of the media” and release the journalists.

In the last couple of days, journalists from various Russian media outlets were also prevented from entering Ukraine, including Zvezda, NTV, Channel One and TVC channels as well as a crew from RT’s Arabic channel.