The Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs strongly protests the arbitrary detention of Ukrainian citizen and correspondent of the national information agency “Ukrinform” in France Roman Sushchenko in Moscow on 30 September 2016 by the FSB.
We are deeply outraged that the Ukrainian journalist, who arrived to the Russian Federation to visit relatives, was detained by the Russian authorities on trumped up charges of “espionage.”
We consider this yet another step in the Russian Federation’s purposeful policy to use Ukrainians who find themselves in the hands of the Russian authorities as political hostages in its hybrid aggression against our country. The fact that in his professional work and everyday values Roman Sushchenko is a man who defends objectivity and freedom of speech only proves that Moscow is officially waging war not only against Ukraine, but against the entire democratic world, where human rights and freedom are fundamental values.
We demand that the Russian Federation protect the rights of the Ukrainian, immediately allow consular officials access to the prisoner in accordance obligations Russia has assumed under international law, as well as his immediate return, unharmed and unhindered, to his homeland.
The MFA of Ukraine also appeals to the international community, in particular the United Nations, OSCE, Council of Europe, and all reputable human rights organizations not to ignore the blatant arbitrary nature of the Russian Federation’s actions, and to strengthen joint efforts for an early end to Moscow’s human rights violations and pressure on independent journalists.