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Journalist Yesypenko, imprisoned in Crimea, addresses U.

Kateryna Yesypenko, the wife of Vladyslav Yesypenko, an RFE/RL journalist illegally imprisoned in Russian-occupied Crimea, has brought to Washington her husband's appeal calling on the U.S. president, government and U.S. Congress to increase pressure on Russia to release political prisoners.

She said this at a conference at the Embassy of Ukraine in the United States on Thursday, sharing a copy of the appeal with Ukrinform.

In his letter, Yesypenko describes in detail the torture he was subjected to by Russia's FSB in order to force him to testify against himself and waive his right to independent counsels. In addition, the journalist shares information about other political prisoners and calls on the United States to send a "clear signal" to Russia about U.S. support for Ukraine and the return of all political prisoners.

Yesypenko was detained in temporarily occupied Crimea on March 10. He was charged with illegally producing an explosive device. Russia's FSB claimed it had detained Yesypenko in order to prevent him from carrying out acts of sabotage in the interests of Ukrainian intelligence services.

The journalist was taken into custody on March 12. Lawyers were not allowed to see him for 27 days. Defense lawyer Alexei Ladin later stated that FSB investigators had not found Yesypenko's fingerprints on the explosive allegedly found in the journalist's car.

The prosecution demands that the Ukrainian be jailed for 18 years. Yesipenko said at a court hearing on September 6 that he had testified to the invaders under torture.

op

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