U.S. Embassy calls on Russia to release journalist Yesypenko

The U.S. Embassy in Ukraine has called on Russia to release Ukrainian journalist Vladyslav Yesypenko, who was detained by the Russian FSB in the temporarily occupied Crimea.

“Troubled by reports that Russian occupation authorities in Crimea tortured

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s freelance journalist Vladyslav Yesypenko to coerce his confession. We call for his release, and for Russia to cease its reprisals against independent voices in Crimea. #CrimeaIsUkraine,” the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine posted on Twitter.

FSB officers detained and then arrested Vladyslav Yesypenko in the temporarily occupied Crimea on March 10. The day before, he and other Crimeans took part in an action dedicated to Taras Shevchenko's birthday.

On March 12, Yesypenko was charged under Part 1 of Art. 223 of the Criminal Code (illegal manufacture, repair and modification of firearms), as well as illegal manufacture of ammunition. The Kyivsky District "Court" of Simferopol ruled to take Vladyslav Yesypenko into custody for two months, until May 11.

The independent lawyers were prevented from visiting Yesypenko during his detention in the Simferopol pre-trial detention center.

On April 6, Yesypenko told the “court” that he had been tortured by Russian security forces.

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