“The government put a tail on independent reporters in Crimea. Russian special services block the independent journalists from taking photos and video records during public events. There’s common practice among pro-government media in Crimea to rat on such people”, said Olena Yurchenko, editor of Krym.Realii project. She said this at UNESCO conference in Helsinki, timed to the World Press Freedom Day (Radio Liberty).
She added that Russia’s Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technologies and Mass Media blocks the access to websites of the free media. “Crimea’s Prosecutor’s Office promotes this in every possible way”, Yurchenko said.
Previously, Mykola Semena, Ukrainian reporter who has been cooperating with Radio Liberty, faced five years of imprisonment for his articles, where he puts Crimea as a part of Ukraine’s territory. Russian security services confiscated the reporter’s recording equipment and certain records.
He’s been charged with infringement on Russia’s territorial integrity and he might face five years in prison if they are able to prove that. The pro-Russian government of Crimea says he wrote a number of articles where he named Crimea a Ukrainian peninsula.
Last month, so-called Prosecutor of Crimea Natalya Poklonskaya reported that her office opened a criminal investigation against a reporter working for Krym.Realii for his article where he ‘urged to violate Russia’s territorial integrity’. She never specified the reporter’s name.