At least 369 cases of prosecution of the journalists spotted in the territory of annexed Crimea during past 5.5 years as 112 Ukraine reported citing Head of human rights Zmina Center Tetyana Pechonchyk.
“During 5.5 years of Crimea’s occupation, our organization along with the Crimean human rights group spotted at least 369 cases of prosecution of the journalists in Crimea; 100 of them took place within the first month of forceful seizure of Crimea. About 100 journalists and 10 editorial offices were forced to move to mainland Ukraine due to prosecutions and pressure and a lot of journalists who stayed in Crimea were forced to leave the profession due to the threats and intimidation,” Pechonchyk reported.
She underlined that Ukrainian TV and radio frequencies were captured in Crimea. That is why now there is no Ukrainian TV channels in the territory of the annexed peninsula; “radio-frequency signals are jammed, moreover, two dozens of online news agencies are blocked”.
According to Pechonchyk, it is hard for people to get information even through the internet.
“During this time, Crimea turned into the peninsula of fear and the silence wall was built around it. The independent journalism was eliminated there and according to international organization Freedom House, Crimea occupies the second-smallest places in the world on the freedom of speech. Only such countries as Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and North Korean stand before Crimea,” she noted.
Russia annexed Crimea in March 2014. Crimea is announced to be temporary occupied territory.
The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine officially announced February 20, 2014, to be the year of the beginning of the temporary occupation of Crimea and Sevastopol by Russia. On October 2015, then President Petro Poroshenko signed the proper law.
The international organization recognized the occupation and annexation of Crimea as illegal and condemned the actions of Russia. The West imposed a number of sanctions against Russia.
Russia denies the occupation of the peninsula and calls it “the restoration of the historical justice”.