MOSCOW, May 21 (RIA Novosti) – Human Rights Watch is gravely concerned by the detention of Russian journalists in Ukraine and calls for their immediate release, Rachel Denber, Deputy Director of the organization’s division on Europe and Central Asia told RIA Novosti Wednesday.
“Human Rights Watch is alarmed at the detention of Oleg Sidyakin and Marat Saichenko. The authorities in Kiev should either immediately release them, and meanwhile make clear what the charges, if any are against them and ensure they have access to a lawyer and consular services,” Denber said.
The two LifeNews journalists were detained April 18 by the Ukrainian National Guard near the city of Kramatorsk in the Donetsk region after they caught on camera a UN-marked military helicopter apparently used in a special operation targeting demonstrators.
The publication triggered an international scandal. The two were accused by the Ukrainian authorities of supporting terrorism in the east. Russian authorities have repeatedly issued calls for their freedom.
The Russian parliament is expected to make another statement Wednesday for their immediate release.