MOSCOW, August 26 (RIA Novosti) – The International Information Agency Rossiya Segodnya is calling for a speedy release of its freelance photographer Maxim Vasilenko, working also for Agence France-Presse, and correspondent of the Crimean Telegraph newspaper Evgeniya Koroleva, who were detained in Donetsk Region by rebels of Ukraine’s Right Sector.
“This is not the first time freedom of speech has been grossly violated in Ukraine. The leadership of this country is still silent about the fate of our photographer Andrei Stenin. The OSCE representatives, as well as international journalism organizations, have repeatedly spoken out against such violations of journalists’ rights. We demand a speedy release of the detained Russian journalists, including our freelance photographer, who has been carrying out his professional duty,” Margarita Simonyan, the editor-in-chief of Rossiya Segodnya said on Tuesday.
According to Simonyan, “by carrying out his work for Rossiya Segodnya and Agence France-Presse Maxim Vasilenko was providing the international community with an objective picture of the events in Ukraine.”
Vasilenko and Koroleva went missing in the area of the military operation in eastern Ukraine on Sunday. Later, Koroleva, who was allowed to make one phone call, said that they had been detained by the representatives of the Right Sector. According to an editorial office representative of the Crimean Telegraph newspaper, the two were detained not as regular citizens, but exactly as journalists.
The press service of the Right Sector could not either confirm or deny the information about Vasilenko and Koroleva’s detention. Andrei Krisko, a representative of a human rights mission in Crimea, told RIA Novosti Monday, that the journalists are safe and sound and stressed that the representatives of the Right Sector promised to hand over the detained journalists to police which are to “decide their fate.”