MOSCOW, August 22 (RIA Novosti) - More than 100 journalists in Russian mass media have signed a group petition in support of the missing International Information Agency Rossiya Segodnya photographer Andrei Stenin (#freeAndrew), according to a note released by the Russian Union of Journalists Friday.
“We call on everyone who can help – Andrei Stenin’s employer, ministries and agencies in Russia and Ukraine, the presidents of both countries, international non-governmental organizations, journalist associations – to do their utmost to find and rescue our colleague,” the note said.
The statement added that the members of the union were deeply concerned about the fate of Stenin. The note went on to say that at times reporters have to work in life-threatening situations and when a journalist is harmed while carrying out his or her professional duty, fellow journalists should raise their voices.
The note was signed by more than 100 journalists, including those working for Rossiya Segodnya, ITAR-TASS, the BBC Russian Service and Kommersant, among others.
A number of international organizations and press associations around the world, including the OSCE, Reporters Without Borders, the Committee to Protect Journalists, the Coordinating Council of Russian Compatriots in Argentina and the Mexican Press Club have condemned the abduction of Stenin and demanded his immediate release.
Andrei Stenin was working in eastern Ukraine and has been unreachable beginning August 5. On August 12, an aide to the Ukrainian interior minister, Anton Herashchenko, said Ukrainian Security Service had arrested Stenin on charges of assisting terrorists, adding later that he did not really have information on the case and was misinterpreted.
Moscow has asked Kiev to comment on Herashchenko’s statement, but Stenin’s location still remains unknown. The photographer is said to be now on the Ukrainian militia’s missing persons list.
Please support Andrei Stenin’s release by sharing the hashtag #FreeAndrew in social networks. Andrei is a professional war photographer reporting from the most dangerous war zones in the world. You can view Andrei’s pictures from Iraq, Egypt, Syria, Libya here and his most recent shots from eastern Ukraine here.