"It appears the charge of ‘treason’ has been leveled without much transparency or detail about what might have been involved," Brown said on Tuesday. "It seems to be simply a broad-brush excuse for a government crackdown on the dissemination of information the government doesn't appreciate."
Champions of the ideal of free expression, he added, whether in official positions or not should object to Kiev’s actions. Brown said any government attempts to control free expression generally should be condemned.
"But even in the United States, there are exceptions. Broadcasters, for instance, are subject to a certain (comparatively low) level of regulatory control by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)," he said. "Restrictions based on access, under which definition FCC rules licensing wavelengths generally fall, are quite different from attempts to control content, which is almost never acceptable."
The head of the Ukraine-based office of the RIA Novosti news agency, Andrey Borodin, said authorities searched his for 11 hours. Ukraine authorities also searched the Kiev apartment of Ludmila Lysenko, a Ukraine-based correspondent of the RIA Novosti news agency.
Margarita Simonyan, the editor-in-chief of Rossiya Segodnya news agency and RT broadcaster, said she thought what was happening in Ukraine was Kiev’s "revenge" for the recently opened Crimea Bridge. She further noted that RIA Novosti Ukraine was not legally linked to Rossiya Segodnya, but was its media partner.
An OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media urged Kiev to refrain from imposing "unnecessary limitations" on foreign journalists, which impacts the free flow of information and press freedom.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Kiev’s actions against the RIA Novosti journalists in Ukraine were unacceptable. The Russian embassy sent a note of protest to Ukraine demanding Kiev to halt its persecution of media representatives.
Head of RIA Novosti Ukraine news portal Kirill Vyshinsky was detained in Kiev on Tuesday. On the same day, the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) broke into the office of RIA Novosti Ukraine in Kiev.
Russia's International News Agency Rossiya Segodnya has launched a Twitter hashtag #TruthNotTreason in support of RIA Novosti Ukraine news portal head Kirill Vyshinsky, arrested in Ukraine.