Target: President Oleksandr Turchynov
Goal: Obtain release of multiple Russian journalists detained in Ukraine
The Ukrainian government must immediately and unconditionally release three journalists who work for Russian news services. If there are credible reasons for charging these journalists then they should immediately be charged with laws that are in accordance with international law. Detaining Russian journalists and prohibiting Russian media from operating in Ukraine is a violation of their freedom of expression. The government must do more to ensure the human rights of all people, regardless of nationality, are respected.
The journalists that have been detained work for Russia Today (RT) and Life News. Ukrainian security forces are holding the journalists under suspicion of assisting Russian separatists. This charge of espionage is a serious crime and can be punished by death. These Russian journalists should be given the full protection of the law and allowed legal counsel if charges are to be brought against them.
Ukraine is a party to the European Convention on Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, both of which prohibit arbitrary detention and protect freedom of expression. While these rights can be restricted in extraordinary circumstances, these arrests don’t seem to fall under that category. The Ukrainian security forces have claimed they are acting in defense of their country, but instead have trampled on the human rights of these journalists. Sign this petition to call for their immediate release.
Dear President Oleksandr Turchynov,
The recent detention of multiple Russian journalists on suspicion of espionage is in violation of numerous international human rights laws. Your government can only limit these rights in severe cases where the security of your country is in danger. This is not the case with these reporters. I ask that you immediately and unconditionally release them.
If charges are to be brought against these men, I ask that they be allowed to seek proper legal counsel as guaranteed under international law. Continuing to hold these men will shine a negative light on your country and give donors pause before assisting your government transition out of this troubled time. I urge you to do the right thing and release all detained journalists and allow them to practice their basic human rights.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Mstyslav Chernov via Wikipedia Commons