RFE/RL’s Yakubovych: Only Way to Help Aseev Is International Attention
28 October, 2019

“We see fantastic international reaction to [Stanislav Aseev’s sentence]” said Tetiana Yakubovych, a journalist of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty in an interview with Hromadske on October 27.

"Some years ago nobody knew who Aseev was. Now we have statements from U.S. Embassy, European Federation of Journalists, Human Rights Mission of United Nations and other organizations."

This story is not about law, she added. 

The only way to help [Aseev] is international public pressure.

Ukrainian journalist Stanislav Aseev was sentenced to 15 years in prison by the so-called “Supreme Court” of self-proclaimed “Donetsk People's Republic” in east Ukraine on October 22. Aseev has been detained by “DPR” fighters since June 2017.

READ MORE: Ukrainian Journalist Stanislav Aseev Sentenced to 15 Years in Occupied Donbas

Relatives and colleagues had no contact with him since then. There are no details about his condition, but “he is not a person of strong health,” Yakubovych stressed. “He had severe bronchitis during the last winter after his detention and conditions where people are held in the prisons of the non-controlled territories are usually very bad: cold rooms, poor food.”

The situation when a person is totally isolated from information causes strong psychological suffering, added Yakubovych. “We cannot even send letters or call there because there are no legal ways to communicate. To the political prisoners in Russia we could at least write letters,” she said.

Aseev is not the only RFE/RL journalist held captive on the “DPR” territories. Ukrainian blogger and columnist Oleg Galaziuk was detained there in August 2017. 

READ MORE: Journalist Stanislav Aseev Imprisoned in Donetsk Factory