Institute for War and Peace Reporting | Giving Voice, Driving Change

Abducted Activists "Not Held by Russian Military" in Sevastopol

Journalists and activists from the Automaidan group who were arrested on March 9 at a checkpoint on the approaches to Crimea are not being held at the [Russian] command headquarters in Sevastopol, according to a Facebook post by Anatoly Gritsenko, a member of the group.

Gritsenko had earlier reported that the detainees were to be freed on the morning of March 10. "The latest information is that the individuals detained at the Sevastopol commandant's office are due to be released this morning," he said.

Ukrainska Pravda has been told by friends of missing individuals that efforts to locate them overnight failed. The father of Alexandra Ryazantseva was told she could not be found in Sevastopol. Nor was there any news of the others detained at the checkpoint – Katerina Butko, Olena Maximenko, Yevgen Rakhno and Oles Kromplyas.

Kaerina Butko’s mobile was switched on overnight on March 9-10, but no one was answering, and it went to voice message when activists called it.

Two groups of journalists and activists were detained on March 9 at a checkpoint between Crimea and Kherson – Katerina Butko, Alexandra Ryazantseva, Evgen Rakhno, Oles Kromplyas and Olena Maximenko. They were searched, and one of the group was released because a relative who had Crimean residence arrived by car. The fate of the others is unknown, and the last contact with them was at about 16:00 on March 9.

It was later reported that three detained journalists were taken to the Sevastopol security service offices, while the Automaidan members were taken to a Berkut [riot police] base near the checkpoint, and later to the Black Sea Fleet base in Sevastopol. 

This article republished from Ukrainska Pravda with kind permission.

Original article here in Ukrainian. 

More IWPR's Global Voices

Syria: A Key to No House
Family returns to village recaptured from Islamic State to find home in ruins.
Syria: A Sick Joke on April Fool’s Day
Leading IWPR's Iraq Team
Afghans Question Reconstruction Scheme
Debate participants say the National Solidarity Programme's projects are not always well run.
IWPR Debates Seen as Key Educational Resource
Afghan Survey Suggests Optimism About Peace Talks