06 Jan 2020 Lvl. 1
Alert created on: 22 Jun 2017 n° 65/2017 Ukraine

Ukrainian Journalist Stanyslav Aseev Missing in Donbass

Source of threatUnknown
CategoryDetention and imprisonment of journalists
Alert concerning the non-Government controlled areas in Luhansk and Donetsk regions
Ukrainian journalist Stanyslav Aseev went missing in the Donbass region on 3 June 2017. Since then, the journalist has not been answering phone calls, his apartment in Donetsk has been ransacked and his professional laptop has gone missing, his family and friends told the media. They fear the journalist has been detained by representatives of the so called “Ministry of State Security” of the self-proclaimed "Donetsk People's Republic". Reports said that Aseev went missing on the day he was expected to send material to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, which showed life in the self-proclaimed "Donetsk People's Republic" and never arrived.
Aseev has been working under the pen name of Stanyslav Vasin since 2014 and has been reporting from Donetsk for Radio Svoboda, Dzerkalo Tyzhnya, Ukrayinska Pravda and Ukrainian Week.
On 20 June, representatives from the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine (NUJU) and the Russian Union of Journalists (RUJ) expressed their deep concern for the safety and fate of Stanyslav Aseev and called for his immediate release.
06 Jan 2020: On 6 January 2020, following the release of Stanyslav Aseev, the partner organisations to the Platform declared this case to be “resolved”, concluding it was no longer an active threat to media freedom.
30 Dec 2019
On 29 December 2019, Stanislav Aseev was released as part of a prisoners exchange.
22 Oct 2019
In August 2019, Stanislav Aseev was found guilty of "organising the extremist community", "espionage and incitement to espionage", "public calls for the exercise of extremist activity" and "public calls for actions aimed at violating territorial integrity" by the so-called Supreme Court of the self-proclaimed "Donetsk People's Republic", and sentenced to 15 years in prison. He was also deprived of his right to engage in journalistic activities for 2.5 years. He is thought to serve his sentence in a penal colony.
22 Aug 2018
On 17 August 2018, Russian television channel Rossiya 24 has aired an interview with kidnapped journalist Stanislav Aseev, in which he confesses to working for Ukrainian intelligence in Donbass. The interview has raised concerns that Aseev, who has been illegally detained in Donetsk for over a year, was coerced into confessing to false espionage charges.
19 Jul 2017
On 15 July 2017, it was reported to independent broadcaster Hromadske Radio that Aseev has been detained by separatists. Yegor Firsov, a friend of Aseev and a former Ukrainian lawmaker, stated that the separatists have charged the journalist with espionage and that, if convicted, Aseev could be jailed for up to 14 years.
State replies
16 Aug 2017
Reply from the Government of Ukraine
25 Oct 2019
OSCE Representative Désir strongly condemns jailing of Donetsk journalist Aseev, reiterates call for immediate release.
24 Aug 2018
OSCE Media Freedom Representative reiterates call for release of Stanislav Aseev following journalists’ first public appearance since being detained
06 Jun 2018
OSCE Representative calls for immediate release of Donetsk journalist Stanislav Aseev one year after his illegal detention
28 Jul 2017
OSCE Media Freedom Representative calls for immediate release of detained Donetsk journalist Stanislav Aseev.
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