14 Feb 2017 Lvl. 1
Resolved
Alert created on: 21 Jan 2016 Ukraine

Ukrainian journalist Ruslan Kotsaba Held for Nearly a Year over Allegations of ‘Treason and Obstructing the Military’

Source of threatState
CategoryDetention and imprisonment of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ RSF
Partner EFJ/IFJ RSF
Ruslan Kotsaba, a Ukrainian journalist and blogger, was arrested on 7 February 2015 after posting a video addressed to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, in which he voiced criticism for the mobilisation campaign conducted in the country and called on his fellow citizens to boycott it Amnesty international has declared Kotsaba a “prisoner of conscience”
34 members of the European Parliament signed, in December 2015, a letter condemning the arrest of the journalist “simply for doing his work” and calling for the immediate release of Ruslan Kotsaba. The European Parliament will hold a hearing in Brussels on 26 January to discuss his case.
Resolved
14 Feb 2017: The court of appeal of the Ukrainian region of Ivano-Frankivsk dropped criminal charges against Ruslan Kotsaba over lack of evidence and quashed his 3.5-year sentence for supposed obstruction of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. He was released in the courtroom, on 14 July 2016, after over 18 months held in detention. On 10 October 2016, the partner organisations of the Platform declared this case to be "resolved", concluding it was no longer an active threat to media freedom.
Updates
15 Jul 2016
On 14 July 2016, jailed Ukrainian journalist Ruslan Kotsaba was acquitted. The Appeal Court decided to close the criminal proceedings against him on the basis of lack of evidence. The Court immediately released him.
State replies
14 Feb 2017
Reply from the Government of Ukraine
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