Ukrainian journalists of the “STB” TV Channel were detained several times by police in the occupied Crimea.
As reported by Olena Lyunkova, the journalist of the “Okna” (windows) TV program, to the “Fakty” (Facts) newspaper. She works on a peninsula on a series of stories coincided to the third anniversary of annexation of the Crimea.
Journalists were interrogated by FSB officers and were accompanied surveillance cars.
"We were detained immediately on the administrative border in Armyansk. They questioned us for six hours and every member of the filming crew was questioned twice. In addition, FSB officer arrived from Simferopol to talk with us”, - she said.
According to her, FSB were interested who instructed the journalists before departure, where their relatives work. They recorded residence addresses and phone numbers.
“They copied all phone numbers of people, who they more or less knew, from my telephone. For example, Yuriy Tandit, (the Advisor to the Head of the Security Service of Ukraine – ed.). And inspected all photos”, - she said.
It is reported that filming crew consists of driver, two camera operators, director and Olena Lynkova.
After interrogation of each member of the filming crew, FSB allowed the reporters to go to Simferopol.
Olena Lynkova said that she talked to passers-by near the public reception of Dmitry Medvedev, the Prime Minister of Russia. Symbols of the TV channel were visible. According to her, one of the employees of the reception staff called the police, saying that “journalists were creating a conflict situation”.
“They checked our passports for two hours on the street. Then female-investigator arrived with two police officers. They began to ask us what we were doing, what are planning to do and gave us protocols to sign. But we already called a lawyer, who told us not to sign anything. They repeated all the time: that there is no evidence that our documents are real and not fake. Said that it is possible to forge tens of such accreditations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia, like ours”, - said the journalists.
Filming crew went to Krasnodar Krai to compare the prices of products with Crimean prices.
After the ferry journalists were stopped Road Patrol Service and taken their documents. Shortly after, FSB officer has arrived and began questioning the workers of the TV channel.
“I, as a leader of the crew, told him about the purpose of the trip. At this time, crew was taken to another room, where they were photographed and had their fingerprints taken. All this happened on the territory of the Krasnodar Krai. It was after this point that our operator noticed that crew was followed by a car. This car followed us to a ferry. From Kerch to Yalta we were followed by a different car”, - said Olena Lyunkova.
“Nobody came out of that car. When we stopped at the car wash, that car just stopped nearby and waited for us. We even deliberately turned to the wrong way, but the convoy car sooner or later caught up. Then the car parked outside our hotel in Yalta. When we were filming in Yalta, we were followed by a group of five people. We even started laughing at our accompaniment. Offered to drink coffee together, but they refused. Frankly speaking, it was morally exhausting”, - she admitted.
As a reminder, Human Rights Information Centre has recorded 37 cases of violation of freedom of speech and expression in the Russian-occupied Crimea in the second half of 2016.
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