Update: Ms. Kokorina was released after a six-hour detention by the Federal Security Bureau. The Committee to Protect Journalists reports she faces “anti-state charges” in connection with an October 2014 article allegedly calling for an end to the Russian takeover of Crimea.
FSB agents searched the homes of the parents of Kokorina and another CCIJ editor, Anna Andriyevskaya. In March 2014, as Russian troops poured into Crimea, masked gunmen broke into the CCIJ’s offices, prompting most of the staff to relocate to western Ukraine.
The Global Investigative Journalism Network joins OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović in calling for the immediate release of Natalya Kokorina, an editor with GIJN member Crimean Centre for Investigative Journalism. Ms. Kokorina was detained today by authorities in Crimea. As the OSCE’s Mijatovic wrote, “This detention is a reminder of the ongoing practice of the de facto authorities in Crimea to intimidate and persecute independent media representatives for their work.”
Below is the full statement from the OSCE:
VIENNA, 13 March 2015 – OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović condemned the intimidation of independent journalists in Crimea following the detention today of Natalya Kokorina, a journalist and editor with the news portal Crimean Centre for Investigative Journalism.
“This detention is a reminder of the ongoing practice of the de facto authorities in Crimea to intimidate and persecute independent media representatives for their work,” Mijatović said.
According to reports, Kokorina was detained by Federal Security Service agents that were searching her parents’ apartment in Simferopol. Kokorina was not allowed legal help during the search and detention, nor given reasons for these restrictive measures.
“I call on the de facto authorities in Crimea to immediately release Kokorina,” Mijatović said.
FSB agents also searched the apartment of the parents of Anna Andriyevskaya, the former editor of the news portal. The search was reportedly conducted in relation to one of Andriyevskaya’s articles published by the news portal. Her father’s computer was seized.
“The repression of free media and independent voices we witness in Crimea is nothing short of a fundamental violation of basic human rights,” Mijatović said.
The Representative’s statements on the media freedom situation in Crimea are available at www.osce.org/fom/143841.
The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media observes media developments in all 57 participating states of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. She provides early warning on violations of freedom of expression and media freedom and promotes full compliance with OSCE media freedom commitments. Learn more at www.osce.org/fom, Twitter: @OSCE_RFoM and on www.facebook.com/osce.rfom.