Confirmed victory

Ask Ukrainian Authorities to make proper investigation regarding finding Serhij Lefter, an independent Ukrainian journalist and a voluntary observer of the Open Dialog Foundation

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We urge Mrs Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Mr Barrack Obama, the President of the United States of America and Mr José Manuel Barroso, the President of the European Commission to request Ukrainian Authorities to make proper investigation regarding whereabouts of Serhij Lefter, an independent Ukrainian journalist and a voluntary observer of the Open Dialog Foundation. 

Kiev, 17 April 2014 – Serhiy Lefter was last in contact with the Kyiv office of the foundation on Tuesday, 15 April, in the evening. There has been no contact with him since then, he doesn’t answer his phone and his whereabouts are unknown. The Open Dialog Foundation links the disappearance of Serhiy Lefter with the presence in Slovyansk of the armed terrorist groups from the Russian Federation.

The disappearance of Serhiy Lefter is yet another sign of aggression against journalistic environment. Russia has been successfully blocking any possibility to collect and publish independent information on the situation in Eastern Ukraine.

The persecution of independent journalists is a clear proof of such activity. At the same time, the Russian Federation continues to spread the heavy wave of aggressive propaganda, based on false information, aimed at deepening the conflict between Ukraine and Russia.

Serhiy Lefter is 24 years old and comes from Vinnytsia. He has been collaborating with the Open Dialog Foundation for a month now. He participated in a two-week observation mission to Crimea. In the recent days, he has been covering the developments of the situation in Eastern Ukraine: he was to Kramatorsk, Donetsk, Kharkiv and, from 14th April, he has been in Slovyansk.

The Open Dialog Foundation is highly concerned that kidnapping and detention of journalists in Eastern Ukraine may become a widespread practice, standing in the violation of basic human rights. We are strongly convinced that distributing objective and independent information on Russian actions in Eastern Ukraine among the international community may help bring the contemporary conflict between Ukraine and the Russian Federation to an end.

We ask Mrs Catherine Ashton, High Representative for the Union for Foreign Policy and Security, Mr Barrack Obama, the President of the United States of America and Mr José Manuel Barroso, the President of the European Commission, to request Ukrainian Authorities to make proper investigation regarding whereabouts of Serhij Lefter. 

Ukrainian Authorities react with delay and do not cooperate promptly neither with the Foundation nor with the family of Serhij.

The Open Dialog Foundation together with friends, and family of Serhij are very worried. 



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