Release Imprisoned Journalist Kirill Vyshinsky
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Who is Kirill Vyshinsky?
Kirill Vyshinsky, a Ukrainian-Russian journalist, has been imprisoned in Ukraine for over 250 days, on unfound charges of ‘treason,’ which human rights groups are calling, politically motivated, and faces up to 15 years in prison.
Kirill’s detainment has drawn condemnation from authorities and human rights activists within Ukraine and from international organizations including Reporters without Borders, and the Council of Europe, labeling Kirill’s arrest as a ‘gross abuse of democratic norms’.
“I hope that Kirill Vyshinsky’s pre-trial detention will not be further extended and will therefore end on 4 November 2018,” Harlem Désir of the OSCE (Organization of Security and Co-operation in Europe) said. “I call on the Ukrainian authorities to expedite the investigation on the serious charges brought against Vyshinsky, and to conduct such an investigation in full compliance with the principles of rule of law, necessity and proportionality.”
On May 15, 2018, the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) carried out a massive operation against journalists, having forcefully searched the Ukrainian-based RIA Novosti’s central office in Kiev, including its correspondents’ homes, and arrest of it’s editor-in-chief, Kirill Vyshinsky.
On July 11, the court in Kherson, Ukraine extended Kirill’s imprisonment by 60 days without bail, and is currently being held captive, as his health is rapidly deteriorating.
As of November 1, the Kherson city court has extended the arrest of Kirill until December 28, without a legitimate trial and without right to bail.
Since his arrest in May, Kirill’s case has stalled and Ukrainian prosecutors continue to ignore calls to free him from detention.
Why Kirill's Case Is Important:
Kirill’s arrest has been part of a disturbing trend of silencing journalists who are either critical of their government’s actions, or unearthing deep-rooted corruption among state officials.
The latest victims of such barbaric treatment have been the rape and murder of Bulgarian journalist Victoria Marinova, who at the time was investigating EU corruption, and more recently, Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, whose body was allegedly mutilated after being murdered by Saudi agents in Istanbul - both cases have been receiving unprecedented international attention.
These acts cannot be ignored, and the world is taking notice, that such behavior towards journalists will not be tolerated.
What kind of a world would we be living in if state officials find it acceptable to label journalistic work as treasonous? Or will the US stand idly by as its allies deem free speech and truth to be treason? How many journalists are to be locked-up or even worse, killed, before democratic values are upheld?
What You Can Do:
We call on the President of the United States, Donald Trump, and the US government to demand the Ukrainian authorities to release Kirill immediately and to end his illegal detention.
At 100,000 signatures, this petition will get a response from the US government.
Sign this petition and share it with your friends and colleagues, join the group, and demand your representative take action to defend the rule of law - and help return Kirill to his loved ones. The truth can never be silenced. The time to act is now. #TruthNotTreason
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