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It transpired on June 2 that the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) attempted to recruit RIA Novosti correspondent in Lithuania Irina Vysokovich, while she was in Kherson, Ukraine, to report on the trial of Kirill Vyshinsky, the head of RIA Novosti Ukraine who has been framed for treason.
Irina Vysokovich said that on June 1 several SBU officers approached her at the entrance to the court, ordered her to get into their car and took her to the SBU offices in Kherson. For the next few hours, they interrogated her about her professional activities and ultimately tried to recruit her by forcing her to sign a document pledging readiness to cooperate with the SBU and to provide information about RIA Novosti staff.
This is fresh evidence of the demise of freedom of expression in Ukraine. Direct pressure, intimidation, provocations by security services, threats of violence and bodily harm, as well as political trials are the forms of interaction between the Ukrainian authorities and the journalistic community.
We demand an immediate release and exoneration of Kirill Vyshinsky and expect an appropriate response from the relevant global organisations and the international community regarding the situation with Irina Vysokovich.
Building of the Russian Embassy in Kingston