Journalist Muravitsky Set to Be Thrown in Jail: Ukraine’s Repressive Apparatus Claims Its Next Victim

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard

15:28:01
02/08/2017

politnavigator.net


In Zhitomir the Ukrainian secret police detained one of the best journalists of the city Vasily Muravitsky. From now the fact itself of publishing in the Russian media is declared as “high treason”.

If earlier for the implementation of the “plan on capturing separatists” the SBU invented mythical “separatist groups on social networks”, hundreds of “coordinators” of which were arrested and condemned for the last three years, then now Gritsak’s helpers simply accused the famous journalist of … performing his official duties.

Here is a fable of the SBU suspecting Vasily Muravitsky of “high treason”: “Since 2014 the journalist created tendentious publications by request of the leadership of the propagandist State Russian news agencies. He received topics for materials by mail or messenger, sometimes he chose them himself. The author’s articles of the journalist were published on six websites that were administered from Russia and temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine. At the beginning of his career the author used his real name, but later he started using pseudonyms”.

Such actions can be incriminated to hundreds, if not to thousands of journalists who prepared at least a small comment for Russian media! The lawyer and public figure Tatyana Montyan noticed that Muravitsky’s prosecution is very similar to the persecution of the Ukrainian journalist Ruslan Kotsaba.

Moreover, the SBU in its press release confirms that the detainee worked as a professional journalist: “Copies of the agreements concluded with the State news agencies of the Russian Federation on preparation of ordered articles, acts of delivery-acceptance of receipts of works on a fee, and bank cards on which money was transferred were also withdrawn by the malefactor. The fees were sent to him via international systems of online payment”.

Some strange “agent” he is: he received fees under official agreements, and I wouldn’t be surprised if taxes from them were paid to the Ukrainian budget?

“During the pre-judicial investigation linguistic, judicial and psychological analysis of texts of the journalist were carried out. They showed their manipulative influence on the consciousness of readers and the incitation of the audience to commit specific actions to the detriment of the sovereignty and independence of our State. According to expert opinion, the materials contain appeals to kindle national discord inside the country, and also between Ukraine and neighboring friendly states,” loudly declared the SBU.

In fact, everything is logical: in the country where it is possible to receive two and a half years of prison for reading Marx’s “Kapital”, more actual texts with descriptions of the social and economic realities of Ukraine are rather sufficient for “high treason”.

Moreover, not only from the point of view of “law enforcement authorities”, but from a considerable number of inhabitants, whose brains for the fourth year are being washed by Ukrainian propaganda instruments that are habitually called “means of mass media”.

However, the SBU obviously paid a compliment to most of the consumers of information in Ukraine, having written that Vasily Muravitsky’s texts have a “manipulative influence on the consciousness of readers” — this public finds itself in an unconscious condition if not since the autumn of 2013, then since February 2014 for sure.

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The special cynicism of the SBU’s actions lies in the fact that the Zhitomir journalist was detained five days after his son was born. I will emphasize: Vasily Muravitsky was detained because the suspicions presented to him (high treason, appeals to violate the territorial integrity of Ukraine, creation of a terrorist organization) don’t provide another measure of restraint except detention.

That’s why in the upcoming days the court will put the journalist behind bars, where he will be kept in intolerable conditions, and not just without court proceedings, but also without any investigative actions. For example, the Kiev journalists Vasilets and Timonin already for over a year have suffered in the Berdichevsky pre-trial detention center of the Zhitomir region, and the only court sessions that took place with their participation were about the extension of the term of detention. And they are accused of… setting up a YouTube channel for one of the media agencies of Donetsk in 2014.

As Vasily Muravitsky is a rather well-known journalist, his case immediately attracted the interest of international human rights structures.

As the member of the Union of journalists of Finland Oksana Chelysheva noted, the OSCE was already informed about the next fact of the violation of freedom of speech and repressions against journalists in Ukraine.

The situation is an obvious challenge for the newly elected representative of the OSCE concerning freedom of mass media Harlem Désir, who on the day of the murder of Pavel Sheremet sent an appeal to the Ukrainian authorities “to do everything possible to put an end to the impunity of attacks and murders of journalists”.

Whether he will decide to tell the truth — that the main threat for journalists in Ukraine is the ruling regime of this country — is difficult to predict.

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