Huzhva issues statement of ezine Strana.ua to ambassadors of G7, EU presidency
Journalists from the ezine Strana.ua have issued a statement addressed to the ambassadors in Ukraine of G7 countries and the EU presidency regarding pressure on them from Ukrainian government officials.
Strana.ua Editor-in-chief Ihor Huzhva and his deputy Svetlana Kriukova read the statement during a press conference in Kyiv on Monday.
"Pressure is being put on appeals court judges in order that they adopt harsher measures involving pretrial confinement for Huzhva. New criminal cases are being opened. They want to close us, destroy us and create a precedent for the journalist community. They want to force journalist to fear the authorities," the statement says.
"We are not fighting not just for the existence of our ezine, but for freedom of speech in Ukraine. If the authorities are able to destroy us, pressure will grow on other Ukrainian media," the statement says.
As earlier reported, Huzhva was arrested in Kyiv on Thursday, June 22, 2017.
According to Ukraine's Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko, Huzhva demanded $10,000 in exchange for not publishing compromising material on a politician. According to the PGO, photographic and video evidence backs up charges of impropriety. Dmytro Linko, a Verkhovna Rada deputy from the Radical Party faction, confirmed on Friday morning that Huzhva had demanded money from him.
The same day, the Kyiv city prosecutor's office reported that Huzhva and his mediator had been detained on suspicion of large-scale extortion under Article 189, part 3, of the Criminal court of Ukraine.
On June 24, Kyiv's Shevchenkivsky District Court chose a preventive measure for Huzhva and placed him in custody for two months with an option of a bail in the amount of UAH 544,000.
Huzhva has been summoned by prosecutors for questioning on July 19 about shootings on Independence Square during the Revolution of Dignity during February 2014.