14:25 17.07.2017

Ukrainian blogger Aseyev detained in Donbas

The self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic has confirmed that Ukrainian blogger and journalist Stanyslav Aseyev (Vasin), who went missing in Donetsk in early June, has been detained and is held by the DPR authorities, Yehor Firsov, former Verkhovna Rada member, said.

"The DPR State Security Ministry has officially confirmed that he has been detained, Stas' [Stanyslav's] mother has been given a written confirmation. He is charged with espionage," Firsov said on Facebook on Sunday.

He said Aseyev's mother was allowed a meeting with her son.

Interfax-Ukraine does not have comments from the DPR.

According to earlier reports, Aseyev, who lives in the territory of Donbas uncontrolled by Kyiv, was published in Ukrainian media under the nickname Stanyslav Vasin. According to ZN.UA, the last time Aseyev made contact was on June 2.

On June 11, the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine asked the international missions to find out the circumstances under which Aseyev went missing in Donetsk.

The National Union of Journalists of Ukraine has asked the Office of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media in Vienna for OSCE SMM officials to learn about the situation in Donetsk. The union also sent a letter to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) asking it to meet with the mother of the missing colleague and find out what help he needs.

Serhiy Tomilenko, the head of the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine, said this was done because international missions can address "those who now control the situation in Donetsk" directly to receive accurate information that will help decide on the next steps. Specifically, the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine hopes to learn where Aseyev is and, if he is under arrest, what the charges against him are, whether he has access to a lawyer.

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