17:12 18.07.2013

Foreign Ministry: Ukrainian journalist Shariy detained in Amsterdam, still held at airport

2 min read

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has confirmed the arrest of Ukrainian journalist Anatoliy Shariy in Amsterdam.

"I can confirm that. According to the Ukrainian Embassy in the Netherlands, which received a report from Amsterdam police, Ukrainian citizen Anatoliy Shariy was detained in Amsterdam on July 16 due to the fact that he is wanted in Ukraine," the director of the ministry's information policy department, Yevhen Perebyinis, told Interfax-Ukraine on Thursday.

"Shariy has currently been detained, and he is at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport. Our consul is now trying to establish contact with him in order to give him consular legal aid," he added.

Meanwhile, the Lithuanian Foreign ministry and the Lithuanian Embassy to the Netherlands are checking the reasons for detaining Shariy. A Dutch court will decide whether the journalist should be extradited to Ukraine, the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry told BNS on Thursday.

"All information will be submitted to the court," the ministry said.

Earlier, Ukrainian media, citing Shariy's friend, Olha Bondarenko, said that the journalist had been arrested in the Netherlands. Shariy was granted refugee status in Lithuania, but Lithuania cannot protect the journalist, as he was detained in another country.

Shariy received refugee status after he said in court that Ukrainian law enforcement agencies were persecuting him after high-profile materials on pharmacies that sell drugs, and casinos that operate under the cover of the Interior Ministry. According to the media, two criminal cases were opened against Shariy – on counts of "hooliganism" and "a deliberately false report of a crime with the artificial creation of the evidence of charges."

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