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West reluctant to help Russia release LifeNews journalists — human rights ombudsman

May 23, 2014, 16:10 UTC+3 MOSCOW
LifeNews television channel journalists Oleg Sidyakin and Marat Saichenko were detained by Ukraine’s National Guard last week near the city of Kramatorsk
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Russian Foreign Ministry building in Moscow

Russian Foreign Ministry building in Moscow

© ITAR-TASS/Gennady Khamelyanin

MOSCOW, May 23. /ITAR-TASS/. Western help is absent in the bid to free Russian television journalists held by Ukraine's military, Foreign Ministry human rights ombudsman Konstantin Dolgov told the eminent of Russian society assembled for the Civic Chamber on Friday.

“There is no support from Western countries for our calls to use more efficiently the potential of the United Nations, the OSCE [Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe] and the Council of Europe for immediate release of our journalists from LifeNews,” Dolgov said.

“We will have to look into the circumstances of their detention and the methods used to influence them because there is evidence that torture was used against them by Right Sector radicals and other neo-Nazi groups.”

While Western partners seemed concerned about the problem of journalists’ safety, when there was a real need to save journalists’ lives, there was hardly any reaction and no help, he said.

LifeNews television channel journalists Oleg Sidyakin and Marat Saichenko were detained by Ukraine’s National Guard last week near the city of Kramatorsk, a major industrial and mechanical engineering centre in eastern Ukraine's Donetsk region.

Deputy Secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council Viktoria Syumar has accused them of instigating terrorism in the Donetsk region, claiming they were “members of terrorist groups”.

Members of Russia’s Civic Chamber, an assembly set up to promote co-ordination between national and local authorities and Russian citizens, turned on Wednesday to the United Nations and the OSCE with a request to investigate facts of war crime in Ukraine, including illegal detention of the two LifeNews journalists.

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