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British journalist detained in Mariupol could be taken to Kiev

May 21, 2014, 8:48 UTC+3 MOSCOW
National Guard troopers detained Graham Phillips, a stringer for Russia's RT channel, when he was leaving Mariupol
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MOSCOW, May 21. /ITAR-TASS/. British journalist Graham Phillips, who worked for the RT television channel, and who was detained by Ukrainian security forces in Mariupol, could be taken to Kiev, RT reported on its website on Wednesday, referring to an informed source.

According to data available to the television channel, National Guard (NG) troopers detained Phillips when he was leaving Mariupol. NG members demanded that the journalist erase his video recordings and hand in the bullet-proof vest and the helmet. After he refused to do that, the NG members turned the detainee over to the personnel of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) who confiscated his video filming equipment, a phone, and decided to send Phillips to the capital.

That Phillips was detained became known on Tuesday. Contact with him was lost. RT points out that that was preceded by calls to detain the journalist. The calls were circulated by internet activists of the Euromaidan who accused the Briton of assisting federalization supporters and of spreading "misinformation".

Reports about victimization of journalists by security forces loyal to Kiev were repeatedly coming from Ukraine's south-east earlier. Thus, on May 18, NG troopers detained LifeNews staff members Oleg Sidyakin and Marat Saichenko. Subsequently, Viktoria Syumar, Deputy Secretary of Ukraine's National Security and Defence Council, accused them of assisting "terrorists". On May 20 Anatoly Suleimanov, Chief Editors of LifeNews, told ITAR-TASS that his detained colleagues had been brought to the SBU Directorate in Kiev.

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