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Ukrainian authorities ignore call of US State Department to free LifeNews reporters

May 22, 2014, 14:33 UTC+3 22 22/5
The US Department of State, the Russian Foreign Ministry and the Human Rights Watch organization demanded from Kiev to free the reporters
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© AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic

MOSCOW, May 22 ./ITAR-TASS./Ukrainian authorities ignored the call of the US Department of State to free LifeNews journalists detained by National Guards servicemen near Kramatorsk, LifeNews director-general Ashot Gabrelyanov told ITAR-TASS on Thursday.

"Yesterday, the United States urged the Ukrainian government to free our journalists, but we have not seen any reaction. Our guys are still there, and nobody knows what is happening to them now," he said.

On Wednesday, the official spokesperson for the US Department of State, Jen Psaki, told reporters that they urged the Ukrainian government to investigate the incidents and free the people if they were legal journalists and were not involved in illegal activities.

Gabrelyanov noted the Russian Foreign Ministry also had made several statements condemning the detention of reporters. All steps were taken on the highest level, but there was no response from the Kiev authorities, he said.

On Wednesday, the Human Rights Watch organization also demanded from Ukraine's authorities to immediately free the reporters and explain why they were detained.

Last week, servicemen of the Ukrainian National Guards detained LifeNews journalists Oleg Sidyakin and Marat Saichenko near Kramatorsk, the Donetsk region. The last contact with the reporters was on Sunday, May 18, in the daytime. Later, a deputy secretary of the Ukrainian National Security and Defence Council accused them as accomplices of terrorists.

On May 21, a video address of Marat Saichenko appeared in the Internet. The television channel does not rule out Saichenko was under pressure when it was recorded.

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