Imprisoned journalist Yesypenko writes letter to Biden for releasing of all detained Crimeans

Crimean Tatars
Canan Kevser
22 October 2021, 12:58
Canan Kevser
22 October 2021, 12:58

Vladyslav Yesypenko, a journalist imprisoned by Russian occupiers in Crimea, appealed to U.S. President Joe Biden for the release of all political prisoners in Crimea.

Yesypenko's written appeal, dated October 12, was read publicly for the first time on October 21 at the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington.

Kateryna Yesypenko, the wife of Vladyslav Yesypenko has brought to Washington her husband's appeal calling on the U.S. president, government and U.S. Congress to increase pressure on Russia to release political prisoners.

"There can be no greater hell than being trapped in these four walls day after day, month after month, for half a year now, only allowed outside on command for a few breaths of fresh air and then back to your cell, helpless to change a thing," the Radio Liberty journalist wrote.

"The only thing that keeps us going is your profound understanding of Ukraine's situation and your stated intent to unite the democratic world against Russia's aggression and secure the release of Kremlin's political prisoners," the political prisoner said.

He called on Biden and members of Congress to send a "clear signal" to Russian President Vladimir Putin that "America stands with Ukraine."

Background

Yesypenko was detained in temporarily occupied Crimea on March 10. He was charged with illegally producing an explosive device. Russia's FSB claimed it had detained Yesypenko in order to prevent him from carrying out acts of sabotage in the interests of Ukrainian intelligence services.

The journalist was taken into custody on March 12. Lawyers were not allowed to see him for 27 days. Defense lawyer Alexei Ladin later stated that FSB investigators had not found Yesypenko's fingerprints on the explosive allegedly found in the journalist's car.

The prosecution demands that the Ukrainian be jailed for 18 years. Yesypenko said at a court hearing on September 6 that he had testified to the invaders under torture.