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OSCE Expresses Concern Over Russia's List Of 'Terrorists, Extremists' 

  • RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service

Mykola Semena, a contributor to a news site about Crimea that is run by RFE/RL, is included on the list.

Mykola Semena, a contributor to a news site about Crimea that is run by RFE/RL, is included on the list.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has expressed concern over the decision by Russian authorities to publish what they called an updated "list of terrorists and extremists," which includes journalists and activists.

"Publishing this list could put the journalists at risk and jeopardize their safety," said OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatovic.

"It's the government's responsibility to ensure journalists' safety; it should not put them in harm's way based on state prosecutors' suspicions under an antiextremism law," Mijatovic said in a statement on July 12.

Nenad Pejic, vice president and editor in chief of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), said in Prague on July 13 that "Russian officials are targeting journalists and activists for their journalism -- for reporting honestly on developments in Crimea independent of the Kremlin's orders."

Authorities in Moscow have listed 22 people who were born on Ukraine's Crimea Peninsula as "terrorists and extremists."

The list, published on July 12 by Russia's Federal Financial Monitoring Service (Rosfinmonitoring), includes journalists, civil activists, and political prisoners who have criticized Moscow's occupation and illegal annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region.

Among those named is Mykola Semena, a contributor to Krym.Realii (Crimea.Realities), a news site run by RFE/RL.

In April, Semena was charged by Crimean officials with using his journalism to make calls for separatism.

Russia, which illegally annexed Crimea in 2014, has banned as "extremist" or "separatist" any description of Crimea as a continued part of Ukrainian territory.

The list also includes Anna Andriyevska, a Crimean investigative journalist who now works in Kyiv as a staff reporter for Krym.Realii.

Prior to joining RFE/RL, she was investigated by Russian security services for extremist content in her work.

The list also named several Ukrainian prisoners held in Russia -- including Oleh Sentsov, Oleksandr Kolchenko, Oleksiy Chemiy, and the recently freed Hennadiy Afanasyev.

Rosfinmonitoring was created by a decree from President Vladimir Putin and reports directly to the Russian president.

The United States, the European Union, the OSCE, and international media rights groups have all expressed concern about a clampdown on independent journalists and activists in the Russian-occupied territory.

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