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Ukraine Calls For International Support For Journalists Held By Russia 

Ukrainian journalists Mykola Semena (left) and Roman Sushchenko (file phioto)
Ukrainian journalists Mykola Semena (left) and Roman Sushchenko (file phioto)

Lawmakers in Ukraine have called on parliaments across the world to help defend the rights of two Ukrainian journalists held in Moscow and the Crimean Peninsula

Ukraine’s parliament approved on October 5 a statement urging lawmakers, including in the European Union, United States, Canada, and Japan, to help provide legal support to Mykola Semena and Roman Sushchenko.

Sushchenko, a Paris-based correspondent with Ukraine's Ukrinform news agency, was detained in Moscow on September 30 and later charged with espionage.

Sushchenko's lawyers say the charge against their client is trumped-up, adding that Sushchenko arrived in Moscow to visit his relatives.

Semena, a contributor to RFE/RL's Crimean news website, Krym.Realii (Crimea Realities), was charged in April with calling for separatism.

Pro-Russian authorities in Crimea are not allowing Semena to leave the Russia-annexed peninsula while investigations against him are underway.

In New York, the Committee to Protect Journalists called on Russia to release Sushchenko and to "cease punishing Ukrainian journalists for tensions between the governments of Russia and Ukraine."

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

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