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Amnesty Says Missing Ukrainian Blogger Held By Russia-Backed Separatists

Stanislav Vasin (Aseyev), a blogger and writer from Donetsk who contributes to RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service, was last heard from on June 2.

Amnesty International says it has information that a missing Ukrainian blogger is being held by pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine's eastern region of Donetsk.

In a July 12 statement, Amnesty said it had received information on July 8 from sources in the Donetsk region saying that Stanislav Aseyev is being held by the self-styled security organs of the Russia-backed separatists.

Aseyev, who writes under the name Stanislav Vasin and who contributes to RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service, disappeared in Donetsk on June 2.

The separatists who control some parts of the Donetsk region have repeatedly denied having any information regarding Aseyev.

But Amnesty said it was a common practice for the separatists to keep in custody people they suspect of disloyalty to what they call the Donetsk People's Republic or of "subversive" activities incommunicado while denying knowledge of their whereabouts.

Amnesty also said that Aseyev remained at risk of torture and other ill-treatment and called for immediate action to release him.

RFE/RL Editor in Chief Nenad Pejic said earlier that Aseyev's detention, if true, was "deeply alarming and lawless" and demanded his immediate release.

On June 12, Ukraine's National Union of Journalists asked the Special Monitoring Mission of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe for assistance in locating Aseyev.

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