Freedom to Mykola Semena

We, the participants and guests of the 83rd PEN International Congress, are anxiously watching events in Russia-occupied Crimea. In particular, we are waiting for the court verdict (22.09.2017) against a journalist and Ukrainian PEN member, Mykola Semena, who was arrested in Crimea in 2016. He was charged with ‘violating the territorial integrity of Russia’ in connection to an article he published on the website Crime Realities, in which he called for a return of the peninsula to Ukraine, which has been annexed by Russia.

During his interrogation by the FSB, Semena sad that he had done nothing other than exercise his right to free expression. Semena, who suffers from serious health condition i currently imprisoned in Crimea.

The International and European Journalists’ Federation and the Office of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of Speech, urged the FSB of the Russian Federation to release Semena from Crimea for treatment but have been ignored.

We, the participants and guests of the 83rd PEN Congress, demand that Semena is allowed to receive the treatment he requires and is freed immediately.