Writers and journalists will stand up for political prisoners as part of human rights campaign

Published: 01.12.2021,  Views: 253

PEN Ukraine and the ZMINA Human Rights Centre, together with well-known Ukrainian writers and journalists, launch a program of authors as ambassadors in support of Ukrainian prisoners of the Kremlin #SolidarityWords.

As part of the program, 13 writers and journalists, members of PEN Ukraine, will become public ambassadors of 13 political prisoners-journalists. Viktoria Amelina, Myroslava Barchuk, Olha Herasymyuk, Larysa Denysenko, Irena Karpa, Andriy Kurkov, Yuriy Makarov, Myroslav Marynovych, Vitaliy Portnikov, Iryna Slavinska, Ostap Slyvynsky, Maryana Savka, and Iryna Tsilyk joined the program.

Ukrainian authors will support political journalists Osman Arifmemetov, Marlen (Suleyman) Asanov, Asan Akhtemov, Remzi Bekirov, Oleksiy Bessarabov, Vladyslav Yesypenko, Tymur Ibrahimov, Server Mustafayev, Seyran Saliyev, Amet Suleymanov, Ruslan Suleymanov, Rustem Sheykhaliyev, and Nariman Dzhelial, the First Deputy Chairman of the Mejlis of Crimean Tatar People, a former journalist. All of them are in prisons or under house arrests within trumped-up political cases in the Russian Federation and in the temporarily occupied Crimea.

The ambassadors will call for the release of political prisoners and talk about their cases in publications, interviews and at public events in Ukraine and abroad.

The solidarity program aims to draw attention to the situation of Ukrainians imprisoned by the Kremlin and to promote international pressure on Russia to release them. The prisoners are also supported by participants in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ international mentoring program for political prisoners, the Prisoners Voice campaign of the Center for Civil Liberties, and the Crimean Tatar Resource Center’s Atalik (Godfather) international program.

Currently, 127 Ukrainian citizens, including 89 Crimean Tatars, stay in prisons or under house arrest in Russia and the temporarily occupied Crimea for political reasons. Moreover, at least 300 Ukrainians are imprisoned in the temporarily occupied territories in Donetsk and Luhansk regions.