Armed militants detained journalist Serhiy Lefter in Sloviansk on April 16, reports Ukrainska Pravda, citing sources of the Open Dialogue Fund.
Lefter is an independent observer-journalist of the Open Dialogue Fund, who arrived in Sloviansk on April 14 to report from the scene, the Fund statement says. The militants allegedly accused him of involvement with the Right Sector and espionage.
“According to the latest reports, Serhiy Lefter is currently located in the basement of the municipal department of the Security Service (SBU) building on Karl Marx street, where he was transferred from the city council building. The journalist’s physical condition is unknown,” the Fund says.
The organization is urging representatives of the UN and the OSCE to recognize that the responsibility for the kidnapping of the journalist lies with the Russian Federation.
“Russia is preventing the collection and publication of objective information about events in Eastern Ukraine, which explains its persecution of independent journalists. Meanwhile, the aggressive Russian propaganda continues to spread false information in the region and around the world, which results in the escalation and deepening of conflict between Ukraine and Russia,” the organization concludes.
Earlier, the mayor of Sloviansk, Nela Shtepa, announced that militants had taken hostages.