Jailed journalist Mykola Semena, contributor to RFE/RL’s Krym.Realii (Crimea.Realities) website, was honored as the 2016 recipient of the prestigious Igor Lyubchenko Press Freedom Award presented annually by the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine (NUJU). His candidacy was put forth by the Donetsk regional chapter of NUJU and supported by the national award committee.
Semena was charged in April 2016 under the Russian criminal code for allegedly violating Russia’s territorial integrity after he wrote an article expressing the view that Crimea, annexed by Moscow in 2014, should be returned to Ukraine. NUJU has repeatedly drawn the attention of international organizations and Russian authorities to the issue of Nicholas Semena, who is under house arrest.
“Our colleague [Semana] is one of those who, despite pressure and even threat to life, would not betray our profession,” said Sergey Tomilenko. “So it is a really deserved award.”
This is the fifth time the Igor Lyubchenko Press Freedom Award has been presented. The announcement was made on November 3rd, the birthday of the award’s namesake.
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