freedom of speech

Vladyslav Yesypenko received the National Prize for the Protection of Freedom of Speech


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In 2022, the Ihor Lubchenko National Prize for the Protection of Freedom of Speech was awarded to the freelance journalist of Radio Liberty, Vladyslav Yesypenko, who is illegally imprisoned in the temporarily occupied Crimea. This was announced on the website of the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine.

“To award Vladyslav Yesypenko with the prize named after the long-time chairman of the Union of Journalists Ihor Lubchenko is a recognition of his contribution to the protection of freedom of speech, to the fight for democracy and free media”, emphasized Serhii Tomilenko, head of the NUJU.


He noted that Yesypenko has been illegally held in russian prisons for a year and a half, while he was detained without any reasons, brutally tortured, forced to make a fake ‘confession’ for television and subjected to a sham trial. “But even in captivity, the journalist did not resign and continued his work, writing articles for the ‘Krym.Realiyi’ project”, Tomilenko added.


“Radio Liberty president Jamie Fly noted that Vladyslav Yesypenko is one of those journalists who risked their own freedom in order to guarantee freedom of speech for Crimeans. Vladyslav did a very big thing: when all professional journalists were forced out of Crimea, when all independent TV channels were closed there, and Ukrainian journalists were banned from entering Crimea, he dared to come to Crimea and make truthful reports from there. This made it possible to ensure freedom of speech in the occupied Crimea, at least a little”, said Mykola Semena, a Crimean journalist and secretary of the NUJU.


Vladyslav Yesypenko is a freelance journalist for Radio Liberty who worked in the ‘Krym.Realiyi’ project and talked about the consequences of the russian occupation for the inhabitants of the peninsula, in particular for the Crimean Tatars. He was detained by russian fsb officers in Crimea on March 10, 2021 on charges of gathering information ‘for the benefit of the special services of Ukraine’ and storing an ‘improvised explosive device’ in a car. He also reported torture by Russian special services and death threats.


As is known, Yesypenko previously received the PEN America award.


Read also: Ukrainian journalists won five of 2022 Free Media Awards


Photo: Krym.Realiyi