Detained RT contributor could be taken to Kiev for further interrogation
RT lost contact with its contributing journalist Graham Phillips over six hours ago after he was detained at a checkpoint in Mariupol earlier on Tuesday.
A source familiar with the incident said that security services confiscated the British journalist’s phone after he described his detention in a phone call with RT.
The National Guard was reportedly ready to release Phillips on condition that he deletes all the footage he recorded near the roadblock and turns over his body armor and helmet.
After the journalist refused to do so, his captors called Ukrainian Security Service who then confiscated his photo and video recording equipment and decided to send him to Kiev.
“I’m sitting at a blockade post in a portacabin. The dialogue is quite interrogation oriented,” Phillips earlier told RT in a phone call. “They’ve taken my bulletproof jacket and my helmet, but on the other hand they haven’t in any way inflicted any form of injury or any actions on my person,” he added before contact with him was lost.
Upon being contacted by RT, the UK Foreign Office said it was looking into Phillips' detention and "stands ready to provide consular assistance."
The British national's previous record of reporting for RT has already worked against him. Two weeks ago Ukrainian radicals put a bounty out on Phillips. The Right Sector reportedly offered $10,000 for the capture of “the Russian spy.”
Meanwhile, RT Arabic’s news crew who arrived in Kiev to cover the upcoming May 25 Ukrainian presidential election has not been allowed into the country and was sent back to Moscow under the pretext that they were unable to properly explain the purpose of their visit, despite being accredited by the Ukrainian Central Election Commission.