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11 Aug, 2014 11:22

Russian journalist’s kidnapping sparks multiple investigations, Kiev stays silent

Russian journalist’s kidnapping sparks multiple investigations, Kiev stays silent

Reactions to the alleged kidnapping of Russian journalist, Andrey Stenin, in eastern Ukraine now include the UN and the EU, as multiple investigations are underway. Back home, Russia’s human rights council, as well as HRW, has condemned the disappearance.

An anonymous official with the EU has expressed the region-state’s concerns for the Rossiya Segodnya journalist, telling RIA Novosti that “a delegation in Kiev has been briefed on the situation and are standing by if any help is required in the investigation. We are gravely concerned for the safety of journalists, who work in extremely tough conditions in war zones… we will do our best to help.”

Deputy spokesman for the UN Secretary General, Farhan Haq, also told RIA Novosti on Monday that "we don't have anything specific to say beyond expressing the hope that he will be found and will be safe."

This happened as the Twitter campaign to free the 33-year-old continues and a number of investigations are underway.
Russia’s human rights council is also weighing in, with member and political expert, Nikolay Svanidze, issuing a condemnation of Stenin’s disappearance.

“It’s a hopeless situation when journalists fall victim to politics and relationships between governments – it is absolutely inexcusable,” he told the press.

#FreeAndrew: HRW demands justice for Russian journalist missing in E. Ukraine

On Sunday, the Human Rights Watch program director for Russia also condemned rights violations on the media, calling Ukraine “a snare for journalists.”

As Svanidze spoke, the Russian embassy in Kiev has urged the Foreign Ministry in Kiev to do their utmost to resolve this situation.

Visitors at the open-air exhibition of Andrey Stenin's wartime photography (RIA Novosti/Vladimir Astapkovich)

“We have filed a request with the MFA in Ukraine. Unfortunately, we’ve yet to receive a reply,” RIA Novosti was told.
There are several ongoing investigations into the matter.

Russia’s Public Chamber is also planning to apply to the UN, the Council of Europe, the OSCE (which is already looking into the matter) and international rights groups over the issue to seek efficient protection for journalists in conflict zones.

The 33-year-old journalist is an experienced war photo-correspondent. In the past several months he has covered events in the cities of Donetsk, Slavyansk and other areas in eastern Ukraine.