The bishop of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, Metropolitan Klyment (Kushch) of Simferopol and Crimea, who was admitted to the trial by a Russian occupation court as a public defender for Vladyslav Yesypenko, a freelancer journalist arrested in Crimea, recently visited the journalist in a Simferopol-based detention center.
During the meeting, the hierarch supported the held journalist with prayer and spiritual advice. Vladyslav Yesypenko, in turn, expressed gratitude to all who are aware of him, support him, and fight for his release.
Yesypenko congratulated Oleh Sentsov on the completion of his latest movie Rhino and wished him success in working on new films.
After the meeting, Metropolitan Klyment (Kushch) noted that Yesypenko’s health remained in satisfactory condition. The bishop asked everyone who cares about the fate of Russia prisoners to join in the prayer: “Let us take this burden on our shoulders and alleviate their suffering,” the Metropolitan said, according to the Voice of Crimea.
Journalist Vladyslav Yesypenko was detained on March 10, 2021, shortly after he attended a rally dedicated to Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko’s Birthday in Simferopol.
The FSB accused the correspondent of “espionage in favor of Ukraine.”
The FSB claims that during a search of Vladyslav Yesypenko’s car, an “improvised explosive device” was seized, which the detainee allegedly kept “for his own safety.”
The Foreign Intelligence Service of Ukraine said the detention was a propaganda stunt through which the occupying authorities were trying to create an appropriate background for the anniversary of the occupation.
On March 18, the United States condemned the arrest of journalist Yesypenko. The U.S. Embassy in Ukraine Crimea has referred to the arrest of the Radio Svoboda freelance journo as politically motivated.
In April this year, during a hearing of lawyers’ complaints about the correspondent’s arrest, Vladyslav Yesypenko told the court he had been tortured for two days following his detention.
On July 6, the occupiers extended the reporter’s term in custody until December 18 this year.