Conflicts & War

Reporters without Borders denounces torture of journalist by Russian forces

Paris, Mar 22 (EFE).- Reporters Without Borders (RSF) on Tuesday alleged that a Ukrainian fixer was tortured by Russian forces, saying his testimony will be included in the suit filed against Russia at the International Criminal Court.

The fixer, given the name Nikita to conceal his identity, was arrested on March 5 and released eight days later.

He was working with a team of journalists from Radio France when he left to check on his family in a town in central Ukraine and fell into a Russian ambush, according to his statements, verified by the RSF.

A group of soldiers opened fire on the car he was riding, and while he was speeding up to flee, he crashed into a tree. He kept shouting he was a civilian, but the soldiers still beat him.

According to Nikita’s account, he was tortured for nine days as the Russian soldiers thought he was a spy disguised as a fixer.

Nikita suffered blows to his body and face, as well as rifle butts, and was thrown into a pit next to a dead dog.

The Ukrainian offering translation services for foreign reporters spent five days tied to a tree while being interrogated and was forced to sign a letter of support for the Russian army and the invasion of Ukraine.

On March 10, he and two other people who were also detained were transferred from the house they had been held into another, where there was already another prisoner.

The group was released on March 13, although the whereabouts of one of them remains unknown.

Nikita was freed in a forest and after running away he managed to get into a car of Ukrainian civilians, RSF said.

He still has bruises on his body and head, a swollen leg, and difficulty with moving his hands.

“Nikita has given us a chilling testimony that confirms the intensity of the war crimes perpetrated by the Russian army against journalists,” RSF secretary-general Christophe Deloire said.

“Passing his testimony on to the ICC prosecutor is the least we can do for this courageous young fixer,” he added. EFE


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