A Ukrainian journalist imprisoned in Crimea will be honored next month at the PEN America gala.
Vladyslav Yesypenko, arrested last year and sentenced recently to six years in a Russian labor camp for alleged possession and transport of explosives, is this year's recipient of the PEN/Barbey Freedom to Write Award. Yesypenko is a freelance correspondent for a Crimean radio program and news source run by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.
PEN America announces Vladyslav Yesypenko, a Ukrainian journalist sentenced to 6 years in a labor colony on spurious espionage charges in Russian-Occupied Crimea, as recipient of the 2022 PEN/Barbey Freedom to Write Award. #FreeYesypenko #FreedomToWrite https://t.co/YoUK46HGrq pic.twitter.com/rIpxmTF8wX— PEN America (@PENamerica) April 19, 2022
He has denied the allegations and said he confessed after being tortured and threatened with death. He was arrested in March 2021 by Russia's Federal Security Service.
Suzanne Nossel, CEO of the literary and human rights organization said, “Since February, the horrors of Russia’s war on Ukraine have been laid bare for all the world to see. But Russia’s campaign to suffocate Ukraine dates back much further, and intensified in 2014 with the illegal occupation of the Crimean peninsula."