Sergey Belous missing in Donetsk, sign the petition

Sergey BelousURGENT, my good friend Sergey Belous has been missing in Ukraine while doing his job as a journalist.

On Aug. 1, at 2100h, Sergey, together with his colleagues Roman Gnatyuk and Sergey Boyko, were arrested at a check point manned by close to Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine. As of Aug. 3, we know that Sergey was alive and in captivity by the Ukrainian national guard. Even if the Ukrainian government may not like what they write, Ukrainian authorities should not prevent the work of journalists. If anyone needs to get in touch with me, I am available 24 a day on my Serbian mobile +381 628 406 604.

On Monday afternoon I called the Ukrainian embassy in Oslo at +47 22 83 55 60, but they just laughed of my concern. If you are reporting something different than what the Kiev government likes, you do not have any rights. However, Sergey is a Ukrainian citizen, and even if the government in Kiev does not like his opinion, that is not a reason to arrest him. His life can be in danger now.

Please sign this petition to demand the immediate release of these three young men!

When you sign this petition, a letter of protest will automatically be sent to the Ukrainian embassies in the USA, United Kingdom, France, Norway, Croatia and Serbia.

Ukrainian Sergey Belous, Roman Gnatyuk and Sergey Boyko are being held by the Ukrainian government for doing their jobs as journalists. They must be released immediately.

Ukrainian Sergey Belous, Roman Gnatyuk and Sergey Boyko are being held by the Ukrainian government for doing their jobs as journalists. They must be released immediately.

I do not know Roman Gnatyuk and Sergey Boyko yet, but I can tell you that Sergey is a journalist with integrity, and even if he covers the news from a Russian perspective, he is not afraid to criticize Russians as well. I am privileged to have Sergey as my friend.

Here is what Canadian journalist John Bosnitch wrote on Facebook:

Call the Ukrainian embassy wherever you are, to demand the release of Sergey Belous, Belgrade-based journalist of ethnic Russian Ukrainian origin who has been seized by Ukrainian “National Guard” troops who are attacking their fellow citizens in Eastern Ukraine. Sergey is the most honest, open and professional journalist covering this conflict.

And here is some of what our friend Stephan Karganović wrote about Sergey:

OMINOUS DISAPPEARANCE OF UKRAINIAN PUBLICIST SERGEY BELOUS NEAR DONETSK

Sergey Belous, M. A. in history, a native of Kharkov, Ukraine, disappeared late in the evening on Friday, August 2, 2014, shortly after crossing the border from Russia into Ukraine.

Sergey Belous has been residing in Belgrade, Serbia, since September 2013. He arrived in Belgrade before current unrest began in the Ukraine with the intention of collecting data for his doctoral dissertation on the internationalization of the Kosovo issue in the 1990s. Civil disorder in the Ukraine disrupted his plans to return to his homeland.

From Belgrade, Sergey wrote a number of analytical articles for Belgrade weekly “Pečat” and other publications. As part of his academic research he visited Kosovo and Metohija on numerous occasions.

Immediately after the February 22, 2014 coup in Kiev the third secretary of the Ukrainian Embassy in Belgrade revealed to Sergey that he had been a secret member of the pro-nazi Right Sector for some time, and he warned Sergey threateningly that the embassy was following his journalistic activities closely and “keeping an eye” on him.

Sergey has been in Donetsk, on territory under the control of local Russian friendly rebels for the last month and has been travelling frequently from there to the Russian Federation and back.

The disappearance of Sergey Belous, last seen in the proximity of a Ukrainian government checkpoint on the territory of the Donetsk Republic on Friday evening, August 2, raises extraordinary concern. Similarly to British journalist Graham Phillips, who was working for “Russia Today,” and whose objective reporting caused immense distress to the Kiev government, Sergey Belous is now also in grave danger.

Ukrainian military forces captured Phillips twice during the last several months but were compelled on both occasions to release him due to an international outcry and negative publicity. You can read more details about this in the article RT contributor’s ordeal in Ukraine: Arrested, blindfolded, no guarantee of living. It is now necessary to help Sergey Belous by using identical methods.

We urge you to contact the Embassy of Ukraine nearest to you [a partial list and contact information are below for your convenience] to demand categorically that the condition of Ukrainian citizen Sergey Belous be promptly clarified and that he be set free without delay if he has been detained, as suspected, by forces under Ukrainian government control. If you have media influence or connections of any sort, we urge you to disseminate the news of Sergey Belous’ disappearance in Eastern Ukraine as widely as possible and to encourage the public to express active concern in relation to his case.

Ukrainian diplomatic missions

Embassy of Ukraine, London, UK
Ambassador: Andrii Kuzmenko
Address: 60 Holland Park, London W11 3SJ.
Phone: 00 44 207 727 63 12
Fax: 00 44 207 702 17 08
Email: emb_gb@mfa.gov.ua

Embassy of Ukraine, Washington D.C., USA

Ambassador: Olexander Motsyk

Address: 3350 M Street N.W., Washington D.C., 20007, USA.
Phone: + 1 (202) 349 2920 (main), + 1 (202) 349 3376 (consular section)
Fax: +1 (202) 333-0817
Email: emb_us@mfa.gov.ua

Embassy of Ukraine, Paris, France

Ambassador: Oleg Kobzistiy

Address: 21, avenue de Saxe, 75007 Paris.
Phone: +331 43 06 07 37
Fax: + 33 (0) 1 43 06 02 94
Email: ambassade-ukraine@wanadoo.fr

Embassy of Ukraine, Belgrade, Serbia

Address:  4, Paje Adamova St. Belgrade, The Republic of Serbia
Phone:  (00 381 11) 367 24 11, (00 381 11) 367 24 12
Fax:  (00 381 11) 367 24 13
Email:  emb_sm@mfa.gov.ua

Embassy of Ukraine, Zagreb, Croatia

[Ukrainian embassy in Zagreb, Croatia, also covers Bosnia and Herzegovina]

Address: Voćarska cesta 52, Zagreb, 10 000 Croatia
Phone+385-1-4616296
Fax+385-1-4633726
Email:   emb_hr@mfa.gov.ua, ukremb@zg.t-com.hr

An English translation of the article from vesti.ua, В зоне АТО пропали трое украинских журналистов. Thank you very much to Rachel Ruvarac for the translation:

Three journalists disappeared in the ATO zone: Roman Gnatyuk from Kiev, a stringer from the 112 Ukraine TV channel, Antratsit resident Sergey Boyko, a freelancer, and also Sergey Belous of Kharkov, who writes for the Serbian publication Pečat. 

According to Vesti, on August 1st the three men were returning from Uspenka and were crossing the border. They had spent about two weeks in the Lugansk People’s Republic and Donetsk People’s Republic where they were recording events from within. According to our information, Gnatyuk crossed the Russian border – he visited Rostov. He was preparinga story on the life of refugees there from the Donbas region.

According to unconfirmed information, it is possible that they were seized by state security forces of Ukraine. 

At the moment 112.ua says that contact has been lost with Roman Gnatyuk since July 31st. The site says that he was fulfilling an editorial assignment and was on his way to the site of the Malaysian Airlines flight crash to record the work of OSCE experts.

The television channel’s management has already contact the Council for the National Security and Defense of Ukraine for help in searching for their correspondent. 

The head of the info center of the Council, Andrei Lysenko, asked for information about the journalists and took responsibility for the task. According to his words, it could be that contact was lost with Gnatyuk because his phone battery died.

Vesti tried calling all three journalists’ mobie phones, and all phones were turned off.