Two journalists still held hostage in Sloviansk after two others freed

Reporters Without Borders is very relieved to learn that Artem Deynega, a netizen, and Sergei Lefter, a journalist who had been acting as an observer for the Open Dialogue Foundation, an NGO, were released in Sloviansk on 6 May after being held hostage by pro-Russian militiamen for more than three weeks.

Deynega was abducted on 13 April after installing a web camera on the balcony of his Sloviansk apartment. Lefter was arrested near Sloviansk on 15 April as he was leaving the city. He has said he was hit during an interrogation session.

Two other journalists are still being held hostage in Sloviansk. They are Serhiy Shapoval of the Volin’Post news website and Yuri Leliavski, a reporter for ZIK (West News Union), a Ukrainian TV station.

No one has been able to reach Shapoval since 26 April, after he reported that he had been unable to leave the city. Leliavski, who is from the western city of Lviv, was abducted on 25 April while filming pro-Russian militiamen, for which he was accused of being a “provocateur.”