PEN America to honor imprisoned Ukrainian journalist at gala

Apr 19, 2022, 12:04 AM | Updated: 12:17 pm

NEW YORK (AP) — 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, 53, is a freelance correspondent for Krym.Realii Project, a Crimean radio program and news source run by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. He has denied the allegations and has said he confessed after being tortured and threatened with death. He was arrested in March 2021 by Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB).

At the time, he had been working on a video report about how life has changed in Crimea since it was annexed by Russia eight years ago.

“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,” Suzanne Nossel, CEO of the literary and human rights organization, said in a statement Tuesday.

“Indomitable reporters like Vladyslav Yesypenko have provided a portal to enable the world to see Russian occupation for what it is, an exercise of force aimed to stifle the will of free people.”

While in detention, Yesypenko wrote a letter, published by Krym.Realii, in which he contended that “Nothing shows the ugly nature of the occupying power as the constant filling of the cells with new people who were detained on fabricated evidence.” Referring to his treatment by the FSB, he added: “It didn’t break me, but my hair seemed to turn gray.”

His wife, Kateryna Yesypenko, will accept the award on his behalf during the May 23 gala at the Museum of Natural History in Manhattan. Other honorees will include author Zadie Smith and Audible founder Donald Katz.

The PEN award, called the PEN/Barbara Goldsmith Freedom to Write Award when established in 1987, is given to writers and artists imprisoned for their work. Over the years, numerous honorees have since been freed, including the 2017 recipient, Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov. He was released from a Russian prison two years later.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Associated Press

Google’s artificially intelligent ‘Bard’ set for next stage

Google announced Tuesday it's allowing more people to interact with “ Bard,” the artificially intelligent chatbot the company is building to counter Microsoft's early lead in a pivotal battleground of technology.
19 hours ago
Evelyn Knapp, a supporter of former President Donald, waves to passersby outside of Trump's Mar-a-L...
Associated Press

Trump legal woes force another moment of choosing for GOP

From the moment he rode down the Trump Tower escalator to announce his first presidential campaign, a searing question has hung over the Republican Party: Is this the moment to break from Donald Trump?
2 days ago
FILE - The Silicon Valley Bank logo is seen at an open branch in Pasadena, Calif., on March 13, 202...
Associated Press

Army of lobbyists helped water down banking regulations

It seemed like a good idea at the time: Red-state Democrats facing grim reelection prospects would join forces with Republicans to slash bank regulations — demonstrating a willingness to work with President Donald Trump while bucking many in their party.
2 days ago
FILE - This Sept. 2015, photo provided by NOAA Fisheries shows an aerial view of adult female South...
Associated Press

Researchers: Inbreeding a big problem for endangered orcas

People have taken many steps in recent decades to help the Pacific Northwest's endangered killer whales, which have long suffered from starvation, pollution and the legacy of having many of their number captured for display in marine parks.
3 days ago
FILE - Hiring signs are displayed at a grocery store in Arlington Heights, Ill., Jan. 13, 2023. Emp...
Associated Press

Pay transparency is spreading. Here’s what you need to know

U.S. employers are increasingly posting salary ranges for job openings, even in states where it’s not required by law, according to analysts with several major job search websites.
3 days ago
Meadowdale High School 9th grade students Juanangel Avila, right, and Legacy Marshall, left, work t...
David Klepper and Manuel Valdes, Associated Press

Seattle high school teacher advocates for better digital literacy in schools

Shawn Lee, a high school social studies teacher in Seattle, wants to see lessons on internet akin to a kind of 21st century driver's education, an essential for modern life.
3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

SHIBA volunteer...

Volunteer to help people understand their Medicare options!

If you’re retired or getting ready to retire and looking for new ways to stay active, becoming a SHIBA volunteer could be for you!
safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
PEN America to honor imprisoned Ukrainian journalist at gala