Translated and edited by Voices of Ukraine
Photojournalist Yevgen Gapych from Kolomya, following his release from captivity, retold how separatists tortured him for several days and beat out the confessions that he was a member of UNA-UNSO. Gapych talked to journalists about his experience, as reported by Censor.NЕТ citing TSN.
According to the journalist, separatists grabbed him in Sloviansk. His explanations that he was a representative of the press and that he covered the events “honestly” did nothing.
“They put cotton balls in my ears, and put a thick band over my eyes. We could hear, but couldn’t see anything. They put us on the floor of a car. It was some kind of a police car because it had a siren,” explained Gapych.
As it turned out, the fighters drove the journalist and his brother to the SBU building in Sloviansk where they put them in the basement. “Their only task was to make me confess that I was from UNA-UNSO and that I came here to fight,” Gapych said.
At first, terrorists stripped Yevgen and divided his belongings among themselves. Then, they began to mockingly threaten him psychologically and physically.
“One of them was a former Berkut [riot police]. He told me himself. He said, ‘you’ll be in the Heavenly Thousand.’ And he intimidated me with a knife. He said, ‘This knife has sent many to the other world,'” said the journalist.
The journalist’s brother Hennadiy said that the separatists called their captives “hostages of the referendum.”
I was kept together with American journalist Simon [Ostrovsky]. Last night, when they moved us to a very cold and humid basement, he and I clung to each other during sleep,” said Hennadiy.
According to the journalist’s brother, separatists had more people imprisoned by separatists, whom they continued to torture severely. “I saw a guy who took off his shirt, and all of his back was bloodied, I saw his broken fingers, bruises, and hematoma. And this is after two weeks since his imprisonment,” Hennadiy noted.
The journalist and his brother suspect that the extremists let them go because of the media coverage. During his last few days in captivity, the extremists were discussing that “people wrote about Gapych on the Internet.”