The United States, the European Union, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), have expressed “deep concern” over the Semena case, calling the charges “totally unacceptable” and demanding they be dropped.
On March 17, 10 Members of the U.S. Congress, led by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), sent a letter to occupied Crimea’s prosecutor general, Oleg Kamshylov, urging that all charges against Semena be dropped. On March 18, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) used social media to call for charges against Semena to be dropped; Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) and Rep. Sander Levin (D-MI) used social media earlier to call for his release.
On February 16, more than two dozen prominent human rights groups expressed “outrage” over Semena’s impending trial, in a statement issued by the Civic Solidarity Platform. International media watchdogs, including the Committee to Protect Journalists and Reporters Without Borders, have called for Semena to be allowed to work freely.
Semena was awarded the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum’s Pavel Sheremet Journalism Award in absentia in Brussels on November 28, and the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine’s Igor Lyubchenko Press Freedom Award on November 2. Krym.Realii, the RFE/RL website to which he contributes, received the Broadcasting Board of Governors 2016 David Burke award.